Like drinking coffee black. Not that I do that ever…but if I did, it would be a sign of adulthood.
Like turning down the opportunity to eat a Cook Out banana pudding milkshake in North Carolina. So something I have never done, but if I ever do turn up my nose to the banana pudding milkshake, I will feel adultish.
Like putting pride to the side and eating a slice of humble pie. I’m working on it.
Like cooking with cilantro when you have abhorred it your entire life. This one I actually did. This was the last step I needed to complete before my maturity level could legitimately go from “tween” to “adult.” I purchased cilantro. I touched cilantro. I put it in a blender. I made salsa with cilantro. All of these things were previously on my “I will never do that” list and guess what? I done did it. And guess what else? I liked it!
At this moment, salsa verde is the one and only way I can do cilantro. And if you ask me, salsa verde is one of the best salsas on the planet. If you have never tried a green enchilada before with salsa verde, I suggest it. Put it on your “do now” list so that it can be transferred to your “I done did it” list. Lists, by the way, are also a sure sign of true adulthood.
Check it: salsa verde is made with peppers/chilies and tomatillos (a.k.a the tomato that you have to shuck). It’s great to give the ingredients a little roast in the oven first to bring out some deep flavor. Like any salsa, you can make this as mild or as spicy as you would like. I used a can of mild green chilies, but roasted jalapenos would be excellent as well and you can leave some/all of the seeds in for some added heat. Grill up some chicken, sauté up onion and bell pepper; stuff, roll, pour, sprinkle, bake, and you have yourself a meal that easily satisfies 6 hungry people. Be sure to serve veggies, too…let’s not forget the veggies.
Chili Verde Chicken Enchiladas
For the salsa verde
- 2 pounds tomatillos shucked, well rinsed and roasted
- ½ white onion roughly chopped
- ½ cup cilantro leaves tightly packed
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 4 cloves garlic roasted
- 1 ounces can green chilies 4 (or 2 roasted jalapenos)
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
For the Chicken Enchiladas
To Make the Salsa:
Put your oven on the “broil” setting.
Remove the outside shell from the tomatillos and wash them very well (they will feel waxy and sticky but this is normal). Cut the tomatillos in half and place them cut-side down on a foil or parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Wrap 4 cloves of garlic (with the skins on) in aluminum foil and place it on the baking sheet with the tomatillos. Place baking sheet in the oven for 8 – 10 minutes (depending on the strength of your broiler) until the skins are browned and juices are seeping out of the tomatoes.
Use tongs to put the tomatoes into a blender (or food processor). Unwrap the garlic cloves and place them in the blender along with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. Set aside while you’re preparing your enchiladas. This step can be done ahead of time and you can keep the salsa in the refrigerator until you make the enchiladas.
To Make the Enchiladas:
In a sauté pan, heat about a tablespoon of grapeseed oil over medium heat and add the sliced onion. Saute the onion about 5 minutes before adding the sliced bell peppers. Continue sautéing until bell peppers are softened and onion begins turning brown.
Season the chicken breasts with the paprika, chili powder and salt. If you have the time, allow the meat to sit with the seasoning for 15 minutes. The chicken can also sit covered in the refrigerator overnight if desired.
Heat your grill up to medium-high setting and grill the chicken on one side for 3 minutes before flipping to the other side. Continue to flip chicken every 2 minutes until cooked all the way through, careful not to over-cook. Chicken can also be baked in the oven or crock pot if you don't have a grill. Shred the chicken with a fork or chop it into bite-sized pieces.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Add 1/8 cup to ¼ cup salsa to the bottom of a large casserole dish (I used two smaller casserole dishes). Add desired amount of chicken and peppers to a tortilla and roll it up tightly. Repeat for the remaining 9 tortillas, packing the enchiladas tightly together. Drizzle desired amount of salsa verde on top (you may have some leftover salsa, but I used the whole batch for the 10 enchiladas), followed by the jack cheese.
Bake enchiladas in the oven 20 minutes until cheese is melted. Bump the oven up to the broil setting and broil 3 - 5 minutes until the cheese is golden brown and slightly crispy. Garnish with your favorite toppings: green onion, guacamole, sour cream (or plain yogurt).