Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
SERVES 4 TO 6
We wanted a recipe that contained fewer steps but didn’t shortcut flavor. We started with shredded rotisserie chicken, which we found to be just as acceptable as chicken that was poached or roasted. We turned to canned tomatillos and bolstered them with fresh poblanos and jalapeño for heat and complexity, broiling the tomatillos and chiles before blending them added depth to the sauce. As another timesaving step, we threw a whole bunch of fresh cilantro into the blender, stems and all—no picking (and only a little chopping) required. A bit of sugar added to the sauce kept sourness in check, and a little water kept the sauce fluid so that the filled and rolled enchiladas did not dry out in the oven.
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatillos, drained
3 poblano chiles, stemmed, halved, and seeded
1 onion, cut into 8 wedges through root end
1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, halved, and seeded
5 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
¼ cup water
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and stems
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 (2½-pound) rotisserie chicken, skin and bones discarded, meat shredded into bite-size pieces (3 cups)
12 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (3 cups), divided
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1. FOR THE SAUCE: Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Line rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
2. Place tomatillos, poblanos, onion, jalapeño, and garlic on prepared sheet. Drizzle with oil and toss gently to coat. Arrange poblanos and jalapeño skin side up. Broil until poblanos, jalapeño, and tomatillos are blistered and blackened and onion wedges are dark at edges, about
15 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through broiling. ( Vegetables may appear to be burning, but they are not.) Let vegetables cool on sheet for 15 minutes.
3. Turn off broiler and heat oven to 400 degrees. Transfer broiled vegetables and any accumulated juices to blender. Add water, cilantro, cumin, oregano, sugar, salt, and pepper and process until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of blender jar as needed (you should have about 3½ cups sauce).
4. FOR THE ENCHILADAS: Spread ½ cup sauce in bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Combine chicken, 1½ cups cheddar, and 1 cup sauce in bowl. Stack tortillas and wrap in damp dish towel. Microwave until hot and pliable, about 1½ minutes.
5. Arrange tortillas on counter and place ¼ cup filling in center of each. Distribute any remaining filling evenly among tortillas. Roll tortillas tightly around filling and place seam side down in prepared dish.
6. Pour remaining 2 cups sauce over enchiladas and spread evenly with back of spoon. Sprinkle with remaining 1½ cups cheddar and cover dish with foil. Bake until enchiladas are heated through and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes.
7. Uncover and let cool for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with sour cream, lime wedges, avocado, and onion.
8. TO MAKE AHEAD: After dish is covered with aluminum foil in step 6, unbaked enchiladas can be refrigerated for up to 24 hours. When ready to serve, bake enchiladas as directed, extending baking time by 15 minutes.
Photo Credit: Cook’s Country
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