May 14, 2010

Daring Cooks: Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchiladas

I love it when challenge recipes don’t need tweaking to make them gluten-free. Hooray for that! And while enchilada recipes are no stranger to this blog (see here, here, and here - yes, I realize not all are gluten-free…some of those are a long time ago!), I will admit I’ve never created a stacked enchilada recipe before. Now I can appreciate why some people choose to make enchiladas this way! It’s a) easier, and b) you get more of that lovely corn tortilla flavor in each bite. I’ll definitely try this recipe and other variations again.

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. Of course, it doesn’t have to be Cinco de Mayo around here for us to enjoy enchiladas – they’re welcome any time.

I did make a few minor changes to the way the green chile sauce was made. I opted to roast the tomatillos alongside the chiles instead of boiling them. I felt this only added to that lovely roasted flavor. I also made it a bit easier on myself by placing not only the tomatillos in the food processor, but also the chiles, onion, oregano, and garlic, and just processed it all together to make the sauce. I also used boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts, just because it was what I had on hand.

Next time I make this, I think I might opt for more chiles, or add a jalapeno or two, just because I love the heat. But these enchiladas were absolutely delicious, especially with the grilled chicken - my husband and I polished off the entire batch for dinner that night and lunch the next day.

Another challenge successfully completed!

Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchiladas

1 1/2 lbs fresh Anaheim chiles (or Hatch chiles, if you’re lucky enough to have them!)

8 oz tomatillos, husks removed

1 clove garlic, peeled

1/2 of a medium yellow onion, chopped coarsely

1 t dried oregano

1/2 t kosher salt

1/4 t black pepper

4 c chicken stock

2 T cornstarch

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

3 T olive oil, or more as needed

12 small corn tortillas

8 oz Monterey Jack, shredded

cilantro for garnish

Lay the chiles and husked tomatillos on a baking sheet lined with foil (this foil will make for MUCH easier clean-up). Place the baking sheet under the broiler and broil until chiles and tomatillos are blackened on all sides, turning every couple of minutes to ensure even browning. Remove and place the chiles in a large bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and allow to cool for 10 minutes or so.

Pull the stem and seed core from the chiles, and peel the skin from the chiles (the skin should come off easily, but if not, scrape it a bit). Place tomatillos, chiles, garlic, onion, and oregano in a food processor and process until no large chunks appear. Pour into a medium saucepan and season with salt and pepper. Add chicken stock and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Make a slurry with cornstarch and a tablespoon or so of water, and add this slurry mixture to the sauce. Continue to simmer for another 10-15 minutes, until sauce has reduced to about 4-5 cups and is thickened. Adjust seasonings as needed.

While the sauce is simmering, heat grill to medium heat. Coat the chicken with olive oil and season with a bit of salt and pepper. Grill until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes per side. Allow to cool and chop finely.

In a small skillet, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Using tongs, put a tortilla in the pan and cook until soft and lightly brown, about 15 seconds per side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding additional oil as needed to the pan.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a baking dish large enough to hold 4 separate stacks of tortillas (I used a 13X9 baking dish, and my tortillas overlapped a bit – but it worked), ladle a thin layer of sauce. Lay 4 tortillas in the dish and ladle another 1/2 cup of sauce over them. Divide half the chicken among the first layer of tortillas, top with another 1/2 cup of sauce and 1/3 of the grated cheese. Stack another 4 tortillas, top with the rest of the chicken, more sauce and another 1/3 of the cheese. Finish with the rest of the tortillas, top with remaining sauce ( didn’t use all of my sauce) and cheese. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is hot, melted, and bubbly. Let rest for 5 minutes. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Makes 4-6 servings.

25 Responses to “Daring Cooks: Stacked Green Chile & Grilled Chicken Enchiladas”

  1. Your enchiladas look amazing my dear!

    You know, I am right “next door” to you, in the land of plenty (in regards to Hatch Chile, that is). :-) I would be happy to ship some to you.

  2. Oh my, yours look so thin and yummy! I’m sure the green sauce turns out great. Yummm…. Hope you have a great weekend, Alta!
    Blessings, Kristy

  3. Oh, yum!!!

  4. I love the way yours turned out! I wish I could have gotten tomatillos to make the green sauce instead of red, especially with the way yours looks, yum!

  5. oh my god.. I am now starving. those look so so so amazing

  6. If I come visit to make you injera will you make me these? I am addicted to anything with tomatillos in them. These look fantastic.

  7. wow, this looks incredible!

    How do you know if something is gluten-free? Unless the label says it I have no clue what to look for!

  8. Ooo…never had a hatch chili…this looks soooo good! Can I have some pretty pretty please?

  9. You know how they say you shouldn’t go to the grocery store when you’re hungry? Well, I should know better than to check out your blog when I’m hungry! This looks amazing. I used to live in New Mexico and I love stacked enchiladas. One of my favorites is a roasted veggie version. Your recipe looks wonderful. This one’s a keeper for sure. Thanks!
    Melissa

  10. I just had enchiladas earlier this week. Now I’m craving them again. This week for me has been filled with Mexican food and pasta. hahaha…

    • Jenn – I could eat Mexican just about every day!

      Melissa – I feel that way when I look at your blog too! Roasted veggie version? I could really go for that.

      Belinda – I’d be happy to share, only we ate it all! :( You could always sub canned green chiles – they’re essentially the same thing.

      Simply Life – That’s a complicated question. :) Gluten is the protein found in certain grains – the easy answer is gluten-free means that it cannot have wheat, barley, oats, or rye. So no regular flour, no breadcrumbs, no flour tortillas, no crackers, no regular cake, no donuts, no pasta, etc. But not everything in the world is so clearly labeled. There are a lot of ambiguous terms on many processed foods that “can” mean that they’re made with one of these ingredients, and the manufacturers are not required to label them clearly if they contain things such as barley malt extract or oats (they are required to label if their ingredients contain one of the 8 top allergens – wheat, milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish, shellfish, but unfortunately, this doesn’t cut it for those of us that must adhere to a gluten-free diet. It’s interesting how the US government can still allow food processors to keep “secrets” about what they put in their products.). It’s easiest to start out following a gluten-free diet by eating only those things that are naturally gluten-free – whole, unprocessed foods like meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, etc. Rice and beans are also naturally gluten-free.
      Those ambiguous terms on processed foodstuffs? A sample of those include: natural flavors, modified food starch, spices, maltodextrin (in the US this is usually OK, it’s made from corn), barley malt, beer, couscous, spelt, edible starch, enriched flour, brown flour, graham flour, kamut, malt vinegar, malt extract, roux, soy sauce, bulgur, artificial color, artificial flavor, caramel coloring, HVP, smoke flavoring, etc.
      If it sounds like a lot – it is, and it isn’t. Having to adhere to the diet has actually encouraged me to eat more healthfully and simply – I cook from scratch, using very few bottled, canned, or processed foods. (What you see on my blog is typically more complicated than most of my everyday cooking) There are gluten-free products out there, but a lot of them are just as unhealthy as their gluten-containing counterparts – full of white, bleached flours, sugar, unhealthy fats, and little nutrition. That and they’re EXPENSIVE! So for me, those are treats. I thrive eating a lot of fresh, whole vegetables, fruits, brown rice, lean meats, and a bit of dairy.
      I hope that wasn’t WAY more than you were hoping for – but if you are interested in learning more, I’d be happy to share with you the resources I have.

      Janis – That sounds like an excellent idea!

      Stephanie – Thank you!

      Rochelle – I feel lucky to live in a part of the country where tomatillos are abundant. But then again, I love a good red sauce too!

      Emily and Kristy – Thank you, they were yummy!

      Heidi – I might take you up on that! I do enjoy when they show up in our groceries around August, and this summer I’m promising myself to stock up on them, roast, and freeze a large supply!

  11. A. Yum!
    B. I agree with Melissa. I should never read your blog when I’m hungry!
    And C. Great answer about how to know if something has gluten. Such a complicated question!

  12. I have been avidly reading all the results of this challenge – this dish is so enticing and packed with flavors. Love the roasting idea. Your photos make me want a bite. Now.

  13. We LOVE stacked enchiladas and I don’t make them near often enough. But I’ve never made the green version. No excuses. We get 2 bushel of roasted Hatch, NM green chiles every year – and run out before the next season rolls around! I love the fact that you roasted the green tomatillos, too. Perfect!!

  14. your enchiladas look so yummy, I used skinless chicken thigh fillet too, much tastier than breasts. I’ll try grilling the tomatoes too next time cause I’m definitely making this again. great job! :)

  15. Yummy – green chile and tomatillos!!! I have learned to like chile here in New Mexico having never had green chile back in the Midwest. I may have to look at making this one vegetarian when my tomatillos get going this summer.

  16. These look fantastic! Good call to roast the tomatillos, which would add a great burst of extra flavor.

  17. This plus a margarita (or 2 …) and I would be good to go!!

  18. Oh, those stacked enchiladas look sooo delicious, Alta! And, I agree with Trix on the margaritas to go with them. ;-)

    Shirley

  19. I was looking at your Daring Cooks challenge and I just recently joined the Daring Cooks. I was too late for the May challenge. Was this recipe gluten-free? My cooking has turned to gluten-free for health reasons and I was interested in this challenge. I thought stocks and broths were supposed to be no-no’s. Can you answer that?

    • Megan – Thanks for visiting. Regarding your question about stocks and broths – the answer is: it depends. A lot of store-bought stocks and broths are no-nos. Pacific is a good brand, and if I’m remembering correctly, so is Imagine. However, I typically make my own stock. It’s easy, practically free, and it tastes better. And I KNOW it’s gluten-free. :) Check out my stock “recipe” here. (I say recipe with quotes because I don’t really measure, it’s really more of a “dump-and-go” type of thing.) http://tastyeatsathome.wordpress.com/2010/03/14/daring-cooks-risotto/

  20. Oh my! This looks fantastic! I would also love lots of heat :)

  21. Pingback: Surf and Turf for Tuesday, May 18, 2010 « Thru The Bugs On My Windshield

  22. I WANT SOME! Green chiles are my favorite!

  23. What a great post! This looks great. I try to always help my readers out on ways to make my recipes vegetarian, gluten free, and nut free. Your answers to other comments were very eye-opening. I never new that maltodextrin could contain gluten! For health reasons, I follow a fairly pure diet (non-processed, made from scratch, organic when available). Sometimes it is quite the challenge. Great advice!

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