Sep 19, 2011

Green Chicken Enchiladas - Enchiladas Especiales Tacuba Style

First things first...Happy Birthday Mom!!

Rick Bayless is a recipe God. I have been wishing on stars for good Mexican food since I moved to New England. Because of the lack of good Mexican restaurants, I decided to finally take matters into my own hands. [Enter Rick Bayless' cookbooks]

There are tons of green enchilada recipes in Bayless' multiple cookbooks, but this enchilada recipe stood out to me because it was so different. It doesn't use a tomatillo green sauce, but more of a spiced up B├ęchamel sauce with spinach for color and roasted poblano chiles for flavor. These enchiladas were SIMPLE to make and they tasted great. Don't be afraid of 'blackening the poblano' it is simple to do under the broiler. It seems like there are a lot of steps, but it came together in under 30 minutes of prep time.

Cale at first was expecting traditional tomatillo green sauce with its tangy flavor. However, he found he was pleasantly surprised with the almost "creamy" green sauce and new flavor.

If you find yourself craving Mexican food and you don't have much time, seriously, try this recipe. You might find that you like the new sauce and flavor.

Enchiladas Especiales Tacuba Style
adapted from Rick Bayless

2 poblano chiles
2 cups baby spinach leaves (or more if you like it greener)
2 cups milk (skim, 2% or whole)
2 cups chicken broth
6 tablespoons butter
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup flour
3 cups cook and shredded chicken (rotisserie, roasted, crock-pot, canned, poached)
12 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded Mozzarella/Monterey Jack cheese blend (Oaxaca cheese, if you can find it)
cilantro, chopped 
canola/vegetable oil

Blacken the poblanos - Cut the core out of the poblano chiles and slice the chile in half so they lay flat and all the outside 'peel' if facing up. Place the chiles about 2-3 inches under a broiler and broil on high for about 5-10 minutes until the chile skin is completely charred and black. Remove from the oven and place chiles (using tongs: these things are HOT) into a bowl and cover with plastic cling wrap. Allow the chiles to sit for about 15 minutes.

Make the Sauce - While the chiles are steaming. Pour the milk and chicken broth into a saucepan set over medium-low heat. In a large pot melt the butter over medium heat. Toss the garlic into the melted butter and cook for about 30 seconds. Then, dump in the flour. Stir the butter flour mixture for about a minute, then raise the heat to medium-high. While stirring, pour in the milk and chicken broth mixture. Keep stirring, when the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Remove the chiles from the bowl and remove the black skin and chop the remaining chile. Toss the chopped chile into the blender with the spinach. Pour about half of the milk sauce into the blender and puree with the poblano and spinach. Be careful when blending the hot liquids. Remove the center part of the lid if possible. When well blended pour the contents in the large  pot with the rest of the milk sauce. Season with salt to taste.

Preheat an oven to 350┬║F. Ladle about 1/4 cup of the sauce in to a baking dish. Mix the shredded chicken with a cup of the sauce. Brush both sides of the tortilla with oil and then place in the oven for 2-3 minutes until the tortilla softens and is pliable for rolling. Remove the tortillas from the oven.

Fill each tortilla with a about 1/3 cup chicken and sauce mixture and then roll up and place in the baking dish with sauce, fold side down. Once all the enchiladas are rolled pour the remaining sauce over the rolled up tortillas and sprinkle with shredded cheese.

Place in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is starting to turn golden brown.

Serve warm with a sprinkle of fresh, chopped cilantro and enjoy.


Deidre said...

These were unbelievable...even when left in the fridge a little longer than planned. Great work!

Linda Lu said...

I just moved back to the West Coast after living in Rhode Island for 23 years. I craved Mexican Food every day I was there. We did find a great Mexican Restaurant in Cranston, RI. If you get the chance to try it out, it is called El Tapitio and it is on Atwood Avenue. I don't think you will be dissatisfied.

Heather said...

If I'm down that way I'l try it. Thanks Linda.

Ashley said...

These were amazing Heather! Thanks for sharing the recipe!!