Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

There is a restaurant here in town that serves the best Enchiladas Verdes, or Green Enchiladas. When I go there, it’s really the only thing I order. The sauce is the most delectable, yummy sauce that you could just eat with a spoon. And they drizzle the enchiladas with Mexican Crema (similar to a thin sour cream). After a few attempts, I figured out the trick to the sauce: chicken bouillon. The bouillon gives the sauce this salty flavor that is so irresistible. I roast fresh tomatillos, garlic and jalapeño, then simmer in a large pan with water and chicken bouillon.

Another tip here is to use corn tortillas, as that is the traditional way of making enchiladas (for a reason!). Flour tortillas will just get soggy. You want to use a good corn tortilla, fry them very lightly on a pan before you assemble, which allows you to roll your enchiladas without cracking and stand up against the sauce.

To add some fresh greens to the plate, I like to serve these enchiladas with a side salad made with Romaine, fresh corn, cherry tomatoes, olive oil, lime juice, salt, pepper, and a dash of cumin.

Servings: 4-5

INGREDIENTS

2 jalapeños, halved and seeded
6-8 small green tomatillos, husked
2 cloves garlic
3 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
2 cups water
1/2 pound chicken breast, about 1 large chicken breast*
10 corn tortillas
Vegetable oil
4 ounces shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon  chili powder
1/8 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Optional: Mexican Crema (Mexican sour cream)**

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Cut chicken breast in half lengthwise so you have two thin pieces. Season with garlic powder, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet on the middle rack in the oven. Cook for about 20 minutes, until fully cooked through. Once the chicken has cooled enough, shred meat.
  3. Increase oven to 450°F.
  4. Place the tomatillos, jalapeños and garlic on a baking sheet. Cook on the top rack of the oven. Remove the garlic and jalapeños after 15 minutes once lightly browned, and the tomatillos after 20 minutes.
  5. Place the tomatillos, jalapeños, garlic in a blender, or in a large saucepan if using an immersion blender. Add the water and blend until smooth. Heat sauce in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once it begins to boil, spoon in the chicken bouillon, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let it simmer until it it slightly thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. While the sauce thickens, fry the tortillas. Heat oil in a skillet or on a griddle two tablespoons at a time on medium-high heat. Once the oil it hot, fry the tortillas one at a time. Fry each side for about 15 seconds on each side. You will start to see small bubbles appear, then it’s time to flip. Don’t overcook the tortillas, you still want them soft so they will be easy to roll. Place the tortillas on a plate inside of a paper fowl folded in half to keep them warm while you fry the rest.
  7. When the sauce and tortillas are done, it’s time to set up your assembly line. You will need your sauce, tortillas, shredded chicken, tongs, and a large baking dish. One at a time, submerge the tortillas in the sauce using the tongs. Then fill the tortillas with some chicken, spoon about one tablespoon of sauce on top of the chicken, and roll the tortilla up. Place the enchilada seam down in the baking dish. Do this until all chicken meat has been used and the baking dish is full. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and top with the shredded Monterrey Jack cheese. Place in the oven for 5-10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and melted.***
  8. Optional: Drizzle with Mexican Cream before serving.

 

*Chicken breasts – Feel free to save time and use a rotisserie chicken if you wish.
**Mexican Crema – This is usually in the dairy aisle of my local HEB next to the cheese. If you can’t find it, you can substitute regular sour cream.
***If preparing ahead of time, cover the dish at this point with foil and place in the fridge until ready to serve. This dish can be prepared up to 24 hours ahead of time. When ready to eat, remove the foil and bake the dish in the oven at 350°F for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and melted.

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