On a Mission in the Culinary Wasteland

Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas

source: Clay T. Martin

recipes for the country gourmet
recipes for the country gourmet

100% would make this again.


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recipes for the country gourmet

Quick enchiladas made with mostly store bought ingredients.

recipes for the country gourmet


2poundsBoneless Chicken thighs
1.5poundsChedder-jack cheese grated
30ouncesEnchilada Sauce
2packagesFlour "fajita" style tortillas
1cupMarinade  (see below)
15.5ouncesRefried black beans
1hand fullCilantro leaves
4ouncesGreen chilies chopped
0.5poundMozzarella cheese grated
3tablespoonsPeanut oil (for frying)
recipes for the country gourmet


You will need an iron pan for the chicken, and two 9x13 baking pans, preferably glass. Grease the pans well with the Crisco.

Cut up the chicken into chunks about 1 inch in size and place in the marinade. You should do this about an hour before you will cook the chicken. Longer would be better, but hey we don't want to spend all night making this.

Trim the leaves off of the cilantro stalks and place in a bowl of water. Mix your cheeses well, and place in the fridge. Mix the can of refried beans and green chilies in a microwave proof bowl and heat on medium for 1 minute. Stir the bean mix well, then add just enough water (about a tablespoon) to achieve a looser consistency .

Heat up a cast iron pan until it is putting off little whiffs of smoke. Add some of the oil to coat the bottom. Then fry up your chicken in small batches. Remove to a covered bowl for latter. Remember, you are frying the chicken just to give it some color (and taste) not to cook it through. Figure 1 Each batch should take no more than 2 minutes tops. You will need to allow the pan to come back up to heat between batches. Add oil as necessary while frying your batches.

When you are ready to assemble heat your oven to 200F. Dampen two tea towels and place on a plate. Place your tortillas inside the two layers of towel so that the steam softens them when you place the the plate in the oven for a few minutes. Figure 2

When you are ready to assemble the enchiladas pour enough of the sauce in the bottom of your baking pan to just barely cover it. Figure 3 Tilt the pan back and forth to distribute the sauce.

Pull a wrap out of the oven and place on your cutting board. Using a spoon, spread some sauce on the wrap to cover. Figure 4 Place some black beans (about 3 spoons full) in a line about 1/3 from the bottom (side toward you) of the wrap. Keep away from the edges so it does not ooze out when you roll the wrap up. Instead it will ooze just to the edge as you roll. Figure 5

Place 4 to 5 pieces of chicken on the beans. Then lay a few leaves of cilantro on the chicken. Figure 6 Now place 3-4 good pinches of cheese over the leaves. Figure 7

Lift up the bottom side of the wrap and lift it up and over the pile of ingredients. Use the lower edge of the wrap to slide the ingredients back into a tube shape with a gentile squeeze between your finger tips and thumbs. Figure 8 Now just roll the wrap away from you until the upper edge is directly under the roll. Figure 9 Carefully pick up the roll and place in the baking pan. Figure 10 Get a new wrap from the oven and repeat.

You should get 7 rolls in one 9x13 pan snugged up close to each other. Cover the first pan with plastic wrap as you work on the second. When you have filled both, remove the plate from the oven and set the temp to 400F.

Pour the remaining sauce over the rolls. Figure 11 You do not need to cover every bit, but instead just try to be even and get some sauce on the rolls near all the pan edges. Place the pans in the oven for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes (the sauce around the edges should be bubbling) pull out the pans and spread your remaining cilantro leaves over the top. Figure 12 Then spread the remaining cheese. Figure 13 Lower the oven temperature to 350F and return the pans to the oven for 20 minutes. Check it early, the cheese on the top should just have a few brown spots when they are done. Figure 14 Allow to rest for 10 minutes and serve.

recipes for the country gourmet


I used "La Preferida" brand mild enchilada sauce (3 cans) and their refried black beans also.

You can warm your wraps in the microwave also, just do it in smaller batches so you don't dry them out or toughen them up. If you don't warm your wraps they tend to crack and break when rolled.

When you marinade the chicken, make sure to salt it well and use plenty of spice in the marinade. The flavor needs to stand up to the dulling effects of the cheese, wraps and refried beans. You could start the marinade the nigh before. You could even cook the meat in advance and keep in the fridge.

You can use chicken breast instead of thighs, but it is not as resistant to overcooking and getting dry. This tends to happen to some of the chicken pieces that are at the ends of the rolls.

recipes for the country gourmet

Southwest Chicken Marinade

See the full recipe

2.5tablespoonsClays Mexican spice  (see below)
2tablespoonsLime juice
2tablespoonsPeanut oil
1.5tablespoonsWhite wine


Mix the ingredients in a bowl, then place on the meat to be marinaded, or add the meat to the bowl. For this recipe assume about 2-3 lbs of chunked thigh or breast meat.

Adjust the amount of salt to your taste, but try not to under season.

Stir the meat in the marinade thoroughly to coat completely. If it will sit for longer than a few minutes, stir regularly.

Allow to sit on the counter (covered) for 1/2 hour or fridge for longer.

recipes for the country gourmet

Clay's Mexican Spice

See the full recipe

3tablespoonsAncho chili powder
2tablespoonsCumin powder
1tablespoonGarlic powder
1tablespoonOnion powder
0.5teaspoonBlack pepper
0.25tablespoonDeArbol chili powder
0.5tablespoonMexican Oregano
1teaspoonRed pepper flakes (optional)


Rub the oregano between your hands to powder it well. Mix all the ingredients and store for later use.

I usually make a lot at a time, 'cause I use it for lots of stuff. Just multiply up or substitute another unit of measure. Remember 3 teaspoons = 1 tablespoon. I also don't put salt in this because of all the different things I use it for. This way I can add the amount of salt suitable for the dish.

recipes for the country gourmet