Chicken Enchiladas Verde
Enchiladas date all the way back to the Mayan days and come from the Spanish verb “enchilar”, meaning to season with chili. Originating in Mexico, enchiladas are a rolled corn tortilla, which are then typically stuffed with meat or vegetables and covered in a tomato and chili sauce.
This is a great dish to prepare ahead of time and then bring to a party, ready to pop in the oven and share just a few minutes later. The Salsa Verde is what brings this dish all together. You can of course find Salsa Verde at any grocery store, but making your own is quite simple - and you will have the bragging rights! Unless you have a great Salsa Verde already in mind that you enjoy, it is best to make your own because you obviously have complete control over the flavor, and when it comes to flavor this dish has more layers than Britney’s wack extensions (can somebody on that girls’ team get her a good a weave already?).
Speaking of layers, the base of the Salsa Verde is made from tomatillos, which when you buy them have green husks. They look like tomatoes, but they are more of a distant cousin than a direct sibling. Please keep in mind that there are many renditions and techniques to making this dish. This just happens to be my favorite method. I find it to be the easiest, least messy and delivers an end result that puts a smile on everyone’s face.
The Break Down:
Serving Size (Approximately 6 enchiladas)
For the Salsa Verde:
- Tomatillos – 6, husk removed and washed
- Sweet Onion – ½
- Jalapeño - 1, halved
- Cilantro - 1/3 of 1 bunch
- Lime - Juice of 1
- Garlic - 2 cloves
- Salt - 1/2 tsp.
For the Enchiladas:
- Organic Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast – 1, butterflied in half
- Sweet Onion - use the other half not used from Salsa Verde
- Black Beans - 1 15oz. can, washed and drained
- Cumin - 1 tsp.
- Paprika - 1 tsp.
- Oregano - 1/2 tsp.
- Red Wine Vinegar - 2 tbsp.
- Low-Sodium Chicken or Vegetable Broth - 2 tbsp.
- Cotija Cheese - 1/3 cup grated
- EVOO - 2 tbsp.
For the Salsa Verde:
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
2. Add tomatillos, sweet onion, jalapeño and garlic cloves to sheet pan
3. Place in oven for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables have softened and slightly browned on the exterior
4. Remove from oven and then lower temperature to 425 degrees
5. Allow vegetables to cool and then add to blender or food processor along with cilantro, lime juice and salt
6. Blend and then set aside
For the Enchiladas:
1. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper
2. Add to oven for 20-22 minutes (or until chicken is cooked through)
3. While chicken is cooking, add black beans to small pot over medium heat
4. The goal is to soften the beans, but not completely refry. Mix over heat for 5-7 minutes, scraping the pan frequently
5. Once beans have softened, set aside along with the Salsa Verde
6. Remove the chicken from the oven and dice into bite-size pieces (keep oven on at 425 degrees)
7. In a medium-sized pan, add 2 tbsp. of EVOO over medium heat
8. As EVOO becomes fragrant, add diced onion and season with cumin, paprika and oregano. Add dash of salt and pepper
9. Once onion begins to soften and yellow, raise heat to medium-high and add red wine vinegar and broth
10. Add chicken to the pan for about 1 minute, mixing and allowing the chicken to absorb the flavors of the pan
11. Take off heat and set aside
12. In a deep, oven-safe dish, coat the bottom with Salsa Verde using a spoon
13. Take your first corn tortilla and spread 1 tbsp. of Salsa Verde
14. Add beans and then chicken closer to one side of the tortilla
15. Roll the enchilada tight and place seam side down in the deep dish
16. Continue with the rest of the enchiladas and then cover with the remaining Salsa Verde
17. Sprinkle with Cotija cheese and place dish back in oven until cheese has melted (about 5 to 7 minutes)
18. If desired, top with remaining cilantro not used from Salsa Verde, serve and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks:
- Soft corn tortillas are not always available. To soften tortillas, place in pan over medium heat for about 30 seconds on each side
- MAKE IT VEGETARIAN! Eliminate chicken and season mushrooms, red bell peppers and corn with onion - being sure to season as you would the chicken.