…I like alliteration.
Anyway, it was a terribly rainy day today and Josh and I are both sick with the flu. We’ve been on the couch or in the bed pretty almost all day. Not exactly pleasant. But I knew what would perk us up—a giant heaping platter of our favorite home made chicken enchiladas with roasted tomatillo salsa. In fact, not only would it be delicious, but also not more work than I could handle being bogged down with a fever and all. Unfortunately, the tomatillos I’d gotten from the farm share had not lasted the week–a tragedy of epic proportions. However, we still had a good pound of farm share tomatoes left….compromise! I’d turn the roasted tomatillo salsa into roasted tomato salsa and hopefully this modest little offering would appease the Good Health gods.
The original recipe for this I got from none other than Tyler Florence, my favorite FoodTV chef, but as usual, I considered his recipe a guideline and went off and did my own thing, which is described below:
Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomato Salsa
3 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1/2 large sweet onion, diced
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ancho chile powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper (omit this ingredient if you’re not into hot-spicy)
1/4 c. flour
1-1.5 c. chicken stock
salt and pepper to taste
10 large flour tortillas
1/2 lb shredded monterey jack cheese
For Roasted Tomato Salsa:
1 lb fresh tomatoes
1 large serrano pepper
2 cloves garlic
1/2 large sweet onion, chopped into large chunks
1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tsp salt
Sprinkle chicken breast with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, place in a slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours. Shred the meat finely. (You can also use bone-in chicken, slowcooked on high for 5 hours and shred off the bone.)
In the last 15 minutes of the chicken’s cooking time, prepare the salsa: place whole tomatoes, serrano, garlic and onion on a baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and baked at 400F for about 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool down (careful! the tomatoes will spray juice when squeezed and it WILL be hot!) before placing into a blender with lime juice and cilantro. Blend into a chunky sauce.
In a skillet on the stove over medium high heat, sauté the onions for the enchiladas in a bit of olive oil until soft and translucent; add garlic and cumin and cook 2 minutes more, stirring. Add in flour, incorporating quickly to avoid burning, and chicken stock, chile powder and cayenne pepper. Stir sauce together to create a nice thick veloute, cooking off the flour taste and thickening the sauce.
Turn the heat off, fold in half of the tomato salsa and the chicken. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Assemble the enchiladas: Spread a good amount of salsa on the bottom of a 13×9 pan. Heat tortillas in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds per batch of 4 or so. Brush salsa over one side of each tortilla, spoon in the chicken mixture, top with the monterey jack cheese, roll into a cigar and place in a row in the pan. (I sometimes use 2 pans for this, if all I have available is two smaller ones. Or depending on the pan, I can fit 6 enchiladas into one and 4 into the other.) When all the enchiladas have been rolled, spread the rest of the salsa and cheese over the top of the pan and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes.
Serve with guacamole, black beans and a cold drink…like perhaps an agua fresca?
These enchiladas are delicious and while what I wrote above might sound like a lot of work, it really goes very quickly since the slowcooker does the tough part of cooking the meat for you. And even though most of the time I’m just cooking for myself and Josh, I still make the entire batch. It’s great for leftovers and is actually just as good the next day.
If you’re not into eating a couple days’ worth of leftover enchiladas (which I understand), another good thing is to make the entire chicken mixture but only roll as many enchiladas as you want to eat…and then use the leftover chicken mixture the next day for empanadas or stuffed poblano peppers (yes, I will have a recipe for that soon :-P).