Enchiladas Verdes

I enjoy enchiladas verdes: the bite of the tomatillos, the yummy cheese, the unexpected radish garnish… It’s a medley of delicious flavors. It’s a weekend dish, though, not something to make on a weekday unless you really, really like cooking.

Enchiladas Verdes

4t vegetable oil (not olive oil, please)
1 onion chopped
3t minced garlic
0.5t ground cumin
1.5c chicken broth
1lb chicken breasts
1.5lbs tomatillos, husks and stems removed
3 poblano chiles
1t sugar
0.5 chopped fresh cilantro leaves
8oz pepper jack cheese, grated
12-6″ corn tortillas
2 scallions
radishes

  1. Set oven to broil setting. Heat 2t oil in saucepan over med heat, once shimmering, sauté onion for 6-8 minutes. Add 2t garlic & cumin, cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth, add chicken. Cover and simmer 15-20 minutes (chicken should be 160F). Transfer chicken to plate to cool, remove 0.25c liquid, reserve remaining liquid for a different purpose (it makes a delicious soup base if you’re looking for something to save it for).
  2. Meanwhile, toss poblanos and tomatillos with 2t of oil, arrange on foil-lined baking sheet with poblanos skin side up. Broil 5-10 minutes, until veggies soften and begin to blacken. Cool, remove skins from poblanos, and transfer poblanos and tomatillos to food processor. Decrease oven temp to 350F and discard foil from baking sheet.
  3. Add 1t sugar, 1t salt, 1t garlic, reserved 0.25c liquid to food processor, process until sauce is slightly chunky, about eight 1-second pulses. Taste, add additional sugar and salt to taste.
  4. Pull or cut cooled chicken into small bite-sized pieces. Combine chicken with cilantro & 1.5c cheese (you should have another 0.5c of cheese to sprinkle on top).
  5. Smear bottom of 9″x13″ pan with 0.75c of tomatillo sauce. Place tortillas on baking sheet, spray with cooking oil, bake for 2-4 minutes, until soft & pliable. After removing them, increase oven to 450F. Place tortillas on countertop, and spread 0.33c filling down center of each tortilla. Roll tightly and place in pan, seam side down. Pour remaining tomatillo sauce on top, using spoon to spread to make sure it fully coats all tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining 0.5c cheese and cover pan with foil.
  6. Bake 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and enchiladas are cooked through. Uncover, sprinkle with scallions & thinly sliced radishes. Serve immediately.

Cheesy deliciousness

Enchiladas Verdes
I forgot to take the photo until about halfway through dinner. Ooops.

Oh, enchiladas verdes. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways….

  1. You are delicious
  2. Your recipe involves tomatillos, which I don’t cook with enough
  3. Your recipe also involves a green salsa recipe, which I have made without the enchiladas. It is also delicious.
  4. Cheeeeeeeese. Melty, cheesey, chicken-y deliciousness.

Without further ado, here is the recipe (a more complete version can be found in Cooks Illustrated #93):

4t veg oil
1 med onion, chopped
3 med garlic cloves, minced
1/2t cumin
1.5c chicken stock
1lb chicken breasts
1.5 lbs tomatillos
3 med poblano chiles (if you can’t find poblanos, sub 4 jalapeños), halved, stemmed, and seeded
1t sugar
salt & pepper
1/2c chopped fresh cilantro
8oz pepper jack
12-6″ corn tortillas

  1. Heat broiler. Heat 2t oil in saucepan, sauté onions till golden. Add 2t garlic, cumin, cook till fragrant. Add chicken & stock, cover, simmer 15 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove chicken from broth and let cool. Remove 1/4c liquid, discard the remainder.
  2. Toss tomatillos and chiles with 2t oil. Place on baking sheet, broil until vegetables blacken and soften, ~5 min. Let cool, then remove skin from chiles. Transfer vegetables to food processor. Decrease oven temp to 350.
  3. Add sugar, salt, pepper, and reserved cooking liquid to food processor. Process until sauce is slightly chunky. Taste, seasoning with additional salt, sugar, and pepper to taste.
  4. Dice chicken. Combine with cilantro and all but 1/2c cheese.
  5. Smear bottom of 13″x9″ pan with 3/4c tomatillo sauce. Heat tortillas in oven for 2-3 minutes, until pliable. Increase oven temp to 450. Spread 1/3c of chicken filling mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll each tortilla tightly, place in pan seam side down. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas, using spoon to spread it evenly over all of them. Sprinkle remaining 1/2c cheese down middle. Cover pan with foil.
  6. Bake enchiladas for 15 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve immediately.