Chicken enchiladas in roasted tomatillo sauce recipe

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A great chicken enchiladas dish in a roasted tomatillo sauce. This Tex-Mex recipe uses a filling made with chicken thighs, bell pepper, onion, tomatoes, garlic and typical Mexican spices. Corn tortillas are softened and filled witht eh chicken mixture, then topped with the roasted tomatillo sauce and cheese. They are finally baked until the cheese melts. Enchiladas are served with freshly made salsa, guacamole and sour cream.
Preparation time: 10 minutes, Cooking time: 60 minutes, Serves: 4 
A great variation of this recipe is replacing the jalapeno chiles with chipotles. The flavor and aroma of chipotle chiles adds a great touch to the tomatillo sauce. Just use the chipotles instead of the jalapenos (soak them in hot water first for about 20 minutes until plump and soft, then seed and devein them) and follow the same roasting and cooking procedure.


For the sauce
2 lb fresh tomatillos, husked and washed
1 medium yellow onion, sliced
3 fresh jalapeno chiles, stemmed
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup chopped cilantro (leaves and stems)
1 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)

For the chicken filling
2 1/2 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup diced green bell pepper
1 1/3 cups diced yellow onion
3/4 cup diced fresh, unpeeled tomatoes
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp dried oregano
3/4 cup whole, peeled canned tomatoes, pureed

For the enchiladas
3/4 cup vegetable oil
16 to 20 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 pound Monterey Jack or mild cheddar cheese, grated


Prepare the tomatillo sauce
Place tomatillos, onion, and chiles on a large roasting pan. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and roast over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes, turning occasionally.

Combine roasted tomatillos, chiles and onion in a blender together with the cilantro and salt and process until smooth. In a saucepan add the remaining oil and cook the sauce over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Make the chicken filling
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a saucepan over medium high heat boil the chicken thighs for about 20 minutes or until tender. Remove chicken thighs, drain and let cool. When cool enough to handle, shred them or cut them in 3/4 inch cubes. Set aside.

In a large saucepan or pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the bell pepper, onion, and fresh tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the shredded chicken thighs, garlic, salt, black pepper, cumin, oregano, and pureed tomatoes and continue cooking for 15 minutes. Set aside.

Heat the tortillas
In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil to about 325 degrees F (medium heat). Using tongs, place tortillas in the oil, one at a time, and cook for 1 to 2 seconds per side, until soft (be careful not to fry the tortillas - the main reason for heating up the tortillas is to soften them). Place warmed tortillas on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Make the enchiladas
Place an equal amount of chicken filling along the center of each tortilla. Roll up the tortillas and place in an oven-safe dish, one next to the other. Top with the tomatillo sauce and grated cheese. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts.
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