Enchiladas Verdes (Green Enchiladas)
Makes: 4-6 servings
Time Saver: Shred a store bought rotisserie chicken
Experience authentic Mexican flavor with this award-winning recipe. A family favorite created by my mother, Enchiladas Verdes explodes in your mouth with just the right amount of spice and tang. This is my favorite Mexican dish and it’s sure to become yours too.
Most green enchilada recipes are tomatillo based and include canned green chili, cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup. You won’t find any of these in this recipe. It’s the real deal.
If you live in El Paso, you can purchase the “secret ingredient,” Suero de Sal from Licon Dairy, or substitute with buttermilk. (To make your own buttermilk, add one tablespoon of lemon or vinegar to one cup of milk.)
Our family prefers our enchiladas stacked, but if you are cooking for a lot of people, oven style is the way to go. Stacked or oven style, with or without chicken, you’ll find yourself making this recipe again and again.
1-pound skinless, boneless chicken breast (optional)
12 Anaheim green chili peppers
½ cup canola oil for frying
1 quart Suero de Sal (whey) or buttermilk can be used as a substitute
2 tablespoons flour
1 medium white onion, diced
12 – 18 corn tortillas, preferably white
1 1/2 cups white shredded cheese (Monterey Jack, Azadero or Muenster)
1/4 cup queso fresco, crumbled
1/2 cup crema or sour cream (for sauce and topping)
Salt (to taste)
Water (if needed)
Roast Chili Peppers
Preheat broiler. Select firm, meaty peppers without wrinkles for roasting. Wash thoroughly. Place peppers evenly in a single layer on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Place under broiler. Watch them closely as the skin will blister and turn black within minutes. Turn the peppers after 5 minutes to blister all sides evenly. When done, the pepper skins should be evenly blistered and mostly black. Place roasted peppers in a plastic bag, cover with a kitchen towel and when cool, rub off blackened skin, and discard stem.
In a blender combine the peppers, flour, and half of the suero or buttermilk and blend until creamy. Pour mixture into medium skillet and set over medium-low heat to warm. Add additional suero or buttermilk and stir. Taste and season with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons. If the sauce is too spicy, add ¼ cup of crema or sour cream and stir. If the sauce is too thick, add water until desired consistency is reached.
In a pot with enough water to cover, boil chicken breasts 25 minutes or until juices run clear. Drain, cool, and shred. Optional time-saver: shred a store bought rotisserie chicken.
Fry tortillas in hot oil until softened. Drain on paper towels. Soften tortillas by soaking in sauce one at a time. Place softened tortillas on individual serving plates. Layer with cooked chicken, cheese, and onion. Repeat process for a total of 3 tortillas for each serving.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1 cup of the sauce in an ungreased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Fry tortillas in hot oil just until softened. Drain on paper towels. Fill with cooked chicken, cheese, and onion. Roll, placing seam side down.
Pour 2 cups of the sauce over enchiladas. Sprinkle with crumbled queso fresco and bake until warm, about 15 minutes. Serve with a dollop of crema or sour cream and your favorite side dish.
Photography by Jeanine Thurston