Thursday, May 28, 2009

Chicken Enchiladas

While Philly has some great food (way better pizza than Texas, for example), there is no decent Mexican food here. People from here think there is, but honestly they don't know what is supposed to taste like. And don't even get me started on the tortilla selection at the grocery store (the tortillas are in the ethnic section instead of with the bread! and there's only like 2 varieties!)I am truly a stranger in a strange land...
So... I will have to learn to make it myself to get my fixes in between trips to Dallas and Herrera's on Oak Lawn, home of the fabulous #10 platter (cheese enchilada, soft cheese taco, guacamole tostada). Tonight I made Chicken Enchiladas with Green Sauce.
While I assume that any good Texan is already aware of how to roast a pepper, for the rest of you:
 I did mine by holding them on a stick over my electric oven burners until the skin blackened, then put them in a paper bag to cool off. I'm not sure if this is a safe method, so you can also put them on a cookie sheet and broil on high until the skin is blackened (you'll have to turn them throughout the cooking process).

Chicken Enchiladas with Green Sauce

Adapted from Texas Monthly
Serves 4-6

12 tomatillos, husks removed
1/2 large white onion, peeled and chopped in large pieces
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 poblano peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, roasted, peeled, and chopped (I left the seeds for some spiciness)
1 corn tortilla, lightly toasted and torn into small pieces
2 cups chicken stock
1 small bunch cilantro, thick stems removed
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Pinch of cumin and cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper

1. Preheat broiler to high. Put tomatillos, onion, and garlic on ovenproof pan and broil until skins of tomatillos are blistered and lightly charred, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool.
2. In a large bowl, combine broiled ingredients and other ingredients. Puree in batches in blender. Transfer to pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add water to thin sauce if necessary.

Vegetable oil, for frying
12 corn tortillas
Sauce (above)
Cooked chicken (I used the breast meat (no skin) from a rotissiere chicken. The meat is much more flavorful and it's an easy shortcut.)
1/2 large white onion, chopped finely
2-3 cups grated Jack cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Add a small amount of oil to a frying pan and heat over medium high. Add the onion, and sautee from a few minutes until translucent. Drain any excess oil. Add a few ladlefuls of the green sauce and the chicken. Set aside.
3. Clean the frying pan, and add more oil. Heat until very hot and cook tortillas, one at a time, a few seconds on each side (do not allow to become crisp). Drain on paper towels.
4. Assemble the enchiladas by dipping a tortilla in sauce to moisten both sides. Put the tortilla on a flat surface, and add the chicken filling to the center; roll. Put in dish that will hold enchiladas tightly. Pour enough sauce to cover all of the enchiladas. Top with the cheese.
5. Bake for about 20 minutes, until sauce and cheese are bubbly.

Before serving, garnish with some chopped cilantro.


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