March 18, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

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One of our favorite things to make early in the week is enchiladas. They represent an excellent quantity to quality ratio, giving us lots of leftovers to bring to work for lunch, and they actually taste great a few days out! We often will make our quick and easy black bean enchiladas, but every once in a while we like to make these chicken enchiladas verdes.

Did somebody say chicken? I'm sure you're aware, but that's my favorite. 
Now, we've had some debate as to whether or not these are actually enchiladas verdes. Traditionally, the verdes sauce would be made with tomatillos. This recipe does not use tomatillos at all, thus the confusion. In any case, the sauce is green, and it's delicious, and this all comes together very easily, so we like it and we want to share it with you!

Read on to see how it's done!

Making the Dish

Seriously, I really want some chicken!
There are two ways you can do the chicken - cubed or shredded. Cubed is faster, as all you need to do is slice up your uncooked chicken and sear it 'till it's done. But for us, shredded is really the way to go on this one. It gives you more surface area to interact with the sauce, and that really works for this dish.

So the first thing you'll want to do is cook your chicken. If you're going to have shredded chicken, boil up a few pieces of chicken for about 45 minutes to an hour. We prefer using chicken thighs for this as they give you a lot more flavor and are cheaper, but you can definitely use chicken breasts too. Whatever you do though, make sure it is on the bone, and skin-on.

As you may have guessed, I spent the last 20 minutes trying to eat the chicken, and distracted YiRan and Bryan from actually taking pictures. Now I am tired. And full. Life is good. 

After it's done cooking in the boiling water, take it out and let it rest for a few minutes. Once it cools down enough to touch, shear away the meat from the bone using a fork. After a few minutes of this, you'll have a nice pile of delicious, juicy, shredded chicken.

Prepared vegetables for the sauce.

While the chicken is cooking, you should get to work on preparing your sauce. The sauce is real simple, and utilizes a food processor which is great since you don't have to work too hard at chopping. The ingredients are few - two cloves of garlic, two romaine lettuce leaves, one bell pepper, and a cup of chicken stock. You can also throw a jalapeño in there if you want to give it a little more heat. Process this all in your food processor until it's blended into a nice base for your sauce. Season it with salt and pepper and then pulse it again, and then taste. You can adjust all the ingredients to your liking.

Stirring and heating up the sauce in the skillet. 

On a skillet over medium heat add your olive oil and then throw in your sauce base. Stir it around and let it start to cook, and then add in 1 cup of salsa. You can experiment with the flavor if you want, but for the traditional recipe just use a regular tomato salsa, like Pace Picante sauce or Newman's Own original. Use a whisk to blend that into the base. You'll see the color start to turn somewhat brownish, but that's all right. Let it simmer for a few minutes.

Adding the salsa to our sauce. 

Lastly is the secret ingredient: sour cream. Take a dollop (or two) of sour cream and add it to your sauce. Turn off the heat and whisk in the sour cream thoroughly. The green will start to return. Taste it. If you like what you've got, you're all set. If not, season with salt, pepper, cayenne, or cumin to adjust the flavors.

Starting to whisk in the sour cream.

The last part is assembly. Before you start, preheat your oven to 375. Add about 1 cup of your sauce into a bowl and mix in your chicken so that it's thoroughly coated.

Combining together the shredded chicken with the sauce. 

Then take a serving of your chicken and fill up a tortilla with it, add in a little bit of cheddar-jack cheese, and roll it up. Place it in a baking dish seam side down. Repeat this until you've used up all your chicken or all your tortillas.

Filling our tortilla with chicken and sauce.

Then cover the top of the enchiladas with the remaining verdes sauce.

Covering the top of the tortillas with the verdes sauce. 
Scatter the rest of your cheddar-jack cheese all over the top, and then pop it in the oven. Let it cook for 15 minutes, and then pull it out and enjoy!
Enchiladas enter the oven for baking. 

One other thing.

We discovered the little trick of blending our sour cream with some fresh squeezed lime juice in order to make a little topping for the finished enchiladas. It's an excellent alternative to simply adding on more sour cream - it gives it a nice, light, citrus-y flavor. Try this out!

Adding our lime to the sour cream to serve with the enchiladas makes it much more delicious. 
The Result

We really like the flavor of these enchiladas - fresh, creamy, chickeny, and a little spicy. In fact, we really prefer these to most enchiladas we've ever eaten at a restaurant - although we're always willing to investigate a recommendation (so if you have a good one for NYC, leave it in the comments!).

Serve these with a side of mexican rice, black beans, refried beans, or whatever you're in the mood for. Or just eat them on their own, they can be really filling! Let us know if you give them a try and how they work out for you!

Chicken Enchiladas Verdes

Written by:

A tasty twist on a classic Mexican favorite

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:

(Serves: 4)

4 whole chicken thighs on the bone
8 fajita size flour tortillas
2 cups cheddar-jack cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 whole green bell pepper
2 leaves romaine lettuce
1 jalapeno
1 cup chicken stock
2 cloves garlic
1 cup salsa


  1. Thanks to Blogs of Note, I found this little gem of yours. Herbie is adorable and your food, yowza, yums!

  2. Hey, just found this blog, love it! Thinking of making this tonight :)

  3. I, too, came visiting due to Blogs of Note! And what a blog! No wonder they took note! Loved it - Herbie, especially, but thought all the pictures were as fantastic as your easy-to-follow directions! Great job!

  4. Good blog! I´m following you!

    Please, follow my blog:

  5. Hi all - Thank you so much for reading our blog and the lovely compliments! We really appreciate it :)

    Marloes - let us know how it turns out for you and if you have any questions!

  6. YUMMERS - loving this, can't wait to make it at home;O)
    I also found you via blogs of note, and I love your blog - following you - hope you come see me sometime soon ;)
    HAppy friday.
    A xx

  7. I am going to give this recipe a try, for sure! Love the your blog!

  8. Aww, beautiful blog!! Lovely photos. First time I looked at "blogs of note" guess I should do so more often, take care! -Naomi

  9. Congratulations on your 'blog of note', fantastic blog. Love Herbie!!

  10. Cute, informative, and mouthwatering!


  11. Love your blog and this recipe sounds great. I want to try it, but how do I print the list of ingredients and the instructions? My computer isn't anywhere near my kitchen.....

  12. What a neat blog! LOVE the cat shots! Clever :)

  13. Hey Laurie - You can copy and paste the ingredients list into a word processor (like text edit or notepad) and then print just that. Or, if that doesn't work, let us know and we can email it to you.

    Thanks for all the compliments everyone!

  14. OMG this looks good!!!!!

  15. These look really amazing. Good idea to blend lime with sour cream.

  16. Thanks! Laura - yes, the lime and sour cream mix makes for a really great addition for these kinds of dishes. You use less sour cream and get more flavor!

  17. wonderful pic..!!!
    you're really have great taste of art....

  18. Tried this with my kids last week. It turned out great! The use of the food processor allowed them to really get involved. My daughter especially loved them as they are easy to eat even if you are missing a few teeth. Thanks for the recipe, we will be making it again in the near future.


  19. Wonderful photos. Will def. try out a recipie or two

  20. Tried this dish out tonight, and let me say it was great! I added jalepeno to the sauce and, while I usually dont like spicy food, it addeda very nice kick to the dish that was only complimented by the creaminess of the sauce. Sour cream is a great addition, I'm definitely going to try more recipes. =)

  21. Hey Liz - That's so awesome to hear! Thanks for telling us about it. If you liked this one, try out our black bean enchiladas as well, they're just as good!


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