Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chile Verde Chicken Enchiladas

Let's celebrate this Cinco de Mayo with amazing enchiladas! What's not to love about the enchilada? Take a great filling, wrap it up in a tortilla, slather it with a chile sauce, and then top it off with ooey gooey melted cheese - sounds like a winner to me! I make huge batch of these a couple of times a year, portion them out, and freeze them so that my husband and I can whip up a fiesta at a moment's notice.

Roasted chile verde sauce:
  • 8 large poblano chiles, halved and seeded
  • 2 serrano chiles, halved
  • 10 tomatillos, skins removed and washed
  • 2 large yellow onions, skins removed and quartered
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 3-4 cups of water (as needed to thin the puree)
Put everything except the water into a large roasting pan and roast for 1 hour in a 400 degree oven. After 20 minutes use a large spoon to break open the tomatillos. Continue to occasionally stir the vegetables to ensure even browning. When nicely caramelized remove the pan and allow to cool on the counter. Once cool place the roasted vegetables into a blender and puree, adding water as needed to thin to a smooth, blendable, pourable consistency. This makes a huge batch of chile verde sauce. Reserve about 6 cups for the enchiladas. The extra sauce can be frozen in zip-lock bags; it thaws easily and is a great base for chilaquiles and a great salsa for chips, nachos, and tacos.

Chicken enchilada filling:
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, meat pulled off the bone and shredded
  • 2 cups roasted chile verde sauce
  • 8 ounces queso fresco (or similar young Mexican cheese), crumbled

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl.

Chile verde chicken enchiladas:
  • 24 corn tortillas
  • chicken enchilada filling
  • 4 cups chile verde sauce, warmed
  • 8 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
  • 8 ounces cotija (or similar aged Mexican) cheese, crumbled

I like to create an enchilada assembly line on my kitchen counter that consists of a stack of the tortillas, chile verde sauce, chicken filling, and a large roasting pan or casserole dish. Take a tortilla and submerge it in the chile verde sauce. This moistens the tortillas and prevents the tortilla from tearing during the rolling process. I like to hold the sauce in a wide shallow vessel, like a baking dish or pie pan, which helps me easily dunk and moisten the tortillas without making a huge mess on my counter top! Place the moist tortilla flat into the casserole dish and fill the center of the tortilla with a large spoonful of filling. Roll the tortilla and nestle it into the pan. Continue the process until all 24 tortillas have been filled, rolled, and packed tightly into the baking pan. Pour the remaining chile verde sauce over the top of the enchiladas and top generously with the queso fresco and cotija cheeses. Cover the baking pan with aluminum foil and place into a preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and continue to bake until golden brown on top, about 20 minutes more.

Serve the enchiladas on a bed of shredded cabbage and top with fresh salsa, guacamole, and sour cream. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a lime wedge. Ole!


  1. Those look fabulous--that is my kind of dinner.

  2. Thanks Angela. I have tried many versions of enchiladas and I love the chile verde flavor the best.I will be eating these for the next week - no complaints here :)