There is something supremely satisfying about making your own enchilada sauce. I have no shame in using the canned variety, especially since you can find such a good ones these days from small-batch vendors, but that sense of accomplishment is addictive. I’m much more of a green over red sauce kind of person, so that’s what I made. Roasted tomatillos make the best kinds of sauces. I have a few recipes saved [here and here] to try at some point. Famous last words. For every recipe I try, another three join the list at least.
If you take the time to do this, please don’t do what I did. Move the rack of the oven closer to the broiler. My impatience kicked in. It was harsh, but ultimately worth it. Once you get the blackened vegetables ready to go, the rest of it comes together very, very easily. Enchiladas are great vehicles for whatever filling you choose — meat or veggie. I went with simple chicken and cheese so I could focus on the flavor of that sauce. Do yourself a favor and heat up your tortillas before you feed them. I found that they would crumble a bit when I dipped them in the sauce and tried to roll in the filling. It didn’t affect flavor, of course. Despite putting an entire jalapeño in the sauce, it lost all heat. I could have used a little more. I think I’d consider having another jalapeño or even a habanero available in case the jalapeño wasn’t hot enough like it was. All of the remaining sauce and filling ingredients go on top of the enchiladas and baked in the oven so the cheese melts and the sauce gets nice and bubbly. They are really good. Really, really good.
- 1 medium white onion
- 4 large tomatillos
- 2 poblano peppers
- 1 jalapeño pepper [see above for notes on spice]
- 4 cloves of unpeeled garlic
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 large handful of cilantro, save the rest for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Juice of one lime
- 2 cups shredded or ground chicken, cooked
- 2 cups shredded cheese [oaxaca or other melts white cheese]
- 8 small corn tortillas
- Sour cream, avocado, radishes, etc for serving
Turn your broiler on high. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Chop the onion into quarters, or even smaller if your onion looks like argue. The more surface area touched by the heat, the better flavor you’re going to get. Remove the husks from the tomatillos. Arrange all of the vegetables and the garlic on the baking sheet. Place under the broiler until the vegetables start to blacken. Rotate them occasionally to get all sides.
Remove and allow to cool. Peel the garlic and remove the blackened skin and stems from the poblanos. Add them and the other vegetables to your blender. Pour the chicken stock and lime juice over the top. Blend until smooth. Taste for salt and more spice. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20-30 minutes until the mixture reduces.
Preheat the oven to 350° and ready a baking pan. Making each enchilada individually, dip the tortilla into the sauce. Add some chicken and cheese to the tortilla and roll it up. Place it seam side down in the baking pan. Continue this for the remaining seven tortillas. Sprinkle the top with any remaining chicken and cheese. Pour any remaining sauce all over the top. Bake for 15 minutes until the cheese is melted. Allow to cool a bit before serving.