Saturday, August 11, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas Recipe

Years ago I had the unique opportunity to learn how to make chicken enchiladas and salsa verde from a master... a lovely Mexican woman named Lupe who I worked with at the time. Lupe didn't work from a recipe. She just knew how to do it. She learned from her mother who learned from her mother, and so on. It was a family tradition, and now it's one of my favorite dishes. 

I'll do my best to put it all down for you, but since I learned without a recipe I apologize in advance for my approximations.

Salsa Verde
6-8 tomatillos
1-2 serrano peppers (you can substitute whatever peppers you prefer)
3-4 cloves of garlic
1/2 medium onion
Juice from 1 lime
Handful of cilantro leaves

Peel off the papery husk of the tomatillos and place in a pan with serranos (stem cut off), and garlic. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook until tomatillos look translucent (they'll turn a darker shade of green). Remove from heat and drain. Place tomatillos and garlic in a blender with onion, salt to taste, lime juice and cilantro. Pulse until the salsa is your desired consistency. Add a little bit of water if the salsa is too thick. 

3 chicken breasts
water (or chicken broth - enough to cover chicken)
3-4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 cup mushrooms (sauteed)
1 cup spinach (cooked)
12 white corn tortillas
cooking oil
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese (optional)

Cover chicken and garlic with water or broth and boil until chicken is cooked through. Shred chicken and combine with mushrooms and spinach. Add salt to taste. In a shallow pan heat just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Heat tortilla in oil just long enough to make it soft and pliable. Place on a paper towel and place a few spoonfuls of the chicken mixture in the center of the tortilla. Roll tortillas up and place in a baking dish. Cover enchiladas with salsa verde and cheese (optional). Bake at 350 until cheese is melted or tortillas are slightly browned on the edge if omitting cheese. This can also be made as a casserole by skipping the rolling stage and layering chicken mixture with tortillas, salsa, and cheese.

*The picture at the top is from a recipe I found on Simply Recipes. It's similar, but I personally don't like sour cream in my enchiladas. There are great pictures of the steps.

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