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Chicken Enchiladas

Serves 4

This Mexican classic hits the spot for lunch and dinner. Or, slice them into smaller, easy-to-serve portions for a potluck!


  • 8 soft flour tortillas

  • 3 cups chicken broth

  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried

  • 2 sprigs fresh oregano

  • 1 medium to large onion, quartered

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6-8 ounces each)

  • 2 cups tomato sauce

  • 2 teaspoons hot cayenne pepper sauce (several drops)

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (2 pinches)

  • 2 teaspoon chili powder, divided

  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • Salt

  • 2 1/2 cups Monterey Jack shredded cheese

  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (optional)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 275°F.

  2. Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in the oven, or wrap in a damp cloth towel and warm up in the microwave. Be sure to ask a grown-up helper (GH) with the oven if you need it.

  3. Place a medium size skillet on the stove over high heat. Ask your grown-up helper for assistance with the stove if you need it. Add chicken broth, bay leaf, oregano and onion, and bring up to a bubble. Add chicken breasts and bring back to a bubble, then cover with a lid and reduce heat to medium. Poach chicken in broth 10 minutes or until cooked through. Remove the cooked chicken from the stock and let it cool a bit so that you can handle it. Reserve broth and set aside.

  4. After handling the raw chicken, wash your hands.

  5. While the chicken is poaching, make the enchilada sauce: in a sauce pan, combine the tomato sauce, hot sauce, cinnamon and one teaspoon of chili powder. Bring up to a simmer over medium heat and then reduce heat to low, keeping sauce warm until you are ready to use it.

  6. Shred the cooled chicken into small strips using two forks or your fingers. Transfer the shredded meat to a bowl and add 1/2 cup of reserved broth, tomato paste, one teaspoon chili powder and one teaspoon cumin; season with a little salt and pepper

  7. Remove tortillas from oven and switch broiler on high.

  8. Pour a little of the enchilada sauce, about 1/4 cup, on the bottom of a casserole or baking dish. Divide chicken mixture equally between the warm tortillas by piling it up on the bottom half of each tortilla and rolling into a tube.

  9. Place enchiladas seam side down on top of the sauce in the baking dish. Once all the enchiladas are in the pan, pour remaining hot tomato sauce over them and top with cheese.

  10. Place enchiladas in hot oven six inches from broiler and broil five minutes to melt cheese and set enchiladas. Sprinkle with the chopped cilantro and serve.