Chicken enchiladas are a familiar traditional dish of the American people. The steps to make this dish are pretty simple, and you can easily make it at home with a complete guide.
But, can they be frozen?
If you are still asking that question, then keep reading.
Can Chicken Enchiladas Be Frozen?
You can, absolutely!
However, the primary problem is how you do it, and which most suitable temperature you should go for. According to professional chefs, the optimal temperature for optimal freezing will usually be around 0 degrees F. Therefore, you need to briefly adjust the freezer to this temperature to preserve the best food.
In addition, I suggest 5 complete steps in the section below for you to do this operation in the simplest and fastest way.
What Are The Steps To Do So?
Compared to other dishes made from chicken, chicken enchiladas are quick to make but still have a unique taste. The cook combines the chicken with the tortilla shell during the cooking process, then has it rolled with a mixture of cheese and served with a spicy sauce.
Many people think that only native Mexicans know the perfect method to cook the dish. However, everything seems more straightforward. Trust me!
Instead of having to search for the right restaurant to eat chicken enchiladas, you can make it yourself right in your kitchen quickly and hygienically. It only takes about 15 to 30 minutes for the whole process to serve your family.
Please refer to the following steps:
Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients
Because this dish is not so difficult to make, the preparation stage is also relatively simple. Most of the elements are available in many stores. Some indispensable ones include:
- Cooking oil
- Corn cake
- Homemade enchilada or bottled sauce
In addition, you need to prepare grated cheese to make the dish more attractive. The perfect way to use this ingredient is to sprinkle it on top of the plate, making it more stimulating to eat.
In addition, at this stage, pay more attention to the chicken. Chicken breast is the best part to choose. Of course, if you don’t have time to prepare, you should buy pre-seasoned chicken at the grocery store.
Step 2: Prepare Tortillas
With the development of supermarket chains and department stores today, foods like tortillas are easy to find. Most of the products are processed, so you just need to buy and mix them with other ingredients to make a great taste.
On the other hand, you can make your tortillas then put them in an insulated pan with oil over low heat to keep it warm. Then, try to dip each tortilla in warm oil for 5 to 8 seconds until it reaches a certain warmth and softness. Finally, you can set them aside to keep them warm until you want to use them.
Step 3: Dip Tortillas in Enchilada Sauce
This is the most crucial execution step of enchiladas. Here, I usually put homemade or premade enchilada sauce on the plate. All that remains is to take 1 tortilla and carefully dip it in so that the sauce coats all sides of the remaining tortillas.
Step 4: Prepare Chicken Enchiladas
After completing the above three steps, place the tortilla covered with sauce on a plate and add the pre-cooked shredded chicken filling. A tip for you is to fold the sides and then turn the tortillas face down so that the tortilla remains sealed and placed on the baking sheet.
Repeat with each tortilla until you completely fill the dish.
Next, pour the remaining sauce evenly over all the enchiladas in the baking dish. Don’t forget to evenly sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the chicken enchiladas.
Step 5: Let’s Bake
According to professional chefs, it is recommended to preheat the oven to 350 F and then bake it for 20 to 30 minutes. During this time, you’ll notice the melted and bubbly cheese is done.
After following all the steps above fully, the homemade version should be ready for you to enjoy with your family.
How Long Can You Keep Them In The Fridge?
With this quick and easy recipe, I’m sure anyone can make chicken enchiladas. In case you can’t consume them all after one meal, consider storing them in the refrigerator. This is the fastest way to keep food well prepared.
However, not everyone knows how long and how best to store it in the refrigerator.
For this chicken dish, you can store it in both compartments of the refrigerator. They can be kept for 2 days in the fridge and up to 3 months in the freezer. Depending on your purpose of preservation, put them in the refrigerator compartment accordingly.
For example, if the dish is made in the morning and the whole family cannot eat it all, store your enchiladas in the fridge should be suitable to use again in the evening. Of course, reheating food is necessary for you to enjoy its full flavor.
In general, whether you are storing chicken for a short or long time, you should always wrap the remaining food tightly before putting it in the refrigerator. This also helps food stay fresh better and not lose many nutrients. In this case, foil seems to be the best and most convenient option to get the job done.
What Is The Optimal Freezing Degree?
Besides the storage time, the optimal freezing of this chicken dish is also of interest to many people. To ensure that the food is refrigerated at its best, the freezing process is quite important.
As mentioned above, the maker should use foil to seal the chicken enchiladas when freezing. The most common optimum freezing temperature is 0°F(-18°C). At this temperature, the dish will prolong its entire nutritional state for the longest time. In addition, based on the amount of food to customize the level of freezing you want.
How To Re-heat Them Properly?
Apparently, the cooling process involves reheating this chicken afterward.
Your reheating time can be long or short, depending on the temperature at which you store it. Therefore, the key is to heat the dish while keeping it delicious and moist. I suggest some of the following ways to make it easier for you to choose.
- Microwave reheating: With this method, you should reheat each serving by transferring food to a plate and placing it in the oven for 90 seconds. Then, check it once before continuing to microwave for another 30 seconds until the dish is evenly heated.
- Oven reheating: Use the oven to reheat at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the food is hot and bubbly. Also, if you use extra cheese on the topping, leaving it in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes will help the cheese melt evenly and not get crispy.
In addition, there is another traditional way that many people do to heat chicken enchiladas. Specifically, you need to defrost enchiladas by taking them from the freezer to the refrigerator then leave them overnight.
Then, when you’re ready to reheat, put them in the oven for about 10 minutes. This keeps the dish from heating up too quickly at once and prevents the growth of bacteria.
Is It Bad To Eat Frozen Chicken Enchiladas?
When serving your family, people tend to make this dish in large quantities. Most homemakers choose to freeze food to preserve leftovers. However, others would instead not do that because they assume freezing chicken enchiladas may cause them to lose water, change the taste, and harm people’s health.
However, food-harming bacteria don’t grow in the freezer, so no matter how long the food is frozen, it’s safe to eat. In other words, the primary purpose of freezing is also to prevent the invasion of harmful bacteria and viruses.
In fact, you should usually do freezing and reheating when you want to eat them again with the correct temperature and instructions. This process will ensure the best quality for your dish.
Hopefully, the article’s information helped you better understand how to prepare and freeze and reheat this dish. Don’t hesitate to apply our tips to make this nutritious dish, then enjoy it with your loved ones. Thanks for reading!
Further reading: What’s the best freezer temperature?
Mariana Rouco is the editor-in-chief of Elpasony.com. She loves traveling and writing about foods and cooking in general. She has a degree from the New England Culinary Institute and enjoys Mexican, Italian, and Chinese cuisines the most.