Cafe Tacuba-Style Creamy Chicken Enchiladas
Enchiladas Cremosas de Pollo, Estillo Cafe Tacuba
from PBS special “Moveable feast with America’s Favorite Chefs”
serves 4 to 6
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)
A little chopped cilantro for garnish
1. 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.
2. Finishing the enchiladas– Heat the oven to 350 degress. smear about 1/4 cup of sauce over the bottom of each of four to six 9inch individual oven proof baking/serving dishes ( for indivdual 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.