Cafe Tacuba-Style Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
The plan for dinner last night was gnocchi. My daughter and husband had planned on cooking together and I would enjoy an evening off, so I thought. One thing lead to another and by the time I even realized I was in the kitchen shredding chicken.
Funny how that happens.
I have made this recipe many times and it continues to make my heart happy, comfort on plate. I did take one shortcut in not rolling my enchiladas. I layered the tortillas instead, like a casserole. I do this often when I am in a rush or if making a triple batch for a family dinner. I also add a handful of cilantro to the blender when making the sauce, it adds a little pop and I can never have enough cilantro. Serve with lime wedges, a citrus splash adds the finishing touch.
Warm tortillas are stuffed with chicken and topped with a creamy spinach and roasted poblano sauce. I have made these before, but they just keep getting better. Oh and the next day, ya even better. Enjoy!
- 2 fresh poblano chiles
- 1 cup lightly packed roughly chopped spinach leaves
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 6 tablespoons 3ounces butter- or you can use vegetable oil
- 3 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup flour
- 3 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken
- 12 corn tortillas
- A little vegetable oil for brushing or spraying
- About 1 cup Mexican melting cheese Chihuahua, quesadilla, asadero, monterrey jack, or mild cheddar
- cilantro for garnish
- Make the sauce– Roast the poblanos directly over a gas flame or a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler.
- Turning regularly, until the skins have blistered and blackened on all side, about 5 minutes for an open flame, about 10 minutes under the broiler.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and, when handleable, rub off the blackened skin, tear open and pull out the seed pod and stem.
- Quickly rinse to remove any stray seeds or bits of skin.
- Roughly chop and put in a blender jar.
- Add the spinach.
- In a medium (3quart) saucepan, combine the milk and broth, set over medium-low heat to warm.
- In a large (4quart) saucepan, melt butter (or heat the oil) over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and cook for a minute to release its aroma, then add flour and stir the mixture for a minute.
- Raise the heat to medium-high.
- Pour in the warm broth mixture and whisk constantly until the sauce boils.
- Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat.
- Pour half the hot sauce into the blender with the chiles and spinach.
- Cover loosely (I remove the center part of the lid, secure the lid, then drape a cloth over the whole thing.) and blend until smooth.
- Pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining sauce.
- Taste and season well with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons.
- Finishing the enchiladas– Heat the oven to 350 degrees. smear about 1/4 cup of sauce over the bottom of each of four to six 9inch individual oven proof baking/serving dishes ( for individual servings)– or smear about 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 13×9 inch baking dish (for family serving).
- Stir 1 cup of the sauce into the chicken.
- Lay half of the tortillas out on a baking sheet and lightly brush or spray both sides of the tortillas with oil; top each tortilla with another one and brush or spray those with oil.
- Bake just until warm through and soften, about 3 minutes.
- Stack the tortillas and cover with a towel to keep warm.
- Working quickly so that the tortillas stay hot and pliable, roll a portion of the chicken up in each tortilla, then line them all up in the baking dish or dishes.
- Douse evenly with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the cheese.
- Bake until the enchiladas are hot through (the cheese will have begun to brown) about 20 minutes.
- Garnish with the cilantro and serve without hesitation
from PBS special “Moveable feast with America’s Favorite Chefs”
I’m sharing this plate with IHCC.