Chef Ryan

Cajun Chef Ryan

Feeling & sharing a world of cooking ~ more than your average Cajun


How to Make Authentic Chicken Enchiladas: A Step-by-Step Guide

December 8th, 2023 · No Comments

Mexican cuisine is a rich tapestry of flavors, colors, and traditions that have evolved over centuries. Among its many culinary delights, chicken enchiladas stand out as a beloved dish that has become a symbol of Mexican comfort food. In this exploration, we’ll delve into the fascinating history, cultural significance, and influences that have shaped the delightful journey of chicken enchiladas in Mexican cuisine.

Before we explore the recipe inspired by the Community Table at Lowes Foods and the Chicken Kitchen, lets review more about how we got here today!

Chicken Enchiladas in the pan and Lowes Foods recipe card
Chicken Enchiladas in the pan and Lowes Foods recipe card

A Tapestry of Flavors: The Origins of Chicken Enchiladas

The roots of chicken enchiladas can be traced back to ancient civilizations, where corn and chilies were dietary staples. The Aztecs, known for their sophisticated culinary techniques, are credited with the creation of tortillas and the art of rolling them with various fillings – a precursor to the modern enchilada. The word “enchilada” itself comes from the Spanish verb “enchilar,” meaning “to season with chili.”

Evolution Through Time: Adapting to Local Tastes

As Spanish conquistadors introduced new ingredients such as dairy products and meats, the enchilada underwent a transformation. The fusion of indigenous and Spanish flavors resulted in the diverse array of enchiladas we enjoy today. The addition of cheese, crema, and other ingredients not only enhanced the dish’s taste but also reflected the evolving cultural landscape of Mexico.

Regional Variations: A Culinary Mosaic

Mexico’s vast and diverse geography has given rise to regional variations of chicken enchiladas. In the coastal regions, seafood enchiladas are a delicacy, featuring fresh catches and vibrant salsas. Inland, mole sauce adds a rich, complex flavor to the dish, showcasing the influence of indigenous ingredients like chocolate, nuts, and spices. Each region’s unique climate and agriculture contribute to the distinctiveness of their enchilada recipes.

Celebrations and Traditions: Chicken Enchiladas in Mexican Culture

Chicken enchiladas are not just a dish; they’re an integral part of Mexican culture and celebrations. From family gatherings to holidays and fiestas, these flavorful delights often grace the tables, symbolizing warmth, togetherness, and the joy of shared meals. The preparation and consumption of enchiladas are deeply embedded in the fabric of Mexican hospitality.

Influences on the Global Stage: Chicken Enchiladas Beyond Borders

The popularity of Mexican cuisine, including chicken enchiladas, has transcended borders. Mexican restaurants worldwide offer their interpretations of this classic dish, adapting to local tastes while preserving its essence. The global appeal of chicken enchiladas speaks to the universal love for the bold, harmonious flavors that characterize Mexican cooking.

The Recipe

During my tenure at Lowes Foods as the Community Table Manager at both the Cary, and Knightdale stores in North Carolina, I had the incredible opportunity to foster a sense of community through the shared experience of food. Guiding the creation and execution of events at the community table, I facilitated a space where customers came together to connect, learn, and savor the joys of good food. From organizing cooking classes to hosting local artisans, my role involved curating a diverse range of events that not only enriched our customers’ culinary knowledge but also strengthened the bonds within the community. Through this role, I discovered the power of food as a catalyst for building connections and creating memorable moments in the heart of the community.

I prepared this recipe several times and when I made it again at home last week, the smells and flavors reminded me and took me back to the store, fond memories as I share the recipe card. Note the check marks on the card, I used each recipe card as my shopping list as I went through the store collecting the items I needed for the cooking demonstration and tasting.

Community Table ~ Lowes Foods ~ Chicken Enchiladas Recipe Card
Community Table ~ Lowes Foods ~ Chicken Enchiladas Recipe Card
Chicken Enchiladas Plated
Chicken Enchiladas Plated

Tags: Mexican · Recipes