This tasty dish courtesy of Our Family Eats is a great way to introduce your family to a wider variety of flavor and culture without overdoing the adventure. Kids will recognize chicken, tortillas and cheese, making that space from fork to mouth much easier to bridge when it comes to the green sauce and sour cream. Get them involved in rolling the enchiladas and shredding the chicken, and turn a potentially strange new food into edible fun. For more sensitive palates, jalapeño pepper can be substituted for poblano pepper to control the heat.
1 pound tomatillos, husked and sliced in half
1 large green bell pepper, seeded and sliced in half
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced in half (don’t touch inside of pepper with bare hands)
5 cloves garlic, whole, unpeeled
1 white onion, peeled and quartered
1/2 bunch of cilantro, about 2 cups, plus more for garnish
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
12 corn tortillas
canola or grape seed oil for frying
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1. Preheat broiler and arrange the top oven rack so that it is 6″ from heating element.
2. Place tomatillos and both peppers on a baking sheet cut side down. Add garlic cloves and onion to baking sheet alongside the peppers. Place on top rack and broil for about 5 minutes, until tomatillos and peppers begin to char and turn black. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
3. Peel garlic cloves (They should slide easily out of the skin).
4. Meanwhile, place chicken thighs in a large sauce pan or stock pot so that they fit in the bottom without overlapping. Cover with water by 2″. Season water with salt. Cook over medium heat; once water begins to boil reduce heat to a low simmer and cook until chicken is done (about 10 minutes). Remove chicken from water and set aside to cool.
5. When vegetables have cooled, add them to a blender along with the cilantro and salt. Blend until smooth. Taste and season accordingly. Set aside. You can make this sauce a day ahead if desired and store in the refrigerator.
6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
7. Shred chicken using two forks. Place shredded chicken and sour cream in a bowl and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8. Now, for the tortillas! (This is a key step for anyone who doesn’t like dealing with corn tortillas because they tear so easily. Not a single tortilla tore, and the flavor was much better than without frying. I believe this was the key to my victory.) Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium high heat. Place one tortilla at a time in pan and fry each side until it begins to puff. Remove tortilla from pan and place on paper towels to cool. Repeat with all 12 tortillas, adding more oil as needed.
9. Spoon chicken and sour cream mixture evenly into each tortilla and roll up. Place in a 11×9 baking dish with seam side down. Spoon green sauce evenly over enchiladas. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until completely heated through and cheese is melted.
10. Serve warm with more sour cream and chopped cilantro at the table. Makes 12 enchiladas.
Do your kids love enchiladas?
Susan Schuman is a working mom with two small kids and a hungry husband. She writes Our Family Eats to share ideas for fun, wholesome meals that anyone can fit into their hectic schedule. You can connect with Susan on Twitter @ourfamilyeats.