Recipe Test: Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

This is a really good one!  It's a great way to use up leftover tortillas, chicken, and cheese, and it's really quite easy to do, especially if you plan ahead a little. 

This recipe first appeared in the September, 2007, issue of Sunset magazine.  It calls for green "New Mexico" chiles; however, a note states that if you don't like too much heat, you should try Anaheim chiles.

That's what I did.  The best part about Anaheim chiles is that they are readily available in most supermarkets.  They need to be roasted first, and here's where you can save yourself some time at dinner by planning ahead.  I roasted mine earlier in the day.  I skinned, stemmed, seeded, and chopped them, and then just put them in the refrigerator to be used later on.  Roasting the peppers couldn't be any easier unless someone else did it for you.  Here's how I do it:

Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.  Place the washed peppers on a foil-covered baking sheet.  Place them in the hot oven for about 20-25 minutes until the skins are blackened, wrinkled, and blistered, turning them once during the roasting time.  Then, using tongs, immediately place them in a zip-lock bag, seal the bag, and allow them to steam for about 15-20 minutes.  After that, the skins will slip right off.  You might have to slit them with a paring knife to get them started.  You can slice them open and the seeds are easily removed with your fingers.  Once that's accomplished, just roughly chop them, and you're ready to make dinner later on.

I used a pre-roasted chicken from the deli section of the grocery store, but this would be a good way to use any leftover chicken that you have.  I would suggest removing the skin first.  Also, don't you hate that you have to buy packages of tortillas with so many that you can't possibly use them all?  I always end up with half used bags of tortillas in my freezer.  The ones I used for this dinner had been thawed and refrozen twice already, but they worked just fine for this purpose.  I also purchased pre-shredded cheese (think Sargento or Kraft).  I got a mix of Monterey Jack and cheddar, but really, any cheese would do.  The Mexican four-cheese mixes would be another good choice. 

The one problem I had was with softening the dry tortillas in chicken broth.  Be careful to just dip them very quickly with tongs, or they'll tear when you remove them from the chicken broth.  Aside from that, I did just as the recipe instructed, and it was just as easy as can be to fill them and roll them before placing them in my baking dish.  All of that was accomplished while the sauce simmered away on the stove top, and it was ready to use when the enchiladas were ready for the oven.

They were so full of flavor, and honestly, so simple to put together.  With just the two of us, we have enough for another meal; but this would easily feed a family of four.  I served them with sour cream, tomato salsa, and green chile salsa.  Very yummy, and just the right amount of spice.  If you like yours very spicy, I would suggest roasting one jalapeno chile along with your Anaheim chiles.  Enjoy!

2 comments from clever and witty friends:

Anonymous said...

That looks delicious - and thanks for the tips on roasting the chiles. I can't get my hubby and daughter to eat things that are very spicy...I may have to cut back even from the Anaheim chiles!! (They like mild salsa, so that gives you an idea.)
Have a sunny day!
Jacque in SC

quiltzyx said...

I knew I would like this one, just from the title! Green chile chicken enchiladas are my favorite...mmmmmmm....
I'll have to try your roasting tips - I've never done my own & you do make it sound so easy!