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Verde Chicken Enchiladas

Active: 1 hourTotal: 2 hour 30 minutesMakes: 8 servings

Mexican restaurants beware - I’m on to you!

I noticed that the local grocery store had tomatillos in stock, and I wanted to see what I could do with them. At the same time, I had been craving good enchiladas, one of the holy grails of Mexican food that I had not achieved yet.

Verde Chicken Enchiladas

Thankfully, The Food Lab was there to make the connection. This recipe came out great the first time I made it, and I’ve already made it again once just to be sure. It really is that good.

Original source: SeriousEats

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lb. tomatillos, husks removed
  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 serrano peppers (more or less to adjust spiciness)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves and small stems, plus more for garnish
  • 2 lb. bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 16 soft corn tortillas
  • 8 oz shredded pepper Jack cheese, divided in half
  • 1 cup Mexican-style crema, divided in half
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • seasonings
    • salt
    • pepper
    • sugar

Equipment

  • dutch oven
  • immersion blender
  • vegetable grill rack (if using grill)

Setup

  1. Preheat grill to high heat
  2. Optionally, set oven rack 8 inches below broiler and preheat to high.

Process

  1. Grill or broil tomatillos, poblanos, serranos, onion, and garlic until tomatillos are completely softened and everything is lightly charred, about 10 minutes. Use a vegetable grill rack on the grill or a foil-lined baking sheet. Move tomatillos to a bowl.
  2. Continue until poblanos are charred on all sides and skin is loose, about 2 minutes longer. Move poblanos to a separate bowl and cover tightly with foil.
  3. Continue until other veggies are softened and charred, about 5 minutes longer. Transfer to bowl with tomatillos. Grilled Veggies
  4. Adjust oven rack back to middle and set temperature to 375°F.
  5. Add chicken stock to bowl with poblanos and peel the peppers while submerged in the stock. Add flesh to bowl with tomatillos. Strain the stock into the bowl with tomatillos as well; discard remaining seeds and skin. Add cilantro to mixture.
  6. Meanwhile, heat oil in dutch oven until shimmering, Season chicken with salt and pepper on all sides. Add chicken skin side down and cook until well browned, about 6 minutes.
  7. Flip chicken and continue cooking until lightly brown on other side, another 2 minutes or so. Transfer chicken to clean bowl and discard excess fat, but save any brown liquid.
  8. Add tomatillo mixture to dutch oven, scraping up any browned bits. Using an immersion blender, blend into a sauce. Season to taste with more salt and pepper. I usually add a bit of sugar as well. Verde Sauce
  9. Add chicken, bring to simmer, and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  10. Meanwhile, put tortillas in a foil packet and place in oven to soften.
  11. Once chicken is cooked, place chicken pieces on cutting board until cool enough to handle. Shred chicken, discarding skin and bones. Cooked Chicken
  12. Make a mixture of chicken, 1 cup of sauce, half of pepper Jack cheese, and half of Mexican crema. Stir to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  13. Spread 1/3 of remaining sauce in the bottom of a 9 by 13 inch casserole dish.
  14. Make enchiladas by placing about 2 tbsp of chicken filling in a single tortilla, wrapping tightly and placing seam side down in the casserole dish.
  15. Spread remaining sauce on top of enchiladas, then sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  16. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.
  17. Remove from oven and garnish with remaining crema and cilantro.

I usually serve this with some Mexican rice!

Notes

2017-02-06 - Nearly perfect! Hardest part is to get the spice level correct.