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Celebrating Cinco De Mayo
As a New Mexican native, I have been celebrating Cinco de Mayo for as long as I can remember. My favorite part about hosting a Cinco de Mayo get together at my house, is it gives me an excuse to make delicious Mexican recipes, paired with refreshing beers, to celebrate the occasion.
As mentioned, I am from New Mexico, so I have been raised to love all things green chile! Whenever I am cooking Mexican recipes for friends, I try to come up with different and new ways to serve green chile in flavorful dishes. This year, I decided to combine two of my favorite Cinco de Mayo ingredients: green chile and Mexican-style beer, and incorporate them into one recipe.
The results? Chicken Enchilada bites with a Beer and Green Chile sauce. Amaaaazing.
I don’t want to brag, but these chicken enchilada bites are pretty much the best Mexican appetizer I have ever made. Serve these at your fiesta, and your guests are going to wonder how you were able to develop a spicy, savory, and complex taste in such a small bite!
Chicken Enchilada Bites with a Beer & Green Chile Sauce
To make this recipe, you start by cutting up a chicken breast into small 1/4″ cubes. It gets tossed with cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper, and sauteed in olive oil until cooked through.
To develop the rich flavors of the beer and green chile sauce, you melt a tablespoon of butter (I’m talking about real butter here, not margarine) over medium heat. Next, sprinkle in a tablespoon of flour. Brown the flour, then slowly stir in 8 ounces of good quality, Mexican beer. Whisk until smooth, making sure there are no lumps of flour remaining. Then you add 1 cup of diced green chile, a little salt and pepper, and stir until heated through.
The cooked chicken gets stirred into the beer and green chile sauce.
Meanwhile, you butter a mini muffin pan, and cut down flour tortillas to fit (I use a coffee cup). Spoon a heaping teaspoon of the chicken, beer and green chile mixture into the center of each flour tortilla. Then top with shredded cheese.
These delicious chicken enchilada bites get baked for about 10 minutes at 375. Then you can dish them up, along side a Corona or Modelo, and watch as you become the most loved host!
How to make Chicken Enchilada Bites with a Green Chile and Beer Sauce
Selecting the Right Beer
When it comes to an authentic, light and refreshing Mexican-style beer, I always choose Corona Light. I love the golden light pilsner-style lager that is easy to drink, and has a distinct hop flavor, while still maintaining a smooth taste. You can feel guilt-free having a second drink, knowing it is only 99 calories. 😉
I love pairing Corona with this recipe, because it lends well to spicy dishes.
Modelo Negra is another favorite of mine, because it is a medium-bodied lager with notes of slow-roasted caramel malts. It is the perfect beer for your guests that enjoy beers with rich, longer, and more enhanced flavors, while still giving a remarkably smooth taste.
When I was in college, my mom lived in Hatch, New Mexico (yes, the place famous for the world’s best green chile!). Whenever I would visit her, we would cross the border into Juarez, Mexico, and visit the local restaurants and shops. I remember eating at a fantastic Mexican restaurant, while sitting outside on the patio, listening to mariachi music. We both ordered a Modelo Negra and ate some of the best chips and salsa I had ever had.
I don’t get the opportunity to visit Mexico much anymore, but having delicious Mexican appetizers and Mexican beer on Cinco de Mayo is the next best thing!
Chicken Enchilada Bites with a Beer & Green Chile Sauce
- 1 lb boneless chicken breasts
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 8- ounces Mexican-style beer
- 1/2 - 1 cup diced green chile
- salt and pepper to taste
- 12 small flour tortillas
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- Toppings: lettuce diced tomatoes, olives, sour cream (optional)
- Dice chicken into small pieces, about 1/4" cubes. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Toss chicken with cumin, salt and pepper, and saute in olive oil, until cooked through. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In the same pan, melt butter, then sprinkle in flour. Allow flour to brown, while whisking quickly to avoid any clumping. Slowly add in beer, whisking continuously. Add in chopped green chile, and stir well. If sauce is too thick, add more beer. (If sauce is too thin, mix a little bit of water and flour in a bowl until clump-free, then add 1 tsp at a time to the green chile sauce until desired thickness.)
- Use a coffee mug or other small-rimmed cup, and use as a guide to cut tortillas into small circles (you should be able to get 2 circles per tortilla). Warm tortilla circles for 10 - 15 seconds in the microwave (to make them easier to work with), and mold them into mini-muffin cups.
- To the tortilla cups, add a teaspoon of chicken and green chile mixture, then top with cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 - 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and golden brown. Let cool, and top with desired toppings.
If you are celebrating Cinco de Mayo, give these chicken enchilada bites a try! Then come back and tell me what you think of the recipe! If you enjoy beer (and are over 21) don’t forget to pick up Corona or Modelo for your fiesta!