Enchiladas verdes. So simple. So tasty. Easy to get right. Easy to get wrong as well. Keep a few things in mind and you can make better enchiladas verdes than you can buy.
If you believe the internet, enchiladas verdes are a casserole. They are made with flour tortillas. Baked for 30 minutes. Full of bland chicken. Just not good. A big soggy mess. Forget what the internet says.
Wait. This is the internet.
Confusing, isn’t it…
Enchiladas verdes can be great
I started thinking about enchiladas after a trip to San Antonio. They take their enchiladas verdes very seriously there. I tried them in a few different places. And I asked questions.
Few things to remember.
Restaurant enchiladas are made with corn tortillas
Nobody uses flour tortillas. Flour tortillas are a great way to make pasty enchiladas. Or crunchy ones. Depends if they get wet or not. Either way. Flour bad. Corn good.
They are made to order
They don’t make enchiladas in big batches hoping people will come in and order them. Takes no time make them to order. They don’t do it. You shouldn’t either.
The filling is tasty
You need to bring the flavour to the chicken. It’s not enough to pour some sauce on bland chicken. That will taste like sauce on bland chicken.
It’s no more effort to make tasty chicken. So do it. This isn’t about leftover rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Go the distance. You will be glad you did.
That’s it. There is nothing more to it. Nothing at all.
Warm some corn tortillas. Roll them around some tasty bits. Spoon some sauce overtop. Sprinkle with finely grated cheese.
Bake only long enough to melt the cheese. Eat. Enjoy. Wonder why you haven’t done this before. Never make enchiladas with flour tortillas again.
These are enchiladas verdes you will make over and over again.
- 8 corn tortillas
- 8 bone-in skinless chicken thighs
- 1 Tbsp pure mild chili powder - New Mexican or ancho
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- about 1 cup of chicken stock
- enchilada sauce - see below
- 1 cup melting cheese - e.g queso enchiladas or Monterrey jack
- 2 cups salsa verde or prepared salsa verde - recipe link below
- 2 tsp masa harina
- Mix masa harina with 1/4 cup of water
- Heat salsa verde in a small saucepan. Add masa harina mixture and simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust consistency with a bit more water if needed.
- Combine chili powder, cumin, granulated garlic and salt in a small bowl.
- Pre-heat the oil over medium low heat in a pot large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer. A dutch oven would work here.
- Add the spice mixture and stir constantly for about 20-30 seconds. Be careful not to burn the spices. Have the chicken stock at hand in case it looks like it's getting away from you. You can stop it with a splash of stock.
- Add 1/4 cup of chicken stock and stir.
- Add the chicken to the pot along with enough stock to come up about 2/3 of the way up the chicken.
- Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- After the first 15 minutes, uncover and flip the chicken thighs. Continue to cook for about another 15 minutes.
- Remove chicken from the pot and skim off as much fat as you can from the remaining liquid. Turn the heat up to medium and reduce the liquid until you get to about 1/2 cup.
- Let the chicken cool until it's comfortable to handle. Remove the chicken from the bone and shred coarsely. Your hands work best here.
- Spoon the reduced liquid over the shredded chicken. You don't have to use all of. Do what tastes good to you.
- Place one oven rack close to the top of your oven. Place the other at the bottom. Preheat your oven to 375F. You are setting up your oven to work dual purpose. The bottom rack will be your oven. The top rack will be your broiler.
- Wrap the corn tortillas in a dish towel. Moisten the towel a bit under the faucet and microwave for about 30-45 seconds. You want your tortillas warm enough to be pliable.
- Place about a tablespoon of grated cheese and then 1/8 of the chicken on a corn tortilla. Roll it and place it, seam side down, in a broil proof pan. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and chicken.
- Spoon about 1 1/2 cups of the enchilada sauce over the middle of the enchiladas. Leave a bit of the tortilla bare.
- Sprinkle finely grated cheese overtop. Dot with a bit of the enchilada sauce.
- Turn on your broiler.
- Place the enchiladas on the lower rack. Cook until the cheese is nearly melted. If you have a strong broiler the cheese may brown on the bottom rack. If not, move the enchiladas to the top rack and lightly brown the cheese. Don't let the tortillas brown. This takes less than 10 minutes. As soon as the cheese is well melted and lightly browned, the enchiladas are ready.
- Serve with a little extra enchilada sauce, frioles refritos, mexican rice and a bit of green salad. Just like at your local Mexican joint.
8 thoughts on “enchiladas verdes”
Hi Romain, if I wasn’t a big Enchilada I am now!! This was just sublime! And since the smallest masa harina package that I could find was 1 kilo, I decided it was time to try making my own Tortillas. Cannot say I nailed it on the first go (they ended up too thick for my taste), but it was fun and the last Tortillas came out pretty well. Together with the chicken, the Salsa Verde, and some cheese, even slightly thick home Tortillas is good living 😉 Thank you so much for this recipe!
Hola Big Enchilada. I struggle with tortillas as well. I just don’t have the flatbread mojo. Luckily it’s easy for me to get them here.
Haha, it was supposed to read “if I wasn’t a big Enchilada fan before, I am now” 😀
I made this today, using a President’s Choice Salsa Verde because Loblaw’s didn’t have tomatillos in. I also subbed cornstarch for the masa harina. My plan was to save an enchilada and see how well it would freeze—but my family loved the dish so much there was none leftover to freeze.
It is really delicious and my daughter commented that ithe enchiladas tasted like the ones she gets at a local restaurant – only better.
This would be a great dish to make in two stages – cooking the chicken and salsa (if making from scratch) the day before. Then putting it together will take no time. It is still a pretty simple meal to make all in one go, particularly with a bottled salsa verde.
Thanks Glebe Kitchen for another ace recipe!
Better than restaurant – I don’t think I can imagine better praise. Thank your daughter for me!
Store bought tomatillo salsa works well. My guess is a lot of restaurants use pre-fab salsa. Also, I never thought about using corn starch. That’s great info.
Two stage is exactly how I make it. A big batch of home-made tomatillo salsa finds it’s way into a lot of dinners around here. It works well with almost everything. Roast chicken, pork chops, pork shoulder. Hmmm… I’m getting hungry:-)
I definitely agree with you. Corn tortilla’s are the way to go. There’s so much more flavour. Lately with the events in my life I am welcoming quick meals more and more. I definitely will need to try this one out 🙂 Time to hunt for some masa harina! 🙂
Haha – making your own tortillas is a quick meal. You are hardcore! This works well with store bought corn tortillas if you can them. They need to be fairly fresh though, or they will split when you try to roll them.