This Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillos recipe is sure to impress, especially if you are throwing together a Cinco de Mayo soiree this weekend. Full disclosure: This recipe is from Rick Bayless, the man that made me want to cook everything Mexican.
Also the man that made me realize—back in 2005—when I bought his book Mexican Everyday, I could not cook Mexican everyday, or every week, or even every month. Not for a lack of desire but more because I was busy allocating all my extra time towards curating a closet full of bad fashion and filling an apartment with mismatched decor.
Those were the days . . . the days before my first kid. Something weird happens when you birth a child. It’s like the universe conspires and forces you to prioritize. I mean, maybe it happens to some people (or more people then I want to know) earlier and I’m just a late bloomer.
. . . or, I’m just late. Always and forever late with everything in life. Admittedly, I have the worse judgement when it comes to time and capacity.
Like yesterday, when I had a 2pm doctor’s appointment for the toddler, but I decided he needed to have a smoothie in the waiting room and something to sip and focus on afterwards since he was scheduled for two shots.
What should have been an easy 5-minute trip to Juice It Up, turned into a 15-minute excursion that left me running into the doctor’s office with the toddler trailing behind and the car keys left in the ignition. The last bit having been discovered after I spent 10 minutes scouring the doctor’s office looking for where I might have laid the keys.
Gah. It was a day. The kind of crazy, misplaced day that happens too often. So while the kids have helped me prioritize my life in the way of trading in high heels and haute couture for running shoes and yoga pants to white sofas and lacquered buffet tables for stain-hiding and kid-proof furniture, I’m no more organized. That is unless we discuss my cooking and baking habits that are now top priority and I’m back on learning how to cook authentic Mexican food.
This recipe is the start of new things to come. My cabinets are filled with all kinds of novel spices and dried peppers. Stay tune. I may still not be doing Mexican everyday, but I will be doing it every week.
Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillos
Yield: Serves 6-8
- 1 pound (about 8 medium) tomatillos, husked and rinsed
- 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 or 2 fresh serrano chiles
- 1 small white onion, sliced ½ inch thick
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 3/4 cups (12 ounces) cooked, coarsely shredded, boneless chicken
- 2 1/2 cups of Mexican cheese
- 8 corn tortillas
- Cotija cheese
To make the roasted tomatillo base: Turn on the broiler to high. On a rimmed baking sheet, spread out tomatillos, garlic, serrano, and onions. Transferthe baking sheet to the top rack of the oven. Roast until everything starts to char and softens, about 4-5 minutes. Remove pan from oven and flip the vegetables and return the baking sheet to oven to roast the other side until everything is cooked through. Remove roasted vegetables from the oven and set aside on a wire rack to cool.
Once the vegetables have cooled enough to handle, peel the skins off the garlic and pull the stem off the chiles. In a blender, combine the tomatillos (and any juice on the baking sheet), garlic, chiles, onion and a scant teaspoon salt, and blend everything to a coarse puree.
In a large 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat, bring the oil to a sizzle. Add the roasted tomatillo sauce from the blender. Let the sauce reduce and thicken, stirring it frequently, for about 4 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and cilantro. Season the sauce with salt, turn the heat down to medium-low and let it simmer, while the filling is being prepared.
Turn oven to 400 degrees F. Spray or brush tortillas with oil on one side. Stack one tortilla on top of another and place into a microwave-safe plastic bag. Fold over the opening and microwave tortillas at 100% for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and set aside.
To assemble enchiladas: Add about 1/4 cup of sauce, (or more if needed) to the meat to moisten it. Evenly divide the meat, 1 1/2 cup of cheese between the tortillas and roll from one end to other. Place assembled enchiladas rolls into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish. Spoon the remaining tomatillo sauce over the top and bake just until heated through—about 4 minutes.
Remove from oven and serve the enchiladas with toppings as preferred.
**Recipe adapted from Rick Bayless.