Pairings

Buttermilk Chicken Enchiladas Paired with an Off-Dry White Wine

pairings

I love enchiladas, but I don’t like it when the sauce is so spicy that I can’t enjoy all the flavours. So, I’ve decided to create my own recipe for buttermilk chicken enchiladas. I’ve added a bit of sweetness to the sauce to balance the heat from the chilli and smoked paprika. This recipe is a real winner and paired with an off-dry white Argentinian Malbec or Canadian Riesling, you’ll be wanting more!

Prepping the Ingredients

BUTTERMILK CHICKEN MARINADE

  • 6 hours before you’re ready to eat, you will want to create the buttermilk marinade for these buttermilk chicken enchiladas. You want to give the chicken plenty of time to absorb the sweet and sour flavours of the buttermilk. This takes time, but it’s definitely worth it. Once cooked, the chicken is so much more moist and flavourful! A step well worth taking.
  • Begin by mixing the buttermilk, honey, garlic paste, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Ensure that the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Once the marinade is ready, prepare your chicken. I used about 1 kilogram of chicken breast portions that I cut into goujons. I prefer to cut the portions myself because then I can determine the sizes so they cook more evenly.
  • Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and place into a smaller sized baking dish.
  • Pour the buttermilk marinade over the chicken pieces, cover and refrigerate until you are ready to begin cooking.

BAKING THE CHICKEN

  • When you’re ready to start cooking your enchiladas, set the oven to 200°C.
  • Remove the chicken pieces from the refrigerator and place them on a lined baking sheet. By this point the buttermilk marinade should have had plenty of time to infuse the chicken with moisture and flavours.
  • Feel free to season the chicken with salt, pepper and a bit of smoked paprika.
  • Bake the chicken in the oven for 20 minutes. While the chicken is baking, this is the perfect opportunity to prepare the remaining ingredients.

MAKING THE RED ENCHILADA SAUCE

I’ve tried so many enchilada sauces and I think this one is a real winner. It’s perfect for a family, as it’s flavourful and not too spicy.

  • Begin by melting 1/4 cup of unsalted butter in a saucier pan over medium heat. I use an all-clad saucier pan, as it’s perfect for creating a sauce. The whisk is able to smoothly glide across the inside of the pan an incorporate all the ingredients. A traditional saucepan traps the ingredients, often leaving ingredients burnt and you don’t want a scorched sauce!
  • Add 1/4 cup of plain flour to the melted butter and mix together until it creates a smooth roux, which is the starting point of most sauces. This is how a sauce is thickened.
  • Next, add the tomato passata and chicken broth. Continue to stir the sauce over medium heat until the ingredients are fully incorporated. Tomato passata adds such lovely flavours while also giving more body to the sauce while the chicken broth can be used to adjust the consistency. Basically, tomato passata is uncooked tomato purée that has been strained of seeds and skins, leaving a smooth, tomato sauce.
  • Finally, add the spices, brown sugar and season with salt and pepper. This is where you can make your mark on this recipe. You may prefer a spicier sauce. If so, feel free to adjust the spices to your liking. You should end up with a smooth flavourful, not too overpowering, red enchilada sauce.
An addictive red enchilada sauce!

ASSEMBLING THE BUTTERMILK CHICKEN ENCHILADAS

Once your chicken is baked and your red sauce is made, you will be ready to start assembling the buttermilk chicken enchiladas.

  • Begin by lowering the oven temperature to 180°C and shred the chicken pieces. It’s best to do this in a bowl using two forks to separate the meat. This might take about 5 minutes, but you want to end up with fine strands of chicken, rather than huge chunks.
  • Drain the black beans, rinse fully with a sieve and add them to another bowl.
  • Then add 100ml of tomato passata, garlic paste, oregano, chilli powder, smoked paprika, cumin and honey to the bowl with the black beans.
  • Place the shredded chicken on top of the bean mixture along with 100 grams of cheddar cheese and mix together gently with a spoon.
  • Finally, add the freshly chopped cilantro, sliced black olives and a squeeze of lime juice. Mix all the ingredients together gently and season with salt and pepper.
lime juice in chicken mixture
  • Once the shredded chicken mixture is ready, find a large baking dish and coat the inside with butter. This will help the enchiladas to not stick.
  • Pour a small portion of the red sauce in the baking dish so that it is completely covered. This will enable the enchiladas to bake in the sauce, thus infusing more flavours!
  • Spread a spoonful of red sauce over a tortilla. You are free to use whatever size and type of tortilla you want. For this recipe I used corn tortillas that were 20cm in diameter and I managed to fit 5 into a 9 x 13 inch Pyrex baking dish. The basic goal is to squeeze as many enchiladas in the baking dish as possible! So choose the size of tortilla based upon the size of your baking dish.
  • Add the shredded chicken mixture down the centre of the tortilla. You don’t want to add too much, or the enchilada will be bursting at the seams!
  • Fold the tortilla sides over one another, carefully turn over so the seams are down and place on top of the red sauce in the baking dish.
  • Once you’ve squeezed as many enchiladas as possible in your baking dish, pour the remaining red sauce over the enchiladas. Then sprinkle the grated reserved 25 grams of cheddar cheese, 1/2 tablespoon of chopped cilantro and 25 grams of sliced black olives on top.
  • Bake the enchiladas in the oven for 30 minutes.

Serving

  • Enjoy your enchiladas warm and serve with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of lime.
buttermilk chicken enchiladas

Wine Pairing

Buttermilk Chicken Enchiladas

If you're looking for flavourful chicken enchiladas with an incredible red sauce, then this is the recipe for you!
Prep Time6 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time7 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken enchiladas, enchilada red sauce, Mexican food
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

Buttermilk Chicken Marinade

  • 500 grams chicken breasts cut into equal sized goujons (about 4 chicken breasts)
  • 300 ml fresh buttermilk
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1/2 Tbsp garlic paste (alternatively: 3 cloves pressed garlic)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Red Enchilada Sauce

  • 30 grams unsalted butter
  • 30 grams plain flour
  • 500 ml tomato passata
  • 250 ml chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp mild chilli powder
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Chicken Filling Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 to 6 tortillas (plain or corn) (choose the best size to fit your baking dish)
  • 400 grams tinned black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 100 ml tomato passata
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1/2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1.5 Tbsp honey
  • 125 grams grated cheddar cheese (save 25 grams for garnishing)
  • 500 grams cooked shredded chicken
  • 125 grams sliced black olives (save 25 grams for garnishing)
  • 2.5 Tbsp freshly chopped cilantro (save 1/2 Tbsp for garnishing)
  • 1 tsp fresh lime juice

Serving

  • Dollop of sour cream
  • A wedge or two of lime

Instructions

Buttermilk Chicken Marinade

  • 6 hours before you're ready to eat, mix the buttermilk, honey, garlic paste, salt and pepper together in a bowl.
  • Prepare your chicken breasts but cutting them into roughly, equal-sized goujons.
  • Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and place into a smaller sized baking dish.
  • Pour the buttermilk marinade over the chicken pieces, cover and refrigerate until you are ready to begin cooking.

Baking the Chicken

  • After the chicken has marinated and you're ready to start cooking, set the oven to 200°C.
  • Remove the chicken pieces from the refrigerator and place them on a lined baking sheet.
  • Season the chicken with salt, pepper and a bit of smoked paprika.
  • Bake the chicken in the oven for 20 minutes.
  • While the chicken is baking, this is the perfect opportunity to prepare the remaining ingredients.

Red Enchilada Sauce

  • Begin by melting 30 grams of unsalted butter in a saucier pan over medium heat.
  • Add 30 grams of plain flour to the melted butter and mix together until it creates a smooth roux.
  • Next, add the tomato passata slowly to the mixture until it is incorporated.
  • Then add the chicken broth and continue to stir the sauce over medium heat for about 1 minute.
  • Finally, add the spices, brown sugar and season with salt and pepper. Stir the sauce for an additional 2 minutes.
  • You should end up with a beautifully spiced red enchilada sauce that is slightly thickened.

Assembling the Enchiladas

  • Begin by lowering the oven temperature to 180°C.
  • Shred the chicken pieces using two forks.
  • Drain the black beans, rinse fully with a sieve and add them to another bowl.
  • Add 100ml of tomato passata, garlic paste, oregano, chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin and honey to the bowl with the black beans.
  • Place the shredded chicken on top of the bean mixture along with 100 grams of cheddar cheese and mix together gently with a spoon.
  • Finally, add the freshly chopped cilantro, sliced black olives and a squeeze of lime juice. Mix all the ingredients together gently and season with salt and pepper.
  • Once the shredded chicken mixture is ready, find a large baking dish and coat the inside with butter.
  • Pour a small portion of the red sauce in the baking dish so that the bottom is covered.
  • Spread a spoonful of red sauce over a tortilla.
  • Add the shredded chicken mixture along the centre of the tortilla.
  • Fold the tortilla sides over one another, carefully turn over so the seams are down and place on top of the red sauce in the baking dish.
  • Once you've squeezed as many enchiladas as possible in your baking dish, pour the remaining red sauce over the enchiladas.
  • Then sprinkle the grated reserved cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro and sliced black olives on top. Bake the enchiladas in the oven for 30 minutes.

Serving

  • Enjoy your enchiladas warm and serve with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of lime.

Wine Pairing

  • Serve with a glass of an off-dry white wine.