Daring Cooks May 2010 Challenge- Stacked Green Chile & Chicken Enchiladas

Our hosts this month, Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food have chosen a delicious Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchilada recipe in celebration of Cinco de Mayo! The recipe, featuring a homemade enchilada sauce was found on www.finecooking.com and written by Robb Walsh.



Can you say yum?

This was such an easy recipe. Time consuming in some parts, but overall, really easy and definitely delicious. So delicious, that I made it twice.}:P


The main ingrediants are chiles- I used Anaheims (light green) and Poblanos (dark green)- tomatillos, chicken stock, and that's really about it for the sauce. Sure there's salt and pepper, and corn starch for thickening. But those are secondary.}:P



First you wash your peppers, remove the 'paper' husk from the tomatillos and rinse them. These things were so photogenic, I took lots more photos of them and the peppers. And look! they match my blog! Hee.



Then you get tired of waiting for the husband to do it and fire up your grill on your own instead, all the while shooting him dirty looks. Using olive oil, liberally oil up the tomatillos and peppers, then lay them on the hot grill to roast. Be wary of flame ups as the olive oil drips off the peppers and such.



Make sure you turn the peppers regularly to char them on all sides. Once the tomatillos are soft, remove them to a bowl. Then you can spread your chile peppers out a bit more. Remember- keep an eye on them. Yes, it takes a bit of time, but well, it's worth it.}:P



Once your peppers are roasted, put them in a bowl and cover them tightly. Or stick 'em in a paper bag and close it tightly. Or use a plastic ziploc bag. Whatever floats your boat. Anyway, let them rest until cool enough to handle.



Meanwhile, put the roasted tomatillos in a food processor, and blend them into a nice puree. It smells good and prompted the Sous chef, my 9 yr old niece, to proclaim it disgusting looking. LOL



While your working on the green chile sauce, put the slacker hubby to work grilling the chicken breasts that I marinated in Blue Moon Belgian White Wheat Ale , fresh tarragon from my garden, a dash of salt, a sprinkling of pepper, a hint of garlic and 2 Tablespoons of Lime juice, overnight in the fridge. Hope that he doesn't burn the chicken (he didn't.). When it's done, put it on a plate, cover it with tinfoil and let it rest until you need it.




Put the tomatillo puree in a sauce pan and have the sous chef add the chicken stock. Next, place the pan on the stove to come to a boil, and have your sous chef mix up the corn starch slurry, which prompts her to exclaim that it looks just like milk! Yeah, she's funny.}:P Add that to the tomatillo mix.



Take your now cooled chile peppers, and attempt to pull the seed cores out. Six times out of ten, this works great and you get the whole core. The other four times, you have to scrape it out.}:P Slice them open and lay them out flat. Now you need to carefully remove the charred skins. After you get them skinned, chop them into as fine a dice as you can (actually, toss them into the blender with the tomatillo puree and puree them. Trust me on this.). Repeat with all peppers. Recruit help from the hubby when you realise it's going to take a while.



Add your diced chiles to the tomatillos and cook it down until it starts to thicken, fills the house with yummy smells and makes people want to revolt in hunger. Meanwhile, slice up your chicken and set it aside. Then take some of the green chile sauce, and spread it in the bottom of a baking dish- or two.





Place tortillas on top of the sauce layer. Top each with a bit of sauce. Then chicken, then cheese- I used Sargento's Artisan 'Authentic Mexican' mix. Top with another tortilla and repeat, ending with a tortilla, more sauce and a final topping of cheese.

Yes, I cheated and used store bought tortillas. But if you want, most definitely make homemade. I found where I can get a tortilla press locally, so the next time I make this, I'll be making homemade.}:P

Bake the stacks in the oven until the sauce thickens a bit more, the cheese melts and it's all hot and yummy all the way through. About 10-15 minutes tops, is what it took for me.



Serve each stack with a bit of extra green chile sauce and either storebought or homemade Mole. Next time, I'll make my own Mole sauce. The store bought was bleh.



The verdict? Awesomely delicious. VERY filling. So filling, in fact, that only one of us could eat the entire thing.

We liked them so much, that a few nights later, I made another version!



Pan seared some tilapia fillets that I seasoned with Roger's Kickin' Chicken seasoning, which is awesome for fish as well and made/sold locally! Then I took the leftover green chile sauce, and ran it through my mini food processor to make it a smoother sauce.



Then I repeated the stacks as before, only using the fish instead of chicken. There was just enough sauce.}:P



I just like this photo. Bake the fish enchilada stacks until hot, melty and bubbly.



This time, I served them on a bed of jasmine rice and topped them with diced red onion.



Mark actually whined when I took his plate away for this shot, they were that delicious. Even better, we thought, than the chicken version.}:P

Thanks, Barbara and Bunnee! This was a great Challenge and a definate keeper!


THE RECIPES

Be sure to season your filling if you are not using boneless, skinless grilled chicken. While the sauce is flavorful, the chicken or other filling you use should be seasoned if you are not using boneless, skinless grilled chicken.

Preparation time: Below are the approximate prep times for each step of the process. The sauce is the most time-intensive, but it can be made ahead and several of the steps can be done simultaneously. See additional information below for more preparation times and tips.

Roasting/preparing chiles and tomatillos: 30 - 60 min.
Assembling/simmering enchilada sauce: 30 min.
Grill chicken: 10 - 15 min.
Assembly/ baking enchilada stacks: 30 min.

Equipment required:
• Grill, broiler, or gas stove to roast Anaheim chiles
• Grill, broiler, or saucepan to cook tomatillos
• Bowl and plastic wrap to cover the bowl or a paper bag to steam Anaheim chiles
• Blender or food processor to puree tomatillos (or very finely chop)
• Small frying pan (for frying tortillas)
• Baking dish – either one large (10x15 inch) or individual gratin dishes
• Cheese grater
• Knives for cutting chicken and roasted chiles
• Spoons for stirring sauce
• Tongs are helpful for turning chiles as they roast, chicken as it grills and tortillas as they fry



Ingredients

1½ pounds Fresh Anaheim chiles (about eight 6 to 8 inch chiles) 24 ounces 678 grams - roast, peel, remove seeds, chop coarsely. Other green chiles (NOT bell peppers) could probably be substituted but be conscious of heat and size!)*
7-8 ounces Tomatillos (about 4-5 medium)212 grams - peel, remove stems
4 cups Chicken broth (32 ounces/920 grams)
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons yellow onion, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ tsp Kosher salt (add more to taste)
¼ tsp Black Pepper (add more to taste)
2 tablespoons Cornstarch (dissolve in 2 tablespoons water, for thickening)
Hot sauce, your favorite, optional
2 Boneless chicken breasts (you can also use bone-in chicken breasts or thighs)
3 tablespoons Olive oil or other neutral vegetable oil (use more as needed)
Kosher salt and pepper
12 Small Corn tortillas (5-6 inch/13-15 cm). (you can also use wheat tortillas or other wraps)
6 ounces grated Monterey Jack, 170 grams (other cheeses (cheddar, pepper jack, Mexican cheeses) can be used. Just be sure they melt well and complement the filling)
Cilantro for garnish, chopped and sprinkled optional

* I use Passilla(Poblanos), Cubanelles, Caribe, Anaheim, Jalapeno peppers in my sauce.)

Directions:

Roasting Fresh Chiles

1. Coat each chile with a little vegetable oil. If you are doing only a couple chiles, using the gas stove works. For larger batches (as in this recipe), grilling or broiling is faster.
2. Lay the oiled chiles on the grill or baking sheet (line pan with foil for simpler clean-up). Place the grill or broil close to the element, turning the chiles so they char evenly. They should be black and blistered.
3. As they are completely charred (they will probably not all be done at once), remove them to a bowl and cover with plastic, or close up in a paper bag. Let them rest until they are cool.
4. Pull on the stem and the seed core MAY pop out (it rarely does for me). Open the chile and remove the seeds. Turn the chile skin side up and with a paring knife, scrape away the skin. Sometimes it just pulls right off, sometimes you really have to scrape it.
5. DO NOT RINSE!



Green Chile Sauce

1. Put a medium saucepan of water on to boil and remove the papery outer skin from the tomatillos. Boil the tomatillos until soft, 5 to 10 minutes. You can also grill the tomatillos until soft.
2. Drain and puree in a blender or food processor. (Do yourself a favor and puree the peppers too.)
3. Return the tomatillos to the saucepan along with the chicken broth, chopped green chiles, minced onion, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper.
4. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
5. Add the cornstarch/water mixture and stir well. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened and reduced to 4-5 cups, another 10-15 minutes.
6. Adjust seasonings and add hot sauce if you want a little more heat.



Stacked Green Chile and Grilled Chicken Enchiladas

1. Heat a gas grill to medium high or build a medium-hot charcoal Coat the chicken with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Grill the chicken until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes a side for boneless chicken breasts.
3. Cool and then slice into thin strips or shred.
4. In a small skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Dip the edge of a tortilla into the oil to check – it should sizzle immediately.
5. Using tongs, put a tortilla into the pan and cook until soft and lightly brown on each side, about 15-20 seconds per side (at the most).
6. Drain on paper towels.
7. Add oil as needed and continue until all 12 tortillas are done.
8. In a baking dish large enough to hold four separate stacks of tortillas, ladle a thin layer of sauce.
9. Lay four tortillas in the dish and ladle another ½ cup (4 ounces/112 grams) of sauce over the tortillas.
10. Divide half the chicken among the first layer of tortillas, top with another ½ cup of sauce and 1/3 of the grated cheese.
11. Stack another four tortillas, top with the rest of the chicken, more sauce and another third of the cheese.
12. Finish with the third tortilla, topped with the remaining sauce and cheese.
13. Bake until the sauce has thickened and the cheese melted, about 20 minutes. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.
14. To serve, transfer each stack to a plate. Spoon any leftover sauce over the stacks and sprinkle with cilantro, if you wish. The stacks may also be cooked in individual gratin dishes.



Additional Information:

Roasting chiles: Whether you roast the chiles on a grill, under the broiler, or use the gas burner element on your stove will affect the time it takes. If you do all the chiles at once on a grill or using the broiler, it will take 15- 30 minutes, plus time to steam (10 minutes) and time to peel and remove seeds (20 minutes).
http://www.ehow.com/how_5106125_roast-anaheim-peppers.html
http://www.ehow.com/how_4437304_roast-anaheim-green-chiles-grill.html

Cooking tomatillos: If you boil the tomatillos, it will take 5 -10 minutes. If you grill them, it will take 2-5 minutes. If you broil them, it will take 8-12 minutes. This can be done the same time the chiles are roasting. After they are cooked, they need to be pureed, which takes a few seconds in a blender.
http://culinarycory.com/2009/08/08/roasted-tomatillo-salsa/
http://jerseygirlcooks.blogspot.com/2009/02/roasted-tomatillo-salsa.html

Cooking chicken: If you grill your chicken, it takes about 5 or 6 minutes per side for boneless chicken breasts- depending on thickness of breasts. Other pieces (thighs, for example) or bone-in chicken will take longer. If you roast your chicken, a bone-in breast takes about 30 minutes (depending on size). Be sure chicken is done but not overcooked, since it will be in the oven in the last stage of the recipe. http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/2007/05/how-to-make-juicy-grilled-chicken.html

Corn Tortillas (from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen)
Makes about 15

1 3/4 cups masa harina
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons hot water

Pour hot water over masa harina, cover and let sit 30 minutes. Add (additional) cool water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough is soft but not sticky. Divide the dough into 15 balls and cover with plastic wrap.

Heat a large (two burner) ungreased griddle or two large skillets, one on medium-low and one on medium-high.

Put a ball of dough between two sheets of plastic. If you don’t have a tortilla press, press to a 5-6” circle using a heavy frying pan or bread board or other heavy, flat object. Put the tortilla into the cooler pan or cooler end of the griddle. The tortilla will probably stick, but within 15 seconds, if the temperature is correct, it will release. Flip it at that point onto the hotter skillet/griddle section. In 30-45 seconds, it should be dotted with brown underneath. Flip it over, still on the hot surface and brown another 30 seconds or so. A good tortilla will balloon up at this point. Remove from heat and let them rest while cooking the remaining tortillas. Use quickly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDegTyqL55o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qm6_iAZ-CCA&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JFn3GKVLHnM&NR=1
http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_corn_tortillas/

Flour tortillas:
http://www.mangiodasola.com/2009/09/tortillas-de-harinaflour-tortillas.html
http://www.texasrollingpins.com/tortillarecipe.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEz0puaKNTk
http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/view?recipeID=207
http://homesicktexan.blogspot.com/2007/03/and-end-to-my-quest-flour-tortillas.html

Traditional New Mexico Red Chile Cheese Stacked Enchiladas: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/traditional-new-mexico-red-chile-cheese-stacked-enchiladas-recipe/index.html

Quick Chicken Mole
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/quick-chicken-mole-recipe/index.html

Chocolate Mole
http://www.davidlebovitz.com/archives/2005/11/a_frugal_gourme.html

Comments

(Anonymous)

cuppy

Holy tilapia tastiness! I always forget about seafood enchiladas... Excellent use of leftovers. ;) Your chicken marinade sounds pretty tasty, too. (I <3 Marinades, obviously.)

Now, where can I buy one of those freckled sous chefs? Everyone seems to have one except me!

(Anonymous)

Cheapethniceazt.com

I would love a sous chef too hehe.

Great job on the challenge. Would never have thought of fish. Great photos!
ciao ! I love both your versions !! Great assistent !! natalia
Love sous chef and the seafood version really stands out for me and that last photo is superb and I can understand why your bf whined this is a very filling and delicious recipe. Well done on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

(Anonymous)

Blueberry Girl

Thanks. The Pom and corn really lifted the dish and added alot of freshness. My Husband hates them, but I think their fantastic cruncy bursts of juice.

(Anonymous)

tariqata

Those tilapia enchiladas sound delicious - I am another one who always forgets how well fish and tex-mex flavours blend, it's good to be reminded!

(Anonymous)

Delicious!

O yours does look delicious too! Great idea to add fish into the mix, but yes you should definitely try homemade mole sauce as that is just beautiful!
Simone from Junglefrog Cooking

(Anonymous)

green chile enchilada

Both versions look delicious! But I'm more intrigued with the fish enchiladas, will definitely try it next time, great job!

(Anonymous)

www.jehara.blogspot.com

I really like the rice and onion shot. I had a great time with this challenge too. Per your comment, I fixed the title. ;) I must have still had April on the brain. ;)

Salsa Verde

If you are ever in need of delicious green chile salsa, just blend all of those charred peppers with some lime juice. It is out of this world on a taco or just with some chips.

Great photos and all the food looks amazing.

(Anonymous)

Good Job on the Challenge.

Pls. tell your sous chef, she did a good job=;) This is why i love DC challenges you get to see and learn different ideas and versions and you get to know the verdict as well. I'm definitely going to try the tilapia version. I made homemade mole before i believe i've blogged them but my version had probably only 1/2 of the so many ingredients of an authentic mole..but it was still good. Good luck to your mole quest!

Taga_luto (Pia)
Probably not one that I'd do. I'm not a huge fan of enchiladas to begin with. Actually, I'm not a huge fan of most 'south of the border' type foods. Too spicy / hot for my palate. I can, however, appreciate the visual appeal of it and it LOOKS fabulous. Nice job!
See that's the thing about authentic Mexican food- it's not spicy hot.

Now Tex-Mex food, THAT'S spicy hot.

This had very little spice to it. I bet you'd actually like it.}:P I loved it and I'm not a fan of spicy hot foods either.

Of course, Mark had to add hot sauce to his. LOL