Karen’s Favorite Enchiladas

Karen’s Favorite Enchiladas
To Poach the Chicken
1 whole boneless, skinless chicken breast, halved
6 cups water (approximately)
½ cup white wine
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed & peeled
1 yellow onion, peeled & cut into quarters
1 red chile or green jalapeno pepper, stem removed & cut into quarters
Fresh cilantro (a handful)
2 T. lime juice
1 t. ground cayenne pepper
1 t. ground turmeric
1 t. garlic powder
½ t. curry powder
½ t. granulated chicken bullion

15 oz. cooked black beans, rinsed & Drained
8 oz. cooked corn
1 c. Pepper Jack cheese, finely shredded
Fresh cilantro (a handful, coarsely chopped)

1 T. extra virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves, crushed & minced
2 white onion, peeled & finely chopped
1 red chile or green jalapeno pepper, ribs & seeds removed, finely chopped
6 (10 oz) cans red enchilada sauce
1 t. ground cayenne pepper
1 t. garlic powder
¼ c. fresh cilantro, loosely packed

Karen’s Crema Fresca
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup half-and-half

To Prepare the Chicken:

Halfway fill a large frying pan with water. Add the wine, extra virgin olive oil, garlic cloves, onion, red chile/jalapeño pepper, cilantro, lime juice, cayenne pepper, turmeric, garlic powder, curry powder and chicken bullion. Stir to combine, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breast to the pan. Partially cover the pan and simmer for approximately 15-20 minutes, turning the chicken once halfway through. Remove the chicken and place on a cutting board to cool (ensure that the chicken is thoroughly cooked by cutting into it at the thickest part. It should be all white at the center. If any pink color is left, return it to the pan and simmer until it is done.) Once the chicken is cool to the touch, shred it using two forks.

Karen’s Smooth & Spicy Enchilada Sauce:

While the chicken is poaching, warm the extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic cloves, onions and red chile/jalapeño pepper (if using). Sauté, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft (approximately 5 minutes). Add the cans of enchilada sauce and stir to combine. Add the cayenne pepper, garlic powder, cilantro and 2 tbsp. of “Karen’s Crema Fresca” (see directions below).

“Karen’s Crema Fresca”:

Combine 1 cup light sour cream with 1 cup half-and-half. Whisk until smooth.


In a large mixing bowl, combine the shredded chicken, black beans, corn, cilantro, 1 cup of the shredded cheese and half of “Karen’s Smooth & Spicy Enchilada Sauce.” Mix gently until the filling is evenly covered by the sauce.


Using tongs, lightly toast the tortillas one or two at a time over the stovetop, turning often to prevent burning, until the tortillas have turned a light brown color and feel softer and more pliable.

To Build the Enchiladas:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the bottom of two glass casserole dishes (9″ X 11″) with two cups of “Karen’s Smooth and Spicy Enchilada Sauce” (1 cup of Sauce per dish). Using tongs, dip a tortilla into the remaining Sauce, ensuring that it is fully covered, front and back. Lay the tortilla on a plate and scoop one cup of Filling onto the tortilla, creating a line of Filling down the center of the tortilla. Fold over the sides of the tortilla and gently place it on the far left side of a casserole dish. Repeat process with each tortilla until each casserole dish holds four enchiladas, sitting side-by-side. Cover each set of four enchiladas with one or two cups of Sauce, depending on your preference, and sprinkle each set of four with ½ cup of the remaining shredded cheese. Cover with aluminum foil, place the enchiladas into the oven and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until the cheese on top is melted and the Filling is heated through.

To Plate and Garnish the Enchiladas:

Place two enchiladas next to each-other on each plate. Spoon a teaspoonful of “Karen’s Crema Fresca” across the middle of the enchiladas. Place one or two fresh cilantro leaves on top.


Cultural Heritage: This is a healthier and more flavorful version of a traditional Mexican favorite.

Health Value: Excellent. This dish combines healthy proteins with a variety of beneficial spices and nutrients.

Wealth Value: Excellent. This dish delivers incredible “bang for your buck.” It can be made even more economical by omitting the shredded chicken.

Visit Karen’s website at www.reinventingdinner.com for more ideas.

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