Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

A web search for enchiladas verdes produces many results from cream sauces to use of canned soup to home-made marvels. I have been working for the past year now (about five attempts) to perfect a lighter and authentic version of this dish that has been over-Americanized.  While it still uses cheese, the dish is somewhat healthy, and I finally got the salsa to my liking. They go great with some mexican rice.  The steps seem a bit complex, but the end result is worth it.

Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • ¼ of an onion
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1.5 pounds tomatillos, husked and rinsed
  • 1 large Jalapeno pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
  • ½ cup Cilantro
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • Thin corn tortillas
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco
  • 1 avocado, for garnish
  • 1 tomato, for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, for garnish
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add ¼ onion and salt
  2. Reduce heat and add chicken breasts and cook about 15 minutes or until no longer pink when cut
  3. Drain and set aside chicken to cool
  4. While the water is boiling, peel the tomatillos, then slice in half and place on a baking sheet lined with foil
  5. Peel the cloves of garlic and add to sheet
  6. Slice jalapeno lengthwise, and remove a portion of the seeds (this was perfect for a medium temperature salsa), add this to the baking sheet also
  7. Place under broiler for 5-7 minutes until skin of the tomatillos is blackened
  8. Combine tomatillos, garlic, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, lime juice, sugar and oil in food processor and pulse until ingredients are finely chopped and mixed, salt to taste
  9. Once cooled, shred chicken into a bowl, add cumin, chili powder, and about ¼ cup of the salsa
  10.  Place 16 corn tortillas in the oven at 250, tightly wrapped in foil for 5 minutes to warm

To Combine
  1. Make an assembly line: tortillas, salsa, chicken, cheddar cheese, pan
  2. Spread about ½ cup of salsa to coat the bottom of the pan liberally
  3. Take each tortilla and spread about a teaspoon of salsa, chicken and cheese inside
  4. Roll gently, and place in pan seam side down, repeat for rest of tortillas
  5. Spread remaining salsa over the top of the enchiladas, and top with queso fresco
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees until cheese is melted, and just beginning to brown
  7. Serve topped with avocado, tomato and cilantro

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