Growing up in New Mexico, practically every meal was accompanied by either red or green chili. It's something that every New Mexican is accustomed to, yet isn't readily available in other parts of the country. After moving to Northern California I found it was nearly impossible to find traditional New Mexican chili. Chili from Anaheim yes (not the same!), but nothing labeled, "New Mexican." After a bit of research, I found I was able to order chili by the jar from one of my favorite hometown restaurants, El Pinto. Naturally, I ordered an entire case...no big deal.
This is a really simple recipe that I slightly modified to make a little healthier (traditional recipes usually call for ground beef and frying the tortillas before baking). This can be prepared with any red or green chili you find at the grocery store, but New Mexican red chili is my favorite.
red chili + chicken enchiladas
- 16 oz. jar of red chili
- 12 corn tortillas
- 2 cups shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
- 2 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
- 1 diced tomato
- finely chopped onion (optional)
- 1 cup shredded spinach
First, start by cooking the chicken breasts using your favorite method (I boiled mine), and dicing them up into small pieces. Next, layer four corn tortillas into a 9x9 glass baking dish. Spread on a generous layer of the red chili, topped with about half the diced chicken, followed by a couple of handfuls of the shredded cheese.
Continue with another layer of four corn tortillas, topped with red chili, the remaining chicken, and more shredded cheese. For the top layer, finish off with the last four tortillas, a generous layer of red chili (it should be smothered), and the rest of the shredded cheese. You should see three layers in your baking dish by this point.
Place the baking dish into your oven, pre-heated to 375 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and edges are beginning to brown.
Allow the enchiladas to cool for about 10 minutes, then cut into four servings. Top with diced tomatoes, onions, and shredded spinach. Enjoy!