Zesty Chicken Enchiladas


Zesty Chicken Enchiladas




I love the moment when I no longer resist a challenge. Case in point – for the longest time I was very intimidated by the idea of making enchiladas. I was actually intimidated by the idea of cooking anything from scratch that was not Italian, a family recipe, or a dessert. That is until Real Simple, May 2009, convinced me otherwise. This particular publication showcased a Mexican meal that had me singing Feliz Navidad for the rest of the day and it wasn’t even Christmas! I knew it was time. I had to put my fears to rest, buck up, and see what I was really made of – aka – the moment.


Picture this – polenta-stuffed poblano peppers, chipotle shrimp with radish and jicama salad, pico de gallo, classic margaritas, garlicky pinto beans and zesty chicken enchiladas. Delicious!


I decided to start with the dish that was the most familiar to me, and one that I knew my family loved. Chicken enchiladas with a side of garlicky pinto beans.


Remember when you were a kid and you took field trips? They were always the highlight of the school year? Well, shopping for these ingredients felt like a special trip…first of all, visiting our local grocery store, Wegmans, always feels like a field trip to me anyways. Are you familiar with it? I make my kids promise that when I am older, they will find time to take me out for Wegmans adventures. The place just makes me happy.


So, here I was in Wegmans, looking for tomatillos…a vegetable resembling a small green tomato with papery outer skin and a crisp, tart flavor. My self-esteem was rising at every turn of the aisle. Just the thought of cooking with an ingredient I had never heard of before, let alone create with, was very exciting!


The process of preparing this dish was much easier than I ever anticipated!


Zesty Chicken Enchiladas




1 Tbsp. canola oil


1 lb. tomatillos (papery skins removed), chopped


1 onion (preferably white), chopped


1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped


2 garlic cloves, chopped


3/4 tsp. ground cumin


Kosher salt and black pepper to taste


1 cup heavy cream


2 – 2 1/2 lb. rotisserie chicken, meat shredded


14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained


1 1/4 cups Monterey Jack cheese


8 six-inch tortillas (we prefer flour but corn works well also)


Pico de Gallo or Salsa






Heat oven to 400 degrees F.


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the tomatillos, onion, poblano, garlic, cumin, and 1/2 tsp. salt.


Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.


Transfer to a food processor, add the cream and puree.


Spread one cup of the tomatillo sauce in a 9 x 13″ baking dish.








In a large bowl, combine the chicken, tomatoes, 1 cup of the cheese, 1/2 cup of the tomatillo sauce, and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper.








Warm the tortillas according to the package directions. Roll the chicken mixture in the tortillas and place them in the dish, seam side down.














Top with the remaining sauce and cheese.








Bake until beginning to brown, 10 – 15 minutes.










Serve with Salsa or Pica de Gallo.








And a side of garlicky pinto beans…










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