Chicken enchiladas have a distinct, delicious flavor. This recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Filling with Ranchero Sauce tastes exactly like restaurant style chicken enchilada filling. The flavor base is ranchero sauce. The sauce cooks in around 30 minutes. The rest of the work is done with a slow cooker! This flavorful filling can be used for enchiladas, nachos, tacos or tostados. Leftovers can be frozen. This recipe was adapted from Iowagirleats.com. Enjoy!
Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Filling with Ranchero Sauce
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 green pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and stems removed, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 cups chicken broth
1 (15 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Heat olive oil in a large, deep (3 inch), skillet over medium high heat. Add onion, green pepper and jalapeno pepper. Sauté until tender about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and cayenne pepper, sauté 1 minute. Add chicken broth and tomatoes.
Turn heat to high and bring to a full rolling boil. Lower heat slightly where mixture boils but won’t boil over. Cook 20-25 minutes until mixture reduces to 3 cups. At the end of the cooking time, as the mixture thickens, I use a splatter screen and stir occasionally. Taste, then season with salt and pepper. Add cilantro. Remove from heat and divide mixture into a 2 cup portion and a 1 cup portion. Both portions will be used at different times in the filling. Set the 2 cup portion aside and cover and refrigerate the 1 cup portion.
Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Filling
2 cups chicken broth
1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice (from ½ lime)
1 teaspoon hot sauce (I use Cholula)
3 cups ranchero sauce, divided
2 pounds skinless, boneless, chicken breasts
To a 5-7 quart slow cooker, add broth, salt, pepper, lime juice, hot sauce and 2 cups ranchero sauce (the remaining cup is used later in the recipe). Stir mixture to combine. Add chicken in one layer making sure all chicken is submerged. Cover and cook on low heat 5 hours.
Remove chicken to a cutting board leaving liquid in slow cooker. Shred chicken with 2 forks; add back to slow cooker with liquid and cook on low heat 1 hour.
Remove shredded chicken from slow cooker with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl. Reserve cooking liquid for another use (It tastes great in chicken tortilla soup.) Add reserved 1 cup ranchero sauce to shredded chicken. Stir to combine. Use chicken filling for enchiladas, nachos, tacos or tostados. Makes enough filling for 20 enchiladas.
Published in The News and Neighbor on August 8, 2018.