Enchiladas verdes has been one of my all-time favorite dishes for almost my entire life. So, naturally, I am drawn to every version that I come across! I liked how this version included cheese in the filling rather than melted over the top. These enchiladas were also extra saucy- loved it.
This recipe was adapted from Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street magazine. I used poached chicken thighs but rotisserie chicken meat could be used as a shortcut.
We ate the enchiladas garnished with chopped onion and cilantro with rice and refried beans on the side. I cooked the rice in the chicken poaching liquid which made it extra flavorful. Great.
Yield: 4 servings (8 enchiladas)
- 3 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 medium-large poblano chilies (about 12 to 14 oz), stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 1 pound tomatillos, husked, cored, and chopped
- 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped, plus more for garnish, if desired
- 8 medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1 T ground cumin
- 1/2 cup chicken stock, plus an additional 2 cups if poaching the chicken
- 1 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves and stems, rinsed and dried, plus more for garnish
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound boneless chicken (I used 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs) (or 1 1/2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken)
- 6 oz Monterey jack or whole-milk mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
- 2 T hot sauce, such as Cholula or Tapatío (I used Chipotle Cholula- my favorite)
- 8 6-inch corn tortillas
- lime wedges, to serve, optional
- sour cream or Mexican crema, for serving, optional
- rice and refried beans, for serving, optional
- Place the chicken in a medium saucepan and cover with about 2 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce to low, cover and cook until the thickest part of the meat registers 165 degrees for thighs or 160 degrees for breasts, about 15 to 20 minutes. Let the chicken cool in the liquid until just warm, then finely chop the meat. Reserve the cooking liquid. (Alternatively, 1 1/2 cups of chopped rotisserie chicken meat can be substituted.)
- Preheat the oven to 475 degrees with a rack in the center position.
- In a large pot over medium-high, combine 1 tablespoon of the oil, the chopped poblanos, cored & chopped tomatillos, chopped onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are beginning to soften, 5 to 8 minutes.
- Stir in the cumin and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have completely softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth, about 1 minute.
- Add the cilantro and continue to process until smooth, about 1 minute. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Spread 1 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish; set aside. (I used 4 individual enameled cast iron serving dishes, placing 1/4 cup of the sauce in the bottom of each dish.)
- In a medium bowl, toss together the chicken, cheese, hot sauce, 3/4 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper; set aside.
- Brush both sides of the tortillas with the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, then arrange them on a rimmed baking sheet (its fine to overlap them slightly). Cover tightly with foil and warm in the oven just until soft and pliable, about 3 minutes. (This step is important in order to make sure that the tortillas are pliable enough to fill and roll.)
- Uncover the tortillas; reserve the foil. Lay the tortillas out on a large cutting board (or 2) or a clean counter.
- Divide the chicken mixture evenly among the tortillas (about 3 heaping tablespoons each), arranging the filling in a line along the bottom edge of each tortilla. (I used a 3 T cookie scoop.)
- Working one at a time, roll up the tortillas to enclose the filling and place seam side down in a tight row down the center of the prepared baking dish. (or 2 enchiladas per individual baking dish)
- Spoon 1/2 cup of the sauce over the enchiladas. (or 2 T per individual baking dish)
- Cover tightly with a layer of parchment paper topped with the reserved foil. Bake until the cheese begins to melt out of the ends, about 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook 1 cup of rice in 2 cups of chicken poaching liquid, if desired. (I used white Basmati rice.) (I also warmed refried beans at this point.)
- Uncover and spread the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. (or about 2 T per individual baking dish) Re-cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
- Serve with lime wedges and sour cream or Mexican crema, garnished with chopped onion and cilantro, as desired.