Saturday, May 5, 2012

Roasted Green Chile and Tomatillo Enchiladas

I've been enjoying the warmer days coming our way here in Arizona. I've been thinking about the pool a lot lately, specifically memories from when I was a kid going to the public pool with my sisters. Those days kind of remind me of the show Pete and Pete, being a kid and not having anything terrible to worry about besides our own adventures. The summer always reminds me of poolside days and light, fresh food in the evenings.

Roasted Green Chile and Tomatillo Enchiladas is a dish that is bright and citrusy, with a head nod towards the classic remembrance of mexican food, for me anyways. The sauce prepared for this meal is essentially a green salsa, with a balance of twang and spiciness; completely suitable for a hot summer day. I roll mine with shredded chicken, but they would also be delightful with shredded monterey jack cheese. If you don't necessarily want a full on meal, the salsa itself is worth the effort. 

Roasted Green Chile and Tomatillo Enchiladas
Total Time: about 2 hours Serves: 6 - 8
Cook's Notes: If gluten free, check corn tortilla ingredients for flour.
Inspired by Cook's Illustrated, issue July/August 2008.
Kitchen Tested

Roasted Green Chile and Tomatillo Salsa:
10 - 15 Tomatillos, Husks/stems removed and rinsed well 
2 Green Chiles (Hotter)/Or Poblano(Milder), whatever is available, halved lengthwise, seeds removed
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
2 Green Heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1 small onion, chopped, divided
1 jalapeno, most seeds removed, roughly chopped (for milder option omit) 
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, organic unfiltered
1/2 tsp sugar, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp olive oil
3 chicken breasts, preferably organic
1/3 cup chicken broth (homemade stock, or a low-sodium brand)
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground oregano
1/4 tsp salt, pepper each
2 cups grated monterey jack cheese, divided
24 corn tortillas

Serving Options:
2 green onions, sliced
4 sweet chiles, sliced
sour cream

How To:
Salsa/ Sauce: 
1) Heat oven to 400º F. Place a piece of foil on a baking sheet, and arrange chile halves, whole tomatillos, and peeled garlic on sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. 

2) Roast for about 15 - 20 minutes or until skins are browned and blackened. (While roasting a lot of smoke may arise, so keep your kitchen well ventilated and your oven fan on. Also beware that you will hear popping and steam being released from the Tomatillos as they roast.) 

3) Remove carefully from oven, and once the chiles are cool enough to handle, scrape the blackened skin off of the meat of the pepper. 

4) In food processor add in roasted chiles, tomatillos, garlic, tomatoes, half the amount of onions, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. Add the second half of onions and taste for seasonings. Process for 2 pulses to incorporate but not blend the onions. Set aside.

Prepare Chicken:
1) In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts. Sprinkle with spices and seasonings. Cook for 3 minutes, flipping once. 

2) Add chicken broth. Once chicken broth begins to boil, turn heat down to medium. Cook for 5 minutes on one side, then turn chicken pieces over. Cook on the second side for 10 minutes. Check to see if chicken is done on the inside, if not cook for another couple of minutes.

3) Remove chicken from skillet. Turn off heat, if no broth remains, add 1/4 cup water and stir around picking up any browned bits. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred meat. Add back into the skillet. Add half amount of cheese, stir to combine. Set aside.

Enchilada Assembly:
1) Retrieve a large glass dish (about 9"x13") and another small glass dish, just in case you have extra.

2) Microwave tortillas for 1-2 minutes until pliable. Set up your assembly station, with tortillas, cheese, chicken mixture, and sauce/salsa.

3) Pour about 1/2 cup salsa into bottom of glass dish to just cover bottom. Reserve the rest for later.

4) Hold a tortilla in your hand and spoon chicken mixture into tortilla. Roll up and place in glass dish. Repeat until dish is full. Pour about 1 1/2 cups salsa verde over entire enchiladas. Reserve just a scant amount about 1/4 cup for serving with finished product. Top with the rest of the cheese.

5) Place in pre-heated oven and bake for about 15 minutes until top begins to bubble and crisp-up.

Serve with diced green onions, sweet chiles, sour cream, and remaining salsa verde. To make the meal complete also serve with sides of black beans and spanish rice. 

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