The first thing I needed to make with my fresh Hatch green chilies was Chicken Enchiladas. This is the best enchilada recipe! This is as close to authentic as I have been able to get. No cream of mushroom soup! No canned chilies or enchilada sauce with this recipe. Everything is fresh. Well, ok, I did buy store tortillas. Haven’t gotten tortilla making down yet. Hope you enjoy this as much as we do. My son won’t let me make enchiladas any other way now and he used to love my Tex-Mex version.
The first thing you need to do is prepare your chilies. I put my fresh chilies on an old cookie sheet covered with foil and then put it under the broiler for about 5 minutes, chilies should be blistering and turning brown. Then flipped them over and did the same thing for the other side.
Take the hot chilies and place them in a plastic ziploc freezer bag and seal tight. This helps get those skins off of the chilies. Let sit about 10-15 minutes and then peel the chilies. Discard any seeds and membranes that you need to get to the desired heat. More seeds, more heat. Dice the chilies and set aside.
Dice your tomato, garlic and onion. Place the chicken breasts in a large skillet and sprinkle your diced chilies, onion, tomato and garlic over the chicken. Then add the seasonings, salt, pepper and cumin. Pour in the chicken stock and cover skillet. Cook on medium high for about 20-30 minutes, or until chicken breasts are done.
Carefully pull chicken out of skillet and shake off any excess vegetables that are on the chicken. I have to admit I left some on, I like some veggies mixed in with my chicken. Let the chicken cool until it is easy to handle without burning your fingers. Shred chicken into bite size pieces. Mix in the reserved chilies.
Let the vegetables and stock simmer in pan until it’s reduced down to about 2 cups. Place the veggies and stock in the bottom of a 13×9 inch baking dish.
Heat the cream in a small skillet, don’t let it boil. Make sure that your skillet is at least 8 inches, it has to be big enough to dip your tortillas in the cream. Dip one tortilla in the cream just long enough to soak it a bit. Shake off excess. Place about 3 tablespoons or so of the chicken mixture down the center of the tortilla and roll up. Place seam side down in baking dish.
After all tortillas are rolled and in baking dish pour the remaining cream over the enchiladas. Sprinkle with your shredded cheese. Place dish in 375 degree oven and bake for about 25 minutes or until the cheese and sauce is nice and bubbly. Enjoy!
The recipe is adapted from an old spiral cookbook By the Editors of Consumer Guide Mexican Cooking Class Cookbook.
Creamy Chicken Enchiladas (Enchiladas Suizas)
2-3 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
3 fresh hatch green chilies, roasted, peeled, seeded, deveined, diced (I left most of the seeds and the veins, it all depends on how spicy you want the dish), save some of your diced chilies to mix with the shredded chicken later
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup chicken stock or broth
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
12 (6 inch) corn tortillas (I used flour tortillas, the corn tortillas I used before fell apart. If you can get nice fresh ones they may hold up better)
2 cups shredded queso Chihuahua or Monterey Jack cheese (I used Pepper Jack and some Queso Fresco)
Sliced green onion tops
Red bell pepper slivers
Arrange chicken pieces in single layer in 12 inch skillet. Sprinkle with chiles, tomato, onion, garlic, salt and cumin; add stock. Heat over medium-high heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, until chicken is very tender, about 20 minutes.
Remove chicken pieces from skillet with tongs, shaking off pieces of vegetables. Let chicken stand until cool enough to handle. Skim and discard fat from top of stock mixture in skillet. Heat mixture to boiling; boil gently over medium-heat, stirring frequently, until reduce to 2 cups, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer mixture to 13x9x2 inch baking dish. Remove and discard skin and bones from chicken. Tear chicken into coarse shreds. Stir in the diced chilies that were set aside earlier.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Heat cream in medium skillet over medium heat until just below boiling; remove from heat. Dip 1 tortilla in hot cream until limp, a few seconds; remove, draining off excess cream. Spread 1/12 of the chicken (about 3 tablespoons) down center of tortilla; roll up and place seam side down on sauce in baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and chicken. Pour remaining cream evenly over enchiladas.
Sprinkle enchiladas evenly with cheese. Bake until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted and golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Garnish with green onions and bell pepper. Makes 4 to 6 servings.