Monday, October 27, 2014

Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

For a lover of Green Chile and a denizen of New Mexico for over half my life, I find it strange that it took moving away to become acquainted with making enchiladas with the verdant version of the pepper.  Apparently it takes missing it in order to dig deeper into it.

There are several ways to present these, and I want to talk about a couple of them.  Much like my Red Chile Enchiladas, there are tortillas, there is a sauce, and there is cheese.  Something that sets the presentation decision is how soon they will be consumed after they are made.  If you are going to eat them right away, the flat method (layer on the plate like a lasagna: tortilla, sauce, cheese, tortilla, sauce, cheese) is the easiest and fastest.  If, on the other hand, you will be taking it to a potluck or a dinner, another option is to build it in a baking dish (either layered or rolled), and then pop it in the oven before you eat to get the cheese melty.

However you decide to present them, lets talk about how to get things ready to go.

Most recipes I've found, including my step-Mother's, use condensed soup as a base for this.  There are certainly options and ways to build the sauce on your own, but since the goal for this is quick and easy, I recommend the soups as well as using pre-made corn tortillas.

Here are the ingredients:

Half an onion, diced
1/2 pound of chopped medium or hot Hatch green chile (8-10 pods, stemmed, seeded)
a Tablespoon of corn oil or butter
2 cans of Cream of Chicken condensed soup
1 can of Cream of Mushroom condensed soup
1 cup of milk/half-and-half
1-2 cups of water
2 cups sour cream
1 whole roasted chicken, skinned, boned, and cubed (or equivalent cooked, cubed chicken)
corn tortillas
salt, to taste

Because of the volume of the ingredients, I recommend using either a dutch oven or a similarly large stove-top vessel.

Using the oil/butter, saute the chile and onion until the onion just starts to soften and become fragrant.  To that add the milk and all three cans of soup.  Stir thoroughly to mix, and depending on the consistency at this point is where you will add some or all of the water.  What we're going for is a thicker stew-like consistency since when we add the sour cream later, the sauce will thin out a fair bit.  Now add the chicken and mix well.  Lower the heat so that the sauce barely bubbles.  This is where we'll keep it for about 20 mins.  Stir regularly.

This is now a good time to make the corn tortillas if you'd like to go that option.  If you are going with pre-made, you shouldn't need to worry about pre-heating or frying them.

After the sauce has simmered some, add in the sour cream and mix well.  Then continue to let it heat back up.

Once it has heated through, it is ready to serve or build for later as you see fit.

There are a lot of other things that can be added in the cooking process.  I've heard of oregano being added.  You can certainly also spice it up even further with your fire of choice including using Sandia variety green chile.

It may not be easy BEING green, but it is fantastic to eat it!