Monday, July 5, 2010

Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce

Miami, OK has two main sreets, one McDonalds, one Wal-Mart, and four Mexican restaurants. I freaked myself out the first time I said, "Anywhere sounds good....except mexican." Needless to say, standard Mexican fare has worn on me. And, by that, I mean standard American Mexican  food which has been reduced to picking a number off of a combo menu. I needed to experiment with more interesting flavors. Enter Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce. Number one- these aren't swimming in some sauce only distinguishable by its color. Number two- I think these might actually be healthy. I adapted this from the orginal because I really didn't want to ruin all the healthiness by deep frying the tortillas. The result was fresh, light, and very different from my standard #23. Bonus: These are super easy to make.

Chicken Enchiladas in Tomatillo Sauce
Adapted from Simply Mexican by Lourdes Castro
Serves 3-4

1 lb (about 3) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cloves of garlic, slightly crushed
1 onion, halved
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano ( I only had ground and it seemed to work fine)
1/2 tsp. salt ( plus more to taste)
2 cups Fresh Tomatillo Salsa
3-5 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, sliced thin
Black pepper
9-12 fresh corn tortillas ( this really depends on how full you stuff 'em)
Cilantro sprigs for garnish
1/3 cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese
1 cup mexican crema (OR, you could do like I did and thin out some sour cream with milk)
Optional: shredded iceberg lettuce for garnish

First, poach the chicken. Add chicken, garlic, one onion ( 2 halves), bay leaves, oregano and 1/2 tsp salt to a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover the chicken and bring to a boil. Decrease heat and simmer ( low boil) for 35 minutes until chicken is done. To check, just slit the chicken and make sure it's no longer pink and the juices run clear.  Allow the chicken to cool in it's broth and when it's cool enough to handle, shred the chicken by hand or with two forks, pulling apart all those delicious fibers.

Note: You can prepare the chicken the day before. Just keep refridgerated.

Next, saute the second onion that you sliced in 1 tbps of oil. Toss in the shredded chicken when the onion is soft and translucent. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the 2 cups of tomatillo sauce over medium heat. Also, prepare your tortillas by lightly pan frying ( 1 tbsp oil per two to three tortillas) the tortillas in a flat skillet until golden but still pliable.


To build the enchiladas, you need your serving platter or individual plates on hand. To assemble, fill a tortilla with the chicken and onion filling ( about 1/4 cup each) and roll, placing the seam side down on your plate. Once you have placed as many as you like on your platter or plate, top with heated tomatillo sauce and finish with crumbled cheese, mexican crema ( or thin sour cream), and sprigs of cilantro. Serve shredded lettuce alongside if you choose.