Friday, September 21, 2012

Enchiladas de Pollo con Salsa Verde (Chicken Enchiladas with Green Sauce)

This is Part 2 of our Tall Cans recipes.  The first recipe, Tall Can Mexican Black Beans, was actually made with a whole tall can of Tecate.  Between the enchiladas and salsa verde here, it's really only 2/3 of a tall can of Tecate, but that just leaves the extra 1/3 for you to finish off.  I really liked the beer flavour in the salsa verde.  I don't usually use beer when I make it, so this was a first, and I think I'll make it with beer from now on!

Much like the black bean recipe, these recipes were inspired by the Transplants' song, "Tall Cans In The Air."  But since I used that song for the bean recipe, I think it's fitting that I use a different Transplants song.  Justin and I always joke about their song, "Gangsters and Thugs", because living in Humboldt County, we can relate to the chorus, "...some of my friends sell records, some of my friends sell drugs."  It's a good sing-a-long, kiddies.  -jen

ENCHILADAS DE POLLO (Chicken Enchiladas)
Difficulty: Medium
Prep Time:  30-45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes (not including the chicken baking)
Makes:  15-20, depending on the size of your chicken thighs
  • 6 baked chicken thighs
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, julienned
  • 2 red bell peppers, julienned
  • 2 jalapeños (de-seed for less heat), julienned
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup Tecate beer
  • 1 can (4oz) diced green chiles
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • corn tortillas (15-20)
  • salsa verde (see recipe below)
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
*I seasoned the thighs under the skin with salt and pepper, but left the skins on to bake.  Baked at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes.  Let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil over a medium-high heat.  Add onion, bell pepper, and jalapeños.  Sautee for about 5 minutes.  Add garlic, Tecate, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  Continue cooking until all of the liquid has disappeared and vegetables are soft.  Remove from heat to cool.

Discard the chicken skin and shred the chicken meat from the bone into a large mixing bowl.  Add the cooked vegetables, green chiles, cilantro and cumin to the chicken, mixing.  Taste and add additional salt and pepper to taste.

"Wet" tortillas, fried and dipped in salsa
Place 1/2 a cup of the salsa verde into a shallow dish (I like to use a pie plate) and have an additional plate available to hold the "wet" tortillas.

In a small skillet that will fit a single corn tortilla, heat enough oil just to cover the entire bottom of the skillet over a medium-high heat, and keep the oil nearby for refills.  Using tongs, place a corn tortilla into the hot oil for 5 seconds, then flip and cook 5 seconds on the other side.  Let the excess oil drip into your pan and place the tortilla right into the salsa, just to coat.  Remove from salsa, letting excess salsa drip back into pie plate and set the wet tortilla onto your extra plate.  Repeat, stacking the wet tortillas on top of each other on the plate until finished.  Add oil to your skillet and salsa to your pie plate as needed.

Create an assembly line with your stack of wet tortillas, shredded chicken mixture, shredded cheese, and a large, rectangular baking dish.  Place a thin layer of salsa verde on the bottom of your baking dish.  Set a wet tortilla into the baking dish, fill with shredded chicken mixture and shredded cheese, and roll, placing the enchilada seam-side down.  Continue until your baking dish is full.  Spoon the remainder of your salsa (about 1/2 a cup) over the enchiladas, as well as the remainder of your shredded Jack cheese (also about 1/2 a cup).

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

SALSA VERDE (Green Sauce)
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Makes:  about 3 cups
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 can (28oz) tomatillos, drained (or 7-8 fresh, large tomatillos, roasted)
  • 1 can (4oz) diced green chiles
  • 1 cup Tecate beer
  • 1 teaspoon chicken base (or 1 chicken bouillon cube)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt & pepper to taste
In a medium sauce pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onions and cook for 5 minutes until translucent and tender.  Add all remaining ingredients except salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to simmer for 25 minutes.  Pour into a blender to puree (but don't fill your blender more than half-way or it could explode hot salsa all over you!  Ouch!  Work carefully in batches... or use a stick blender and avoid that whole mess.)  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Shown with Tall Cans Mexican Black Beans

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