I’m a huge fan of Top Chef, and this year, Katsuji is on again! For those who watch the show, you know he’s an expert with Mexican Cuisine, and somehow, he pulls off amazing dishes in 20-30 minute Quickfire Challenges.
While this delicious enchilada recipe is my own, I was inspired in a recent episode by Katsuji’s crazy blending skills. It’s like he throws everything into a blender and the judges (usually) love it. So I gave his method a go, throwing in New Mexico, pasilla, and hipotle Chilies with Mexican chocolate, toasted spices, tomato paste, and chicken stock, and it worked wonderfully. Then I threw some of the sauce over tortillas stuffed with rotisserie chicken and baked it all in the oven for 20 minutes. Perfect.
The recipe isn’t exactly as quick as a Quickfire, but I’d say it’s still pretty quick for baked Enchiladas, right?
Spicy Quickfire Chicken Enchiladas
Time: 40 Minutes
2 oz mixed dried chilies (e.g. 3 New Mexico, 2 pasilla, and 1 chipotle pepper)
3 cups chicken stock
1 oz Mexican chocolate
2 tbsp tomato paste
8 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano, preferably Mexican
1 tsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp lime juice
Olive oil, for frying
8 corn tortillas
½ rotisserie chicken, shredded
8 oz queso fresco, crumbled, divided
1 tbsp sour cream
Juice of ½ Lime
1 small white onion, sliced into rings
Radishes, cut into thin rounds, halved
Cilantro, roughly chopped to garnish
Lime wedges, (for serving)
Preheat oven to 425F.
In a small skillet, toast chilies over medium heat, until lightly toasted, about 2-3 minutes per side.
Add chicken stock to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add chilies and simmer, over medium-high heat, for 5-6 minutes, until soft.
Add chilies to blender with chocolate, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, coriander, thyme, and oregano, sugar, and lime juice, and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add additional water by tablespoonfuls if dry. Season with salt to taste. Let cool, reserve 1 cup chili sauce, and transfer remaining sauce to a 13x9" baking dish.
In a small shallow skillet, add a thin layer of olive oil over medium-high heat. Using tongs, fry one tortilla at a time, until crisp on each side, but still pliable, about 20 seconds per side. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
Lightly coat each tortilla in reserved chili sauce, adding about ¼ cup of chicken to the center of the tortilla. Wrap tortillas by folding over chicken and place in the baking dish, nestling in remaining enchiladas. Cover enchiladas with remaining sauce and 6 oz of cheese. Bake for 15 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and browned.
While enchiladas cook, add 3 tbsp water to a blender with sour cream, avocado, and lime juice. Blend until smooth, and season with salt to taste.
Serve enchiladas topped with cream, remaining queso fresco, onion slices, radishes, and cilantro, and lime wedges on the side.