Chef Martin Lopez shares his recipe for Healthy Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce.
Healthy Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce (Enchiladas Verdes)
For the chicken:
2 lb. chicken breasts
1/4 white onion
1 garlic head, halved crosswise
1 Tbs. sea salt
Pico de Gallo for topping for enchiladas:
1 large yellow onion
10 tomatillos (slightly under ripe is fine)
1 small pilled cucumber
2 cups fresh cilantro leaves
2 tablespoons of fresh oregano
2 to 3 jalapenos
1 cup crumbled Feta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
For the sauce:
3 lb. tomatillos, husked and rinsed
9 serrano chilies
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup safflower or canola oil
1 Tbs. sea salt, or to taste
To prepare the chicken, place in a saucepan with the onion, garlic and salt and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool and lift out the chicken, saving the broth for another use. (The chicken can be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 1 day before continuing.) Discard the skin and bones and shred the meat with your fingers. You should have 4 cups chicken.
Make the Pico de Gallo; Dice up equal quantities of onion, tomatillo and cucumber and roughly chop the cilantro and add the oregano.
Now, slice 1 or 2 jalapenos in half. With a spoon, scrape out the seeds. Dice the jalapenos very finely; you want a hint of heat and jalapeno flavor, but you don't want to cause any fires. Now dump the four ingredients into a bowl.
Slice the lime in half and squeeze the juice from half a lime the bowl. Add the feta cheese and be sure to taste the Pico de Gallo and adjust the seasonings, adding salt, pepper or more diced jalapeno if needed.
Set in refrigerator until ready to serve.
To make the sauce, in a saucepan, combine the tomatillos and chilies with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. If some of the tomatillos remain firm, the pan should still be removed from the heat. Drain and, working in batches, place the tomatillos and chilies in a blender along with the garlic. Process until a smooth sauce forms.
In a fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil until it is smoking. Quickly add the tomatillo sauce and fry, stirring constantly, until the sauce begins to bubble. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the sauce starts to thicken, 5 minutes more. Add the 1 Tbs. salt; taste and add more salt, if needed. Keep warm. When the sauce is combined with the tortillas and chicken, the taste of salt will be quite diminished; it should be highly seasoned at this point. You should have 3 cups of sauce. If needed, add some of the chicken broth. Preheat an oven to 350°F.
Dip each tortilla briefly in the warm sauce, place on a plate, put a large spoonful of shredded chicken and Pico de Gallo and Goat Cheese near one edge and roll up the tortilla. Place, seam side down, in a baking dish. Cover with the remaining sauce. Bake until thoroughly heated, about 10 minutes.
Remove the enchiladas from the oven and top with the Pico de Gallo and Feta Cheese. Alternately, arrange the enchiladas on individual warmed plates and garnish with Fresh avocado slices.