The tomatillo has a bright, slightly acidic flavor and is a wonderful foil for the richness of the melted cheese, sour cream, avocado and all the things that make enchiladas a wonderful and perfect winter meal. And while I made these particular enchiladas with chicken as the main part of the filling, I absolutely LOVE this sauce with Dungeness crab enchiladas, a seasonal treat in my family for years.
My friend Lynda Lee Wieland, who used to pick me up hitchhiking in Costa Rica while she was VERY pregnant has been kind enough to ask for this recipe. So, Lynda, here we go.
For The Sauce
12-15 Ripe Tomatillos
1 Jalapeno Chile
1 White Onion
3 Cloves peeled Garlic
1 Anaheim or Poblano Chile (optional)
1/2 bunch cilantro
Husk the tomatillos, and rough chop the other vegetables. Cover all of them with water (except the cilantro) and bring to a low boil. Cook for about ten minutes or until the tomatillos are tender. Using a slotted spoon transfer the cooked vegetables to a blender, add the cilantro, and pulse (careful, this is hot) until you have a smooth sauce. Save the cooking liquid in case the sauce seems too thick. Pour 1/4 of the sauce into a baking dish or casserole large enough to hold 12 enchiladas
For The Filling
2 Cups Cooked Chicken
1 Large White Onion, cut in strips or half moons
2 Large Anaheim Chiles cut in strips
1 Poblano (Ancho) Chile cut in strips
1 Oz. Canola oil
1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
1/2 Bunch of Cilantro, rough chopped
2 Ripe Avocados, cut in strips
1# + 1/2# Grated Monterey Jack Cheese
4 Oz. Softened Goat Cheese (this is my secret ingredient and is, of course, optional)
12 Corn Tortillas
Preheat your oven to 350.
Heat a skillet with the oil and saute the onions and chile strips until just soft. Add the cooked chicken and toss to mix. Pour in the chicken broth and allow to come to a simmer. Heat the chicken and vegetables just through and add the cilantro.
Heat a second heavy skillet and heat on tortilla on both sides until it softens. Put in two tablespoons of the chicken filling, a sprinkling of grated jack cheese, a little dollop of the goat cheese and two avocado slices. Carefully roll the tortilla around the fillings and place it in the casserole. Do this with the remaining tortillas and filling taking care to make sure you have just enough of everything left at the end. Pour the remainder of the Salsa Verde over the rolled enchiladas and top with the second part of the grated jack cheese.
Bake the enchiladas for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil. Remove the foil and bake for another ten minutes. Serve carefully and with love, topped with sour cream and more avocado.