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Chicken enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce

Time 35 minutes
Yields Serves 2 to 4
Chicken enchiladas with homemade enchilada sauce
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times )

Salsa roja

1

In a large saute pan or skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and bring the mixture to a simmer, then whisk in the chile paste. Slowly whisk in ½ cup of the cold water, followed by the chicken broth. Whisk in the chicken base, cumin, garlic powder and remaining water, then remove from heat.

2

Pour the mixture into a sauce pan and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally. Cook the sauce for about 10 minutes to marry the flavors, adding additional broth to thin, if desired. This makes about 1½ cups salsa roja. Keep the sauce warm while assembling the enchiladas.

Chicken enchiladas

1

Heat the oven to 250 degrees.

2

Heat a thin layer of canola oil in a large skillet. Add the tortillas, one at a time, carefully warming them on each side so they are pliable but not crispy.

3

After each tortilla is warmed, assemble an enchilada: lay the tortilla flat on an oven-proof plate or baking dish and add a small handful of chicken, then shredded cheese, in the center. Top with a little salsa roja, then wrap the tortilla tightly. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, rolling the enchiladas tightly against each other.

4

Top the assembled enchiladas with additional salsa roja and cheese. Place the plate in the oven until the cheese is melted and the enchiladas are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Carefully remove the hot plate and serve immediately.

Adapted from a recipe by Christy Vega Fowler of Casa Vega in Sherman Oaks. To make chile paste, submerge 2 each dried pasilla and California chiles in a small bowl of boiling water until softened, about 10 minutes. Stem the chiles, then puree, with ¼ cup of the reserved soaking water (or as needed), to form a paste.

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