Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas with Guajillo Sauce


My wife Nancy, son Quinn and I got the chance to eat at Rick Bayless' Frontera Grill. It was an incredible foodie experience. His creativity and attention to detail was obvious in everything, from the drinks we had before dinner to dessert.

It was Quinn's first real gourmet experience and it made me incredibly happy to see that he had reached an age where he could appreciate what a special experience it was.

So, when a friend and co-worker left a bag of dried guajillo peppers and a copy of Bayless' Essential Simmered Guajillo Sauce on my desk, I knew it wouldn't be long before I made it. Now that I've done so, I know I will again. I adapted it slightly for our own tastes, but this is essentially Bayless' recipe. The enchiladas I put together to showcase the sauce were pretty basic, but the sauce was "softly spicy," Quinn said. The beautiful brick color reflected a bit of an earthy taste as well. As Quinn said, "You can taste Rick Bayless in this."

One of these enchiladas and sauce is 398 calories with 6 grams of fat and 10 of fiber.

Guajillo Sauce
Makes 4-8 servings
6 cloves garlic
16 dried guajillo chilies
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
3-2/3 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

In a heavy, ungreased skillet, place unpeeled garlic and roast, turning occasionally, for about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, break the stems off the chilies, split open and remove the seeds. After removing the garlic, add the chilies a few at a time and toast, flat, turning once. A wisp of smoke is okay, but more than that and you are burning them. Add the chilies to a bowl of hot water and rehydrate for about 30 minutes.

Peel the garlic. In  a food processor, combine chilies, garlic, oregano, pepper, cumin and 2/3 cup of broth. Blend until pureed. Work the puree through a medium strainer into a bowl and discard skins and seeds.

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat, add puree and reduce, stirring constantly, until it turns into a dark red paste, about 7 minutes.

Stir in remaining broth and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 30 minutes. Add salt and sugar.

Chicken Enchiladas
Makes 4 servings
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced
12 ounces cubed skinless chicken breast
14 ounces  vegetarian refried beans 
salt and pepper to taste
4 High-fiber, low-fat tortillas
1/3 cup low-fat Mexican cheese blend

Preheat oven to 350F
Place tortillas on cooking sheets and warm for about 3 minutes, until just beginning to toast.

In the same pan you seared the peppers, heat oil over medium-high heat and add onion, saute until just tender. Add chicken and continue to saute until cooked through.

Warm beans.

In a 9x9 baking dish, add 1/3 cup of guajillo sauce.

On each tortilla, layer 1/4 of beans and chicken mixture, roll, and place seam-side down in dish. Pour 1/2 cup of sauce over enchiladas and top with cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes.

If you like your enchiladas spicy, spoon additional sauce over the enchiladas once you've plated them. Top with low-fat sour cream.

Deal of the Day: Pick up one of Rick Bayless' cookbooks, you won't regret it.


DailyChef said...

That Guajillo sauce looks amazing! Can't wait to try it. And, it's cute that Quinn can already taste Rick Bayless :)

Leslie said...

"place unpeeled garlic and road"
This looks great - can't wait to try it!

Debbie Moore said...

I love Rick Bayless - I watched him on Top Chef when he was a judge and also on Top Chef Masters!

I heard he's one of the nicest chefs around...besides being so, so talented!

Thanks - this recipe sounds fab!


Ed Schenk said...

If only my wife was not allergic to peppers!I love them and would do a lot more Mexican cooking if I could share what I made.
I'm jealous. Rick Bayless is the absolute authority on Mexican cuisine in this country. I would love to eat at Frontera Grill.

ARUNA said...

This just looks great n gorgeous!

Scott K said...

Thanks all.

Amanda said...

Oh I bet those were fantastic, and how fun meeting Rick!

Jennifer, A Self-Confessed Foodie said...

This looks good! My Scott loves Rick Bayless so I'm sure he'd love this!

Deeba PAB said...

Oh I love this. Love the chillies you used, and the 'soft hot' flavours are just what my son would love too.You got some gorgeous colour in the dish ... nom nom nom!

Fuji Mama said...

I am SO jealous! I'm dying to get top Frontera. I love the flavor of guajillo chiles. I bet the flavor is amazing in this sauce--the color is GORGEOUS.

Scott K said...

Thanks again all, this dish is a new favorite.

Megan said...

This is a great looking dish and I love Mexican food. I was wondering, where do you get your food calculations? Is there a site that helps you or do you just do it long hand?

Scott K said...

I use

Becky said...

I want to ask you, why do you need to strain the guajillo peppers puree?
The peppers get very soft, and there is no need to strain the mixture unless you are concern about flavor

Anonymous said...

When I make enchilada sauce like this...I do not strain the sauce...just my preference...some do, though

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