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The Weekender: Chicken Enchiladas

The Weekender: Chicken Enchiladas

Alyson Strickler-Vazquez

Enchiladas have a rich Mayan history, with multiple regions of Mexico having their go-to version feeding families for generations. The ultimate Mexican comfort food, chicken enchiladas are my go-to order more times than not and my secret weapon in identifying how versed a kitchen is in true Mexican cuisine. Three of my favorite enchiladas in the #614 are all compiled differently, with distinct sauces and ingredients – each delicious.

Nada’s Braised Amish Chicken Enchiladas left me shook – I was expecting good and got incredible. I spent months taking friends and family, forcing them to order enchiladas just to see their wonderment after the first bite. Are these traditional enchiladas? Not really, but the depth of flavor achieved is deliberate sorcery.  Nada’s enchiladas layer sweet corn, black beans, savory chicken, chihuahua cheese, and an unexpected ingredient, couscous. Hearty with an abundance of flavor, these enchiladas are immersed in a silky red sauce with the slightest heat. Take my lead, ask for extra sauce.

Must haves – Roasted poblano Mac N’ Cheese and Churros

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Charritos renewed my love of mole, a highly technical sauce which an overwhelming number of chefs make too chocolatey or overly bitter. Charritos’ Enchiladas Oaxaquenas encase shredded chicken in a fresh corn tortilla and lathers it in thick, well-balanced mole with defined notes of chocolate and spices. The enchiladas are crowned with shreds of raw red onion that add bite and cut through the sauce’s richness. This dish is a love letter to the owner’s Mexican roots, and you can taste the heritage in each bite.

El Jalisciense’s Enchiladas Rojas are a version of enchilada that’s widely recognized in Columbus. This type of chicken enchilada has wider popularity and is cooked in the traditional red (or roja) sauce. Simple and subtle, Jalisciense’s wraps seasoned, shredded chicken in a corn tortilla and submerges it in a traditional roja sauce, made up of Mexican chilies and tomatoes, completed with a blanket of queso de Oaxaca. This plate pairs perfectly with a chili-rimmed Michelada.

Must have – Al pastor torta

If you have ever attempted from-scratch enchiladas you know the patience and lengthy ingredients list it takes to develop a worthy sauce. These three distinctive versions will save you hours spent over the stove and cleaning an exhaustive number of pots and kitchen gadgets.

If you like this, read: The Weekender: Weekend waffles

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