Enchiladas are a family favorite and so adaptable to so many different fillings.  For this version, I relied on a creamy roasted poblano sauce for the flavor and heat.  Serve these with rice and beans and a fresh green salad.  The enchiladas can be prepared ahead and then cooked a bit before serving.  I love using chicken thighs for the filling  as the meat does not dry out as easily during the cooking process.  Serve this with rice and beans and a fresh green salad.

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Yield approximately 12 enchiladas

Ingredients:

for enchiladas:

  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 5 chicken thighs
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 medium leek, finely chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, small dice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded monterey jack cheese
  • diced cherry tomatoes, for garnish
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish

for poblano sauce:

  • 2 cups milk (I prefer whole or 2%)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 poblano peppers
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon Penzey’s Adobo seasoning (substitute favorite Mexican blend seasoning)

Directions:

for enchiladas:

Preheat oven to 375.  Season chicken on both sides with salt, pepper, chili powder and 2 teaspoons of cumin and toss with olive oil.  Roast in baking pan for about 45 minutes until golden and cooked through.  When cool enough to handle, shred chicken with your fingers, discarding bones and skin.  While chicken is cooking, heat another tablespoon of olive oil in a medium skillet.  Add onions, leeks, red pepper and garlic and sauté for several minutes until vegetables are softened and fragrant.  Add corn and continue to sauté for a few more minutes.  Season with salt and pepper and remaining teaspoon of cumin.  Remove from heat and add shredded chicken to the vegetables along with the shredded cheese

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for poblano sauce:

Preheat oven to 400.  On a parchment lined baking sheet. Place poblanos and quartered onion on a baking sheet.  Roast until poblano skin is blistered and onions are charred and softened.  Remove peppers from oven and wrap tightly in paper bag to steam off skins.  While cooling, heat the milk in a heavy saucepan over medium heat or in microwave until boiling. Melt the butter in a separate saucepan over low heat. When it’s bubbling, add the flour and whisk until it forms a golden paste, about 3 to 4 minutes. Whisking constantly, add the hot milk in a steady stream. Bring the milk to a gentle simmer and continue to whisk until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in half a cup of cheese.

In a food processor, remove skin from peppers and discard seeds, and stems.  Add charred onion, garlic and cilantro and adobo seasoning if using. Process until smooth, season with salt and pepper.  Add poblano mixture to béchamel and combine well. Ladle about 1/2-1 cup of poblano-bechamel sauce into chicken enchilada mixture to incorporate and moisten filling.

Assemble enchiladas:  

Reduce oven temperature to 350In a 13×9 inch baking dish, ladle about 1/2 cup of poblano sauce on the bottom of baking dish to coat.  Roll about 1/2 a cup of chicken mixture into warmed tortillas.. Place tortillas, seam-side down snugly beside one another in baking dish.  Spoon remainder of sauce atop enchiladas and in between tortillas.  Cover baking dish loosely with foil and bake in oven at 350 for about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven, and remove foil, allow to rest 10 minutes and garnish with fresh chopped tomatoes and cilantro.  Enjoy!

Heat tortillas in grill pan, just to soften.