Tag Archive for family dinner

Red Enchilada Sauce – Homemade Variety

Two weekends ago  we had a great family weekend here at the Party House.  My sister, Laura, and her husband were here visiting from Montana, and we had a great weekend together. Laura had a red sauce recipe that she wanted to share with the entire family, to use on chicken enchiladas.  The preparation for the big dinner on Saturday night started the day before on Friday afternoon.

Laura and I decided it would be best to make the sauce itself on Friday, let it veg and simmer, and mesh with flavor until Saturday afternoon.  So on Friday afternoon, Laura took charge of the kitchen to make the sauce.  Here’s the recipe from Laura:


6-8 oz. whole dried chilis – Laura uses Ancho chilis which are fairly mild.
2 tsp. Mexican oregano
4 cloves garlic
2 cups chicken stock (or water)
1 tbsp. lard or olive oil
1-1/2 tbsp. flour or arrowroot powder
1 tsp. salt

Heat griddle or skillet until a drop of water sizzles on it. While heating, remove stems and seeds from chilis under running water. Gloves are recommended! Toast chilis on griddle until aroma is released – 30 to 60 seconds – do not burn! Put toasted chilis in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Soak until soft – 10 minutes. Drain chilis and discard liquid.




                             Lots of work getting the chili’s ready!

Place chilis, stock, oregano and 2 garlic cloves in blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. Add more stock if too thick. Work puree through sieve into a bowl – discard solids. Pour in a little more liquid to rinse sauce through sieve. In medium saucepan, heat oil or lard until rippling. Add the other two garlic cloves, pressing down in hot oil with the back of a spoon to release flavor. Remove when brown.

Add flour, stirring until golden. Add chili puree and salt, cook over low heat about 10 minutes.

Now, please remember we were making this sauce for a group of about 16 or 17, give or take a friend.  Laura quadrupled the recipe for our gang.  Our goal was to make (2) 13×9 pans of chicken enchiladas coated with the red sauce, and a pan without tortillas, as  some of our family members are eating carb-free meals.  And we wanted a bit of sauce to mix in with some rice.

For the enchilada assembly you will need:

  • Chicken – The chicken breast was cooked in the crock pot for 5-6 hours on low.  Two crock pots with about 10 chicken breasts total.  Place the chicken in the crock pot, sprinkle the chicken with your favorite taco seasoning, add about a cup of chicken broth, turn on low.  When the chicken’s ready you can shred it or chop it, whichever your recipe prefers.
  • Black beans, drained and rinsed.
  • Sautéed onions.
  • Shredded mild cheddar or co-jack cheese.
  • Corn tortillas.

Once the onions are sautéed, add the black beans to heat them up.  Then mix the beans and onions in a large mixing bowl with the shredded chicken.  We mixed in a skosch of the red sauce just to moisten everything before baking.

For the assembly you need extra pairs of hands and you will make a mess with this step.

  • Dip the corn tortilla in the red sauce, and scrape off any excess on the side of the pan you are dipping in.
  • Pass the tortilla to the enchilada filler person.
  • Put a scoop of the chicken, bean, onion mixture in the middle of the tortilla.
  • Have the person in charge of the cheese  sprinkle cheese on top of the meat mixture.
  • Roll the tortilla up and place in your baking dish.
  • Keep assembling and rolling until your baking dishes are filled.
  • Pour the remaining red sauce over the enchiladas, and sprinkle cheese on top.
  • When making these for a crowd it’s ok to put a double layer of enchiladas in the 13×9 pan.  Just use some of the sauce in between layers.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 to heat them up.
  • Once the baking is complete, get those enchiladas on  your dinner plate and enjoy!

                                                         Assembly in progress.

                                              Finished pan right before the cheese.

To finish out our dinner menu we also had rice with some of the sauce mixed in, homemade salsa (thanks Naomi), wine, and our favorite almond champagne.  The only thing missing from the dinner was Travel Man, and our youngest son.  They were both working.

Try this recipe soon, your taste buds will love it!  Thanks for schooling us on the sauce recipe Laura.  Cannot wait to make this one again.

What’s your favorite enchilada sauce – red or white?

 Photo credits- Joan Weise, Erica Bettencourt, and me.  Thanks everyone for remembering to take a few pics!

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