Chicken Enchiladas Verdes
To be honest, I’ve been eating the “verde” version of enchiladas for so long, that I kind of forgot there was any other kind. But that’s perfectly fine with me, because I love this dinner. Its great because so many different cuisines are made using a red tomato base, so this really adds some variety to the dinner table. I made a similar version for the first time back in college (Friday night dinner parties!), and I’ve been adapting it ever since. At this point I’m even afraid to order enchiladas at a Mexican restaurant, for fear that they won’t live up to this version.
I thought about making the verde sauce from scratch, but I couldn’t find tomatillos at the store. (Probably had something to do with being the middle of the winter in Ohio). But it’s probably better that I didn’t because this dish is great just the way it is, and I have enough other things to keep me busy. For the cheese topping, this time I happened to use queso fresco, but I have made it before using Monterey Jack, and I like both. It just depends on what I find at the store and what happens to be on sale.
Chicken Enchiladas Verdes
- Makes about 8 enchiladas
- 1 can (10 oz) green enchilada sauce
- 1 bottle (14 oz) salsa verde (or about 2 cups)
- 1/2 an medium onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large (12 oz) chicken breast (or 2 smaller) – pounded to an even thickness
- 1/2 block (4 oz) reduced fat cream cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 8 corn tortillas (about 6 inch)
- 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or Monterey Jack cheese
Add the canned enchilada sauce, salsa verde, minced onion, and garlic to a saucepan over medium heat. Add the 1 or 2 chicken breasts to the saucepan, cover pan, and cook for 20 minutes. Cut the chicken in half to ensure it is cooked through, and if not, continue cooking until it is no longer pink.
Turn off heat, and remove chicken from the pan. After cooling slightly, shred chicken into small pieces. In a small bowl combine the chicken, cream cheese, 2/3 cup of enchilada sauce and cilantro.
The salsa mixture should still be warm at this point. Working with one tortilla at a time, dip the corn tortilla into the salsa mixture for about 10 seconds and remove with tongs. This is just to make the tortilla more pliable, so it doesn’t crack when rolling. Then place the tortilla on a plate and spread 1/3 cup of chicken mixture down the tortilla. Roll up and place, seam side down, in a 11 x 7 baking dish coated with cooking spray. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Pour a heaping cup of remaining salsa mixture on top of the tortillas. (I usually have some left over, but I prefer this to using 1/2 a can of enchilada sauce. If you want to double this recipe, I would just use an extra jar of salsa and skip the canned sauce). Top with crumbled queso fresco or shredded Monterey jack (or both).
Bake at 425° for 15-20 minutes, or until cheese melts and enchiladas are heated through.