I’m a huge fan of enchiladas verdes, but the only way I’ve ever made them is with jarred verde sauce. Which is good, don’t get me wrong, but when I saw this recipe I knew that I wanted to give it a shot so that I could make the verde sauce from scratch.
It was certainly a time consuming dish and isn’t something that’s going to be on regular rotation for that simple reason, but it was flavorful, it was easy despite the time involved, and it made a ton of food! It ended up being perfect for our Cinco de Mayo dinner party plus leftovers delivered to my sister and her family on Seis de Mayo.
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped medium
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husks and stems removed, rinsed well and dried
3 poblano chiles, halved lengthwise, stemmed, and seeded
1-2 1/2 teaspoons sugar
salt and pepper
16 ounces Mexican cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
12-16 (6-inch) flour tortillas
Line one of your oven racks to the highest position possible and turn on the broiler.
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook until golden, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid burning/sticking. Add 2 of the 3 teaspoons of garlic and the cumin, cooking until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Decrease the heat to medium-low, add the broth, then chicken. Cover the saucepan and cook 15-20 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken to a bowl to cool, reserve 1/4 cup of the broth, strain the remaining liquid and save the onions/garlic while tossing the rest of the liquid.
Toss the tomatillos and chiles with the other 2 teaspoons of oil. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet, making certain the peppers are skin-side up. Broil until they blacken and soften, 10-15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through cooking.
Remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool until easy to handle. Remove the skin from the chiles. Toss chiles and tomatillos into a food processor or blender. Add 1 teaspoon each of sugar, salt and garlic plus the reserved cooking liquid. Pulse until the sauce is thick and chunky, season with salt and pepper, and then adjust the flavor with the remaining sugar if necessary.
Shred the cooled chicken into bite-sized pieces and combine with 1 1/2 cups of cheese, the strained onions and garlic, and 1/3 cup of the tomatillo sauce. Mix and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Spread 3/4 cup of tomatillo sauce into the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish. Fill each tortilla with 1/3 cup of chicken filling, roll tightly, and lay seam side down into the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the top, sprinkle with remaining cheese, and cover with foil.
Note: I used extra chicken and thus, made extra enchiladas. I had two pans of enchiladas when all was said and done!
Bake enchiladas on 350 on the middle rack 15-20 minutes until heated through. Remove the foil and bake another 5 minutes until the cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Serve with cilantro, chunky red salsa and sour cream.