Olive Magazine

What wine to drink with chicken enchiladas

Published: March 20, 2015 at 3:38 pm

Our wine expert Victoria Moore suggests a range of bargain wines to drink with chicken enchiladas.

There aren’t enough enchiladas in my life. This Tex-Mex favourite is a cosy-comforting dish that peps up the still-short days at the end of winter, partly because it tastes good, and partly because chilli prompts an endorphin rush. These are bold flavours and I like fruity wines of any colour with them – and this is one of those joyful occasions when bottles costing under a tenner are the best for the job.


My best choices would be, for a white, a light, refreshing pinot grigio, a chenin blanc, or a mildly oaked chardonnay. Or, for a red, something Spanish or Portuguese, or a juicy, unoaked syrah, malbec, merlot or zinfandel from Chile, the US or Argentina.

More than anything, this is a mood match, so think wines to drink hunkered down with the TV. One quick recipe note: I like the bulk of the refried beans in the enchiladas, but you could leave them out or serve them as a side.

Chicken enchiladas

olive oil

red onion 1, finely chopped

garlic clove 1, chopped

pickled jalapeños 6 slices, finely chopped (or more to suit your taste)

chopped tomatoes 400g tin

corn tortillas 6

cheddar cheese 200g, grated

cooked chicken breasts 2 large, or the equivalent in left-over roast chicken, shredded

coriander a small bunch, chopped

refried beans 215g tin

soured cream 200ml, to serve

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and fry gently for 3-5 minutes. As it begins to soften, add the garlic and about a third of the pickled jalapeños. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion and garlic are soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes, half fill the tomato can with water, swish it around, then tip it into the pan. Season. Continue to cook for about 15 minutes until thick and glossy.

While the sauce is cooking, heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm them in the oven for 10 minutes.

Now assemble the enchiladas. Set a good third of the grated cheese aside. Spread 1 tsp of tomato mixture all over each tortilla, on one side only. Divide the shredded chicken and remaining cheese into 6 portions and add 1 portion of chicken in a thick line down the middle of each tortilla. Top each one with a portion of cheese and a sprinkling of jalapeños and coriander (keeping some coriander to serve). Then add 1 rounded tsp of refried beans to each. (Don’t overdo the beans – you can serve what’s left as a side.) Roll the edges over to make 6 long tubes.

Put the enchiladas, seam-side down, in a ceramic baking dish. Pour the remaining tomato mix over, sprinkle with the rest of the cheese, and cook for 20-25 minutes at 190C/fan 170C/gas 5 until the cheese melts and the enchiladas are piping hot. Serve with chopped coriander and soured cream.


Four wines to try with chicken enchiladas:

Andara Merlot 2013 Chile, 12.5% (£3.99, Aldi) A merlot perfumed like plum jam, with a classic ‘Chilean’ aroma. Soft and rounded.

Pedroncelli Friends Red 2012 Sonoma County USA, 13.9%(£7.95, The Wine Society) Thisglorious blend of merlot, syrah and zinfandelis made with a bit of oak, but it doesn’tdominate. Perfect.

Viñalta Malbec 2014 Argentina, 14% (£8, M&S) A malbec made in sight of the Andes that positively glows with southern hemisphere winter sunshine. Juicy and joyful.


Silver Ghost Sauvignon Blanc 2014 Chile, 13% (£4.99, Majestic) Chilean sauvignon blanctends to be fleshier than the same grapegrown in either France or New Zealand: think sweet roasted grapefruit.

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