Friday, May 14, 2010

Daring Cooks: Stacked Green Chile and Grilled Chicken Enchiladas

The May Daring Cooks Challenge: 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.
It's time for another Daring Kitchen recipe. I was excited about this Cinco de Mayo inspired challenge. This was in fact our dinner on May 5th!

Let me begin by saying, I had fun. Now that that is out of the way, I can confidently say that I will never ever make my own chili sauce again.
You begin by roasting Anaheim chilies. Well, in fact, you first begin my figuring out what Anaheim chilies are and where to find them. We have a Latino grocery store in town and I figured if no where else, they'd have them, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my everyday grocery store carried them. I chose to broil them. The broiling wasn't too bad, but what followed was a nightmare. First of all, I was supposed to use gloves. I didn't have any thin latex-like gloves, so I used my kitchen cleaning gloves. These proved to be too bulky so I just went for it without gloves. I was very careful to not touch the chilies anymore than I absolutely had to and when I finished I washed my hands for a good 15 minutes. Luckily, I only had a minor tingle in my fingers for part of the day which was either the chili oils or my imagination. I then had to peel them. Peeling the chilies to get to the chili meat while discarding the seeds and skin was next to impossible. I was successful on about 3 of the 30-40 chilies. I'm not really sure what I was doing wrong. Often it seemed all that was left in the chili was the seed bundle. So a lot of seeds ended up in my final green sauce.
Other than the chilies the green sauce was quite easy to make. It was my first time using tomatillos as well.
Stacking proved to be another complication for me. I carefully read the directions twice and although still slightly confused I decided to just jump in and go for it. It turns out I misunderstood step 2 and thus my final creation was not quite as the directions intended. It says to lay 4 tortillas in the pan. I stacked my 4 tortillas. Basically, instead of creating 4 small stacks of 3 tortillas, I created one large stack of 12 tortillas with the filling between every 4 tortillas. I knew something wasn't adding up as I was building, but the Mickey Clubhouse show was ending (toddler preoccupation almost at the end) and I had to get this thing in the oven for dinner. After dinner as I sat with Austin and re-read the directions I finally understood my mistake. Personally, I just think the directions were confusing.
Even though I didn't stack it exactly correctly, I did get everything in the pan so in essence the final product wasn't that off. The flavor was great, however, I think all those seeds I didn't get out of the chilies came back to haunt me. I enjoyed my meal with two glasses of water on the side and another glass of water after dinner.

It was too spicy for the two year old, but the husband loved it and was thrilled to get the rest of the pan to himself.

Printable Recipe

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)

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

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.
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.

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