Pairing Challenge

Winner Winner Chicken Enchilada Dinner + Recipe

So far in the Monthly Beer Versus Wine Challenge, we have covered everything from decadent Blue Cheese Stuffed Filet Mignons to regional Shrimp and Grits to greasy Chicken Wings.  Yet, none of the posts gathered as many comments on Twitter and Facebook about the food alone as Chicken Enchiladas.

Perhaps it’s because the dish is just so sinful, loaded with cheese and smothered in a spicy red sauce.  Perhaps it’s because the richness of the food delivers a level of comfort, a put on your stretchy pants and watch a movie after kind of comfort.  Or perhaps, for many of us, it represents that first cross-over into international cuisine.  No matter how Americanized the dish is, enchiladas force us to reach back into our food memory to that first visit to a Mexican restaurant.  As a child, visiting a Mexican restaurant was just so exotic. If we were lucky, we’d ever get to wear a smelly sombrero for a photo shoot.

Enchiladas in the Making

Enchiladas in the Making (Photos Courtesy of

Suggestions this month ranged from the expected to the unexpected. 

I was expecting traditional Mexican beers like If It Falls on the Floor and @corri_roberts suggested.  I wasn’t expecting all the red wines like The Wandering Sheppard, Wander and Wine, and yours truly suggested.  I was expecting a plethora of white wines but only received two – a Torrontes and a Pinot Grigio.

In the end, a winner had to emerge. 

It was a toss-up between Negra Modelo by If It Falls on the Floor and Petite Sirah by Wander and Wine.  Alas, wine won out this month and the Petite Sirah reigns supreme.  Congrats to Wander and Wine.  We look forward to seeing your pairing challenge in July right here on The Wandering Gourmand.

Farm Fresh Toppers for Enchiladas

Farm Fresh Toppers for Enchiladas (Photos Courtesy of

Chicken Enchiladas with Red Sauce Recipe – Yes, I know that the recipe includes a pre-cooked, rotisserie chicken.  I view enchiladas as a quick and dirty week night meal.  Pre-cooked chicken takes some of the work away.  At least the sauce doesn’t come from a can!

The Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion finely, finely chopped
  • 2 canned chipotles in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 14 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ rotisserie chicken shredded
  • 2 cups of shredded jack or Mexican cheese blend
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (may need more, may need less)
  • Cooking spray
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • Your favorite Mexican dish toppings

The Cooking:

  • Preheat onion to 350
  • Warm the oil in a large saucepan
  • Once hot, add the onion, chipotle peppers, and garlic until the onions are soft.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin, sugar, salt and pepper for seasoning, and cook until fragrant (about 30 seconds)
  • Stir in the tomato sauce and water. Simmer for 15 minutes until thickened.
  • In a large bowl combine the shredded chicken, 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, and 1 cup. Toss to combine.
  • Stack the tortillas on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 30 seconds
  • Spray your baking dish with cooking spray
  • Dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce to lightly coat, spoon chicken mixture in each tortilla, fold over filling, place in tray, repeat.
  • Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
  • Cover dish with foil and bake 20 minutes, or until heated through.