Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ultimate Enchiladas in Salsa Verde

This was one of those at-the-gym-watching-Food-Network finds (in fact the same gym session as Guy Fieri's bacon+pasta show!) Tyler Florence cooked Ultimate Chicken Enhiladas, and he had me at the roasted tomatillos. I couldn't wait to try making these myself, and am very glad that I did.

cook's notes:

- If your tomatillas are of different sizes, cut the larger ones or roast them for a longer time to make sure that they are all cooked through.

- Roast the garlic unpeeled. You can easily slip it out of the peel after it's cooked.

- I used hot finger peppers instead of jalapenos. We like the extra heat.

- When making the salsa verde, add the lime and cilantro last, adjusting to taste. I used half the cilantro, and all of the lime. For a while it seemed like it might have been too much lime, but by the time I mixed everything else together it was perfectly balanced.

- If you use a purchased rotisserie chicken, check that it's 3 pounds. The one that I bought was only 1.5 pounds, so I had to make a half recipe. The 1.5 pound chicken yielded 3/4 pound of shredded meat. I often use leftover cooked chicken that I try to keep in my freezer. A full recipe would require 1.5 pounds of shredded chicken.

- Use a whisk when adding the chicken stock to the pan for the veloute to keep lumps from forming (or to break up lumps that have already formed). It took about 5 minutes of simmering for my sauce to thicken.

- I added water to the salsa when it came time to dip the tortillas. There are lots of things that the salsa is needed for, and I wanted to have enough.

- I used half white tortillas and half whole wheat tortillas. We preferred the whole wheat.

- I used a bag of pre-shredded Mexican blend cheese.

- An 8x8" pyrex baking dish was a good size for half a recipe.

the verdict

This really was the ultimate chicken enchilada! It was a bit of work, but the flavors had an amazing complexity from the different steps. Well worth the effort.

My husband gave this a 10 out of 10. I can't remember a better Mexican dish that I've put on the table.

for next time/ time saving tips

To save time, I plan to make a large batch of the salsa verde and freeze it. Doubling the salsa verde recipe would be easy, as there's very little chopping. But it would have to be pureed in 2 batches in the food processor, I think.

Using pre-shredded chicken, in addition to the pre-shredded cheese would also save time.


natalia said...

Ciao Nancy ! I'm finally back ! It has been a hard week for different reasons,I hope the pc will be the beginning of a new start ! Your enchilada looks wonderful ! I've never seen tomatillos, do you think I could substitute them ? (by the way the cardamom idea is super. the time I start all over with the right timing i'll make a batch with it !)

Cathy said...

I can't believe that you posted this today, Nancy! I was looking for an enchilada recipe yesterday, and actually emailed this one to myself so that I'd have the ingredients on my blackberry when I stopped at the store. I ended up going with an easier Martha Stewart one, because I thought that the tomatillo husking would be too much for last night -- but this one really jumped out at me and totally made my mouth water, and I vowed to try it soon! Now that I know that it gets your seal of approval, I'll definitely be making it. Your salsa pictures are fantastic -- gosh, this really looks wonderful!

Kristin said...

Looks so delicious!

TeaLady said...

This looks great, Nancy. I love enchiladas and like to find new ways to make, eat, enjoy.... Will have to try this one.

Audrey said...

You make such wonderful Mexican food! I've never tried - but I'm bookmarking this one for when(ever) I can cook again!

The Blonde Duck said...

I am all over this. I need to kick up our enchiladas (and quit using a McCormick's sauce mix. I know I know. For shame!) This looks fabulous!

Maria said...

I love enchiladas smothered in salsa verde! So tasty!

Karen said...

Your recipe looks sooo good! I love using tomatillos and make a mean pork with chile verde that's good in burritos.

Liz said...

This looks incredible! You had me at "roasted tomatillos" too.

Jessica said...

Oh my gosh! Those enchiladas look so fantastic. I have been craving enchiladas verde for about 2 months now but I can't bring myself even to hunt up the tomatillos, let alone make the salsa verde. Your post just might be my inspiration . . . they look waaay to good to pass up!