Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

I had every intention of making lasagna for dinner this weekend. I even went through the pantry and freezer to discover what I actually had on hand. However, when it came time to head to the store, I really didn’t want lasagna; just could not see making it. So I decided to make enchiladas instead. I tried an Indian dish too, but that is for another day.

20140421-230053.jpg when I do chicken enchiladas I do a green sauce with them. I’m not sure why but I always do verde for chicken and red sauce for pork. I start with tomatillos and, as usual, I have to explain what they are at the grocery. I don’t buy them often but every single time I’ve gotten then the cashier had no clue what they were. This week they were brussel sprouts. Go figure. But I digress. Six to ten tomatillos, one shallot, one to two jalapeños (seeded). I rub these with a little oil then toss them in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes on on the grill for 10-15. You know they are done when they are blistered and beginning to give up the juice.

I know there is a whole bunch that I should do here, but really, I toss everything into a food processor with a teaspoon of cumin, pinch of salt and maybe another chili. Blend well and done. I don’t worry about the parts that don’t blend – I just remove them as I go.

While the tomatillos are roasting, cook one chicken breast or three to four thighs in a pan with a little water and cover. Just cook through and then let cool before shredding. Also caramelize an onion. It doesn’t have to be fully caramelized, but you want the sweetness to come through.

20140421-230914.jpg I went a little more than this picture, maybe a total of 30 minutes. And despite what some recipes say, you cannot truest caramelize onions in ten minutes. You just can’t.

Once the sauce is made, the chicken is shredded and the onions are caramelized it’s time to assemble. You want two kinds of cheese here. Shredded. I use what is on hand, so in this case the sheep cheese from the cheese box this month and the Comte for the top. I’ve used a variety of cheeses in the past and most of them work really well. Just make sure it melts nicely.

This is going to seem like a silly step, but trust me, don’t skip it. Coat both sides of a flour tortilla with the sauce. Yes, both sides. If you don’t bad things happen in the oven. You also want to coat the bottom of your pan with sauce to prevent sticking. Again, don’t skip this. Load your tortillas with onion, chicken then cheese and roll, tucking the ends in as you go.

Repeat until you have a small pan full. I was able to make five enchiladas with three chicken thighs and one onion. And lots of cheese. Lots. Cover with the remaining sauce and the other type of cheese.


20140421-231632.jpg Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Let stand three minutes or so before cutting and serving.

It isn’t the world’s prettiest or most colorful dish, but it is darn good. If it was just me, I’d skip the chicken and add peppers but Bob likes this version so I go with it.

6-10 small to medium tomatillos
1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded
1 shallot
-roast the above then blend with salt and cumin
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon cumin

1onion, sliced thin
Oil for the pan
-cook over medium to medium low heat, turning occasionally

1 chicken breast or three to four chicken thighs
Water to cook in
– cook in covered pan with enough water to steam

Flour tortillas
Two different kinds of cheese, shredded (~3/4 cup each)
– for assembly

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