Caroline and Adam have been renovating their Chicago suburban kitchen for what must seem to them an eternity. For several months they have been without a stove, oven or sink. In fact, there is only one room in their whole downstairs that isn’t gutted. As a result they turned an upstairs bedroom into a makeshift kitchen, using a toaster oven and microwave to get by. To help them out, I made a few frozen meals so all they had to do was defrost, then nuke or bake. One meal Caroline requested was chicken enchiladas with tomatillo sauce. Don’t let the sour cream in the filling scare you off- there’s just enough of it to bind the chicken and onions together and the tomatillo sauce supplies tartness to offset the richness.
Ingredients for the Tomatillo Sauce:
12 small to medium tomatillos
1 cup fresh cilantro, leaves and tender upper stems
1 small to medium yellow onion, diced
2 tablespoons canned green chili peppers
1 large clove garlic, put through a press
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon salt or less
Husk the tomatillos by pulling the papery skins off. Wash and place in a pot of boiling water. Boil for 10 minutes and drain. Place cooked tomatillos, cilantro, onion, garlic and peppers in a food processor. Blend for about 30 seconds to a minute until all ingredients are combined.
Heat oil in skillet over medium high until it shimmers. Pour the blended tomatillo mixture into the hot pan. The liquid will hiss and start to boil. Give it a stir and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn or stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add in the chicken broth and stir well to mix it in. Continue to let the mixture simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and if needed add the salt. If not, discard it.
Ingredients for Eight Chicken Enchiladas:
3 cups cooked chicken, shredded or cubed.
1 cup diced white or yellow onions
1 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 large flour tortillas
1 Batch of tomatillo sauce from recipe above
2 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
In a bowl, mix the chicken, onions, sour cream, salt and pepper together.
Ladle just enough tomatillo sauce into a 9x13 baking dish to cover the bottom. Place a heaping 1/3 cup of chicken mixture in the center of each tortilla. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese on top of the chicken in each tortilla. Roll each tortilla up and place seam side down into the baking dish.
Pour the remaining tomatillo sauce over the top, reserving about 1/2 cup for serving.
Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes or until tortillas are browning and sauce is bubbling. Remove from oven and sprinkle the top with remaining cheese. Return to the oven and bake 5 minutes more to melt the cheese. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cilantro leaves as a garnish.