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Recipe courtesy of Carla Hall

Chicken Enchiladas Rojas with Oregano Guacamole and Crema

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Active: 50 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
Thanks to the toasted dried chiles and spices, these enchiladas are incredibly flavorful. With the addition of avocado as a twist, the lime crema is the perfect palate cooler. The guacamole welcomes Mexican oregano instead of the usual cilantro and is so tasty, it may become a permanent substitution--not to mention a great alternative for individuals sensitive to cilantro.

Ingredients

Filling:

Chile Sauce:

Enchiladas:

Oregano Guacamole:

Crema:

Directions

  1. For the filling: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large, high-sided saute pan. Drizzle the chicken with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pan and sear on both sides until golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a sheet tray and place into the oven. Bake until a thermometer inserted into the center of a chicken thigh registers 165 degrees F, about 10 minutes. Rest the chicken for 10 minutes. Shred the chicken with two forks and set aside.
  3. For the chile sauce: In a medium saucepan, heat the chiles over medium heat, turning, until toasted and fragrant, 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and discard the stems and the seeds. Set aside the pan for later. Add the toasted chiles, onion, garlic, canned tomatoes, vinegar, cumin, oregano, salt, sugar and 1 cup water to a blender. Puree until smooth, then pour through a fine-mesh strainer.  
  4. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil to the saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add the strained chile sauce and cook, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have melded and the sauce has slightly reduced, 20 minutes.  
  5. Meanwhile, finish the filling: Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, 5 minutes. Add the shredded chicken and 1/2 cup of the chile sauce and stir to combine. Set aside. 
  6. To assemble: In a medium skillet, heat 1/4 inch olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Using tongs, dip a tortilla in the hot oil and cook over medium heat, turning once, until pliable, about 10 seconds. Transfer the tortilla to a large plate. Repeat with the remaining tortillas. Spread a thin layer of chile sauce in the bottom of a shallow baking dish. Dip each fried tortilla into the chile sauce, flipping to cover both sides. Repeat with the remaining fried tortillas.  
  7. Fill each dipped tortilla with 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture and roll it up. Place the roll into the baking dish, seam-side down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and chicken mixture. Pour the remaining sauce all over the enchiladas and top with the cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake until the sauce bubbles and the cheese melts, 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves and scallion greens. Serve with Oregano Guacamole and Crema. 

Oregano Guacamole:

  1. Place the avocado, scallions, oregano, lime juice and some salt and pepper in a bowl and mash together with a fork or potato masher to desired consistency.

Crema:

  1. Whisk together the sour cream, avocado, salt and lime zest in a small bowl until well combined.