Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Green Chicken Enchiladas

So this is my very first attempt at enchiladas.  We have made all kinds of tacos, but it has never occurred to me to make enchiladas, burritos, tostadas, etc.  Go figure.  But tonight we decided to make enchiladas using Mario Batali's Leo Maya's Chicken with Green Sauce as both the stuffing and the sauce.  Then we added some red onions, some cotija and Monterey Jack cheeses, and cilantro.  And there you have it - our very first attempt at enchiladas ever. 

These were delicious - absolutely insanely delicious.  I even think these were better than the tacos we generally make with the chicken.  The sauce permeates the entire dish far more than with the tacos, and this sauce is fantastic.  As Alex said, his biggest pet peeve with enchiladas is generally that they are all about the cheese, but these were all about the chicken and that tomatillo salsa.  The cotija cheese and the Monterey Jack were the perfect cheeses for these enchiladas, but we used limited amounts so as to not obscure the taste of the chicken.  I originally wanted to dip the tortillas in the salsa before rolling and stuffing them, but I got a little lazy and just nuked the bare tortillas before filling them and then ladling sauce over the top.  And I honestly don't think that dipping the tortillas in the sauce and then briefly pan-frying them to seal the sauce into the tortillas could have made these enchiladas any more delicious.  I think that is mostly due to the fact that we already braised the chicken thighs in the sauce, so if I were ever to make enchiladas with a rotisserie chicken I would definitely take the time to dip the tortillas in sauce and fry them.  These are so good - really so good that if I weren't incredibly full I would go back and eat more and more of them.

Recipe after the jump!

Green Chicken Enchiladas

2 lbs. chicken thighs, shredded (prepared according to Leo Maya's Chicken with Green Sauce)
3 cups green salsa, separated (prepared according to Leo Maya's Chicken with Green Sauce)
8 tortillas (our package said soft taco-sized, but I would call them fajita-sized)
1/2 of a large red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 cup shredded cotija cheese
1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
sour cream
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Spray a 13x9x2 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.  

Cover 4 tortillas on a plate with a damp paper towel and heat in the microwave for 20 seconds.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.  Taking the tortillas one at a time, stuff them with shredded chicken, onions, and Monterey Jack cheese.  Roll the tortilla tightly and place in the prepared baking dish.  Repeat until all 8 tortillas have been stuffed and rolled into enchiladas.

Cover enchiladas evenly with 2 cups of green salsa, spreading with a spoon to ensure even coverage.  Sprinkle with cotija cheese.

Bake until the cheese on top is browned and melted (as much as cotija melts) and enchiladas are hot, about 20 minutes.

Remove from oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes in the pan.  Garnish with cilantro and serve with remaining 1 cup salsa and sour cream (if desired).

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