Zesty Chicken Enchiladas

 

Zesty Chicken Enchiladas

 

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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

 

Ingredients

 

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

 

 

 

Directions

 

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.

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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Top with the remaining sauce and cheese.

 

 

 

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Bake until beginning to brown, 10 – 15 minutes.

 

 

 

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Serve with Salsa or Pica de Gallo.

 

 

 

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And a side of garlicky pinto beans…

 

 

 

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Ole!

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