Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas in Tomatillo Sauce

Do you remember last fall when I was making this with the tomatillos from my garden?  The main reason I grow tomatillos is so that I can make these enchiladas.  They use just four ingredients: chicken, tomatillo sauce, cheese, and corn tortillas.  And canned tomatillo sauce makes a fine substitute, if you don't have homemade sauce.  Of course you could add a dollop of sour cream as a garnish, but they don't need it and to be honest with you, we usually don't use it. These enchiladas are packed with flavor.  I am not a fan of the heavy, sour-cream/chicken soup enchiladas that seem to be prevalent in a lot of recipe books.  This one is spicy and healthy, without all the calories of the other versions.  No one ever complains about having too many of these left-over.  They don't last long in my fridge. 
I bake the chicken with a little broth in the dish bottom for moisture, and shred it ahead of time.  Then I can pull the frozen sauce from the freezer (and if I'm lucky I might just have some pre-cooked and shredded chicken in there too so I can skip the first step), grate up some cheese, assemble these, and in an hour we have dinner.

Green Chicken Enchiladas

Tomatillo Sauce:
2 lbs tomatillos (husked, stemmed, and washed)
4 garlic cloves, halved
1 small onion, chopped
2 jalapeno or 1 Serrano chili (I like Serrano's, they are hotter)
About ¾ tsp. salt

Turn oven to broil. Lay tomatillos out in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Broil 5-6 minutes then turn and broil about 5 minutes more. Tomatillos will be very black. Let cool on the pan.
Remove the veins and seeds from the chilies (unless you want your sauce REALLY hot). Put garlic, onion and chilies in a blender. Chop. Add cooled tomatillos and juice from the cookie sheet and puree. Add salt to taste. You probably will need to add about ¼ C. water to the blender while you are pureeing the sauce. This sauce will thicken (a lot) as it sets. You may need to thin it with some water before using. Freeze leftover sauce.

1 recipe of tomatillo sauce or 1- 28 oz. can purchased green enchilada sauce
About 1 lb. of chicken, cooked and shredded
1 ½ Cups of shredded Monterrey jack cheese or Cotija cheese, reserve a small amount for sprinkling on top of the enchiladas
Small amount of Swiss cheese for sprinkling on top of the enchiladas
12 corn tortillas

Spread two serving spoonfuls of sauce in a 9” x 13” pan. Mix a small amount of the tomatillo sauce into your cooked, shredded chicken to moisten and flavor it. Put a tiny bit of oil in a skillet and heat the tortillas, just until pliable. (I wrap my tortillas in a paper towel and heat them for one minute on High in my microwave, then I don't need oil). Fill the tortilla with some chicken and top with 1 Tablespoon of Monterrey jack cheese. Roll the tortilla and lay it seam side down in the pan. Continue till your pan is full. Spoon the remaining tomatillo sauce on top of the enchiladas and top with the reserved Monterrey Jack and a little shredded Swiss cheese. Cover with foil.

Bake at 350˚F for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes or so until the cheese is melted and golden brown and the sauce is bubbly.  Garnish with chopped cilantro, chopped onions, pico de Gallo and sour cream if desired.
This will make one pan of enchiladas. When I make my tomatillo sauce I double or triple the recipe and  freeze it.
Linked to Fresh, Clean, and Pure Friday, and Real Food Fiesta.
Linked to Hearth 'n Soul.


  1. Should I be offended that you didn't send any down with Rachel for me? ...those look delicious and I know they are!!!!

  2. These wouldn't last in my fridge either! I do remember when you were making tomatillo sauce. I doubt though that store-bought could replicate your sauce :)Joni

  3. Joni, I really like the Hatch store brand. It is a good second and I use it if I run out of homemade. It certainly makes these fast and easy to make and they are very healthy. I never hesitate telling people to use canned because this recipe is "that good".

  4. This look really fantastic. I'm hosting a Real Food Fiesta- a real food mexican recipe blog carnival this week- I'd love to invite you to stop by and share this recipe!

  5. I didn't have good luck with the tomatillos in my garden last spring, so I'll have to use canned... but, I'm anxious to give this a try. Thanks for sharing!

    :) Jan http://www.jewelry4change.blogspot.com

  6. Geez, Bonnie, these look wonderful - I would love some of these for my dinner right now. Sadly we can't get tomatillos here, and I'm pretty sure we don't have canned tomatillo sauce either :-(

  7. Sunday dinner. I'm making these. They look delicious. Thanks!

  8. Just stopping by after you left a comment on my Caldo Tlalpeno post. I love your blog! Bookmarking!

  9. Now I'm thinking I need to make this for dinner tonight! Sounds easy and delicious!

  10. OH my goodness, YES! I'm seriously considering these as a dinner option tonight, they sound and look so mouthwatering, Bonnie. mmmmm....thanks so much for sharing them w/ the hearth and soul hop this week :D

  11. Wow you make your own tomatillo sauce? Y;ou are truly awesome!

  12. Great looking Enchiladas! My favorite kind too, chicken with green sauce.

  13. This dish looks like a winner to me!

  14. Hi stopping by from Mom's Sunday Cafe, I included this wonderful post in my Wednesday and wandering series. Have a great day!

  15. I have some tomatillo sauce in my freezer as well. Your enchiladas really look delicious. I have been waiting for the right recipe to come along!