{Kitchen Confessions} Quick Chicken Enchiladas

{a few of our feathered flock}

I have a confession to make.

Brace yourselves.

Sometimes I cheat…

…sometimes I cheat and I buy a pre-roasted chicken from the grocery store!

surprise face

Oh man, does it feel good to get that off my chest.

Let’s get real.  I mean, I work all day.. I have a regular  J.O.B. and there are times it just wallops the stuffing out of me and gosh darnit I do not feel like cooking.

And sometimes, I make a recipe that’s a little complex and I don’t want to do ALL of the steps.. because I would like to eat at some point before the sun comes up the next day.

This is one of those recipes.

Now, of course, you could roast a chicken and let it cool, pull the meat from the bones and set it aside for the next day.  You could totally do that.

But I usually don’t.  I also don’t make the tortillas either but I bought a tortilla press so next time I probably will because .. hey, new toy!

Anyway, these enchiladas do take a little time to prep, but if you do this in stages, it’s not that cumbersome.  The sauce can stay in the fridge for 24 hours so you could do that the night before.   I’ve adapted Rick Bayless’s Enchiladas Especiales Tacuba Style which is tasty in it’s own right but I like to try to cram as much veggie type stuff in my food as possible.   So I bumped up the spinach.

I also doubled the poblano chiles because I like a little more oomph. Roasting takes a little bite out of them anyway.

Roasting peppers is pretty easy.  You could pop them right on the burner to blister the skins, or put them on a sheet pan under a broiler.  I like to combine the two methods.  I  heat up a cast iron skillet on the stove and toss the peppers in to get them started.

Roasted Poblano Chiles

Then I put them in the oven under the broiler for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally until the skins are blistered and black pretty much all over.  After a short rest in a bowl covered with a towel, they are cool enough to handle,  I just yank the stem and most of the seeds slide right out with it.. then a quick swipe with my hands or a paper towel and the peel comes right off.

That’s really the hardest part of making the sauce.  The rest is just making a quick roux, heating up some milk and chicken stock and adding the garlic, poblanos and spinach to a blender and giving it a whirl.

Half the sauce gets mixed into the shredded chicken and then it’s time to assemble.  A bit of sauce in the bottom of the pan, roll up some sauced chicken, more spinach and a bit of cheese in a tortilla and start loading up the pan.

Enchilladas in the pan

I usually get about 12 to 15 enchiladas in there.  Top with another layer of sauce and more cheese.. ok.. lots of cheese.

unbaked enchilladas

After 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven, this is what you get. Chicken Spinach Enchilladas

{RECIPE} Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas

Inspired by Rick Bayless’s Enchiladas Especiales Tacuba Style


  • 4 medium poblano chiles
  • 2 cups of raw spinach
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 12 to 15 corn torillas
  • 12 ounces of your favorite Mexican Style melting cheese.
  • Shredded chicken from a rotisserie chicken (about 4 cups)

To make the sauce:

  1. Roast and peel the poblano peppers.  Remove the seeds and stems
  2. Gently warm the milk and stock (I usually use the microwave)
  3. Melt the butter over medium heat and add the minced garlic.  When you smell the garlic, add the flour and cook to form  a paste. (about one minute)
  4. Slowly pour in the warmed stock mixture into the pan while whisking.   Heat to a boil while whisking then turn down to medium heat.
  5. Put the poblano peppers and 1 and half cups of raw spinach into a blender.  Pour half the sauce in and puree (carefully! you may want to take the top off your blender and cover with a towel) Pour the contents back into the pot.  Add salt to taste.

At this point, you can pop the sauce into the fridge overnight. Reheat before assembling the enchilladas

To assemble the enchiladas:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
  2. Take half your sauce and mix it in with the shredded chicken
  3. Pour a layer of sauce in the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish
  4. Fill a tortilla with some chicken, a few pieces of spinach, a sprinkling of cheese, roll up and place in your baking dish.
  5. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Go ahead and cram them in there.
  6. Pour another thin layer of sauce over the filled tortillas and top with the remaining cheese.
  7. Bake, uncovered for 20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and browning.
  8. Serve with sour cream, salsa and a few pickled jalapenos and maybe a nice Sangria

FYI: I usually have too much sauce.  You could try halving the sauce recipe.. or you could take the remaining sauce and serve it over pasta. Just don’t stick it in the fridge and forget about it until it gets funky, which is what usually happens to me.


26 Comments Add yours

    1. Jeni B says:

      Thanks! They are pretty darn yummy and worth the time to make.. even if you make it in bits.

  1. That looks absolutely delicious!! That’s dinner sorted for later 😀

    1. Jeni B says:

      Great! Let me know how you like them!

      1. Ended up having them for lunch today, they were absolutely delicious!
        Would you object if we re-blogged this recipe with a few changes such as measurements in grams and not cups? We would make sure we linked back here to the original source.

        1. Jeni B says:

          I don’t see a problem with that. 🙂

  2. Gina M says:

    Ohhh! I have to try this out – that sauce, dayum.

    1. Jeni B says:

      you really want to bump it up? Use habanero cheese…. or some of your hot sauce.. BOOM

  3. Wow, they sure look delicious! Have you made the corn totillas from scratch ?;)
    I will make this next weekend 🙂

    1. Jeni B says:

      Coincidentally, I just made them for the first time tonight! well, the first time with a tortilla press.. the ACTUAL first time was hysterical… if you want to make them yourself, get the tortilla press.. I highly recommend it.

  4. Mmmmm! I’ve never tried to make a green version of enchiladas! This is going on my must cook list!

    1. Jeni B says:

      enjoy! I hope you like them!

  5. Ellie says:


  6. Anne Bonney says:

    Looks yummy!

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  8. This sounds like a great recipe. I have always had a soft spot in my heart for chicken (vegetarian mostly) but this is a dish that will definitely have me falling of the wagon. I must confess that I will be trying to put a vegetarian spin on this one. Thanks for the wonderful post.

    1. Pirate Jeni says:

      If I were you, I’d try replacing the chicken with a roasted corn and black bean mix. I bet you’d be pleasantly surprised!

      1. Now that is a great idea. I will admit that I am going to try the chicken too. Never need to much of a push to fall off the wagon for chicken.

  9. Thanks for the recipe because I love enchiladas.

    DIVA, Iketha

  10. Weatherly says:

    How do you keep your tortillas from breaking when you roll them. I always do a quick pan fry first. I have tried microwaving them as well which mostly works. I tried my green chili chicken enchilada recipe once without heating them and they all splintered open!

    1. Jeni B says:

      To tell the truth, most of the time, I’m using store bought tortilla and they seem to be pretty bendy with just the heat of the filling… but I have done a quick zap in the microwave when needed.

      1. Weatherly says:

        I just realized that I have been keeping them in the fridge ever since we lived in Texas, where all bread products got moldy fast because of the heat. I probably don’t need to do that for most of the year here in NY. Duh on me!

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