|Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Mini Tomatillo Sauce|
|Written by Launie Kettler|
|Tuesday, 15 October 2013 23:08|
My friend Kelee knows the way to my heart. In the last week she's given me a pint of mini tomatillos and a shopping bag of kale. How great is that? And combined with the haul I took in at the farmers market and some fun extras we grabbed at a local farm stand – well, let's just say I'm a grinning fool.
A grinning fool.
Then the weather turned colder and my smile got even bigger, because that means it's officially Oven Season! Which is one of my favorites, along with Garden Season, Fall Television Season and Holiday Season.
Of course, here in Vermont, Mud Season can't be denied it's place either. (It's not that much fun, but it's funny. Actually my favorite mud season story was when Kelee had given birth to her daughter, Apple, and I went to bring the new parents food. I had made them a large lasagna, and I was walking across the lawn in hiking boots to get to the car, when one boot sunk into the mud. I wrenched my ankle out of the sludge, walked one step and then, BAM, I slipped in the mud and landed flat on my back. Not only were my hair and clothes covered in cold wet dirt, I was also covered in bechamel sauce and cheese.
When I managed to get to my feet, my outline in the mud looked like an inverted earthen police chalk sketch with my arms and legs sunk in the ground all akimbo.
I still remember how wet and cold my pants and hair were. Aaaah, good ol' mud season.)
But I digress. It's Oven Season now!
So, when the rain came and the temperatures fell into the 50s, it just seemed right to make enchiladas. This recipe is my favorite, because I'm convinced that for years it kept us from getting colds. I had a stretch of 4 years where I had barely a sniffle, because at the first sign of a scratchy throat I'd make this and I'd fight it off.
Then one year I made chicken noodle soup instead. Big mistake. I was on the couch under a blanket faster than you could say “achoo!” I stayed there for a week.
Make of that what you will.
However, make these enchiladas as soon as possible. They are addictive. The sauce is flavorful and spicy, and the tangy roasted tomatillo salsa on the side brings the right amount of lime, so that every bite is an adventure.
Or, to quote Jedd, “So. Much. Flavor. Oh. My. God.”
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
¼ cup chili powder
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 6-oz. can of tomato paste
1½ teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup of cooked chicken, shredded
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1½ cups shredded Monterey Jack, divided
½ cup black beans
½ cup red onion, finely diced
¼ cup cilantro, diced
3 tablespoons diced pickled jalapenos
1 chipotle in adobo, diced
1 teaspoon lime juice
6 flour tortillas
Roasted Tomatillo Sauce
1 pint of mini tomatillos or 2 medium tomatillos, roughly chopped
1 medium red onion, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup cilantro, rough stems removed
2-3 tablespoons lime juice
3 tablespoons pickled jalapenos
2 tablespoons pickled jalapeno juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small baking pan, combine the tomatillos and onion with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until tomatillos are soft. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, cook the oil until it shimmers, about 1 minute. Add the flour and stir constantly for one minute. Add the chili powder and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the chicken broth and stir until there aren't any lumps. Add the cumin and oregano. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, until thickened.
In a medium bowl, combine the chicken, tomatoes, ¾ cup of cheese, beans, onion, cilantro, pickled jalapenos, chipotle and lime juice. Cover the bottom of a large baking sheet with the enchilada sauce. Divide filling between the tortillas.
To assemble: bring in the sides and, starting from the bottom, roll up. Place enchiladas seam-side down in a baking pan. Divide the remaining sauce and cheese between the enchiladas.
Place cooled tomatillos and onion in a blender with lime juice, cilantro, jalapenos and juice. Blend to desired consistency.
Serve enchiladas with roasted tomatillo sauce.
(Photos by Launie Kettler)