Green Chile Enchiladas!

Green Chile Enchiladas

I love enchiladas. Red or Green, I’m pretty pleased by a heaping plate of juicy meat, melty cheese and a savory, smokey, slightly spicy sauce. It’s the ultimate TexMex comfort food. This recipe spawned from me discovering beautiful assorted chiles for sale in bulk at my local supermarket one Tuesday morning. I’m a sucker for inexpensive good quality anything (hello, impulse shopper) and I could not pass these up. 2lb for 2 bucks? Yes, please. I continued shopping, grabbed a few ingredients, and headed home to brainstorm dinner.

If you’re into meal prepping all at once for a week, this particular recipe would come together as a quickish weeknight meal if you cooked your produce and shredded your chicken ahead of time. Then, the enchiladas literally come together and cook in about 60 minutes. (Real mom time with homework being done, dogs wanting to be fed, and life going on around her, not uniterrupted tv cook time) What mom doesn’t love that?

You will need:

2lb Boneless skinless chicken thighs

Approx 2lb of Anaheim, Poblano, Serrano and jalepeno chiles. (probably 1 jalepeno in the mix and the rest a less spicy blend but base your assortment on your famly’s pallet)

  • Red Onion
  • 1 C Sour Cream
  • 2 tablespoons GF AP Flour (I prefer Cup for Cup)
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 2C GF Organic Chicken Broth
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Ground Cumin
  • Ground Coriander
  • Ground Chili Powder
  • Kosher Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • GF Corn Tortillas
  • 2C Mexican Quesadilla cheese shredded.

Let’s get cookin’! 

Fire your grill up to 350 degrees. (If you’re using a Traeger, set to smoke for 5 minutes, then crank up to 350)

Ready the meat:

I use chicken thighs because my family likes the flavor of dark meat and it’s an inexpensive cut to buy in bulk for this recipe. Boneless chicken breasts would work well too, you do what makes you happy.

Douse the chicken with a little oil to keep it from sticking and a good sprinkle of kosher salt and black pepper. I use kosher salt because I like the texture. If you only have table salt, that’s fine! The key part is seasoning your meat!

Prep your produce:

Give the chiles a good rinse and wipe down to make sure they’re clean and dirt free.

Peel the papery outer skin off the onion but leave it whole.

Cut the top off the garlic bulb, leaving the peel intact but tops of the individual garlic cloves visible.

Toss the veggies with a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil and salt. I use vegetable oil because it has a higher smoke point than olive oil.

Rub the garlic bulb in oil and wrap it in tin foil, leaving the top pieces exposed.

To prevent small bits of onion and chilies from slipping through the grates during the cooking process, I load them up in a grill basket. In the spring and summer (or year round here in Texas) you can find grill baskets at basically any supermarket on an end cap. They aren’t expensive and are super handy in multiple instances!

Cook!

Once your grill has come up to temp, load everything onto the grates. Try to leave space between your meat and veggies, nobody likes to be overcrowded!

Grill your chicken until it reaches 160 degrees internally, pull from grill, and place in a mixing bowl. Cover the mixing bowl with tin foil and leave it be for a bit (like 10 minutes) so the juices redistribute in the meat.

Set a timer for 60 minutes. Halfway through, turn your veggies so they brown or char evenly. Once everything is cooked, pull from the grill and place on a jelly roll pan to cool.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Shred the Chicken.

Oh, you always use forks to shred your chicken and exhaust yourself in the process? Not today.

Amateur Tip (because I’m not a pro) – Get your hand mixer out and using the mixing beaters on a low speed, get after the chicken. In about 2 effortless minutes, all the chicken will be beautifully shredded and you will not be sweating and your uncramped hands will thank me. You’re welcome.

Mix ½ C shredded cheese in with the chicken. Roll two spoonfuls of the mixture into corn tortillas and line them in the greased baking dish.

Make the Green Sauce.

Lightly chop your onion into chunks, and squeeze the garlic cloves directly into a food processor. Chop about 4 tablespoons of cilantro up and add half to the mixture. Combine all of the produce in your food processor and puree. I like it to be sorta chunky but if you like it smooth, do that. Set aside.

Heat a skillet over med heat. Melt the butter. Once melted, stir in the flour and let it cook for about a minute. GF flour doesn’t have the floury taste of wheat flour. However, when you’re making any riff of a roux, you want the flour to lightly cook before you mix your liquid in.

Stir in the chicken broth. Once the sauce begins to thicken, add your chili, onion, garlic mixure to the pan and stir to combine.

Add 5-6 heaping shakes of cumin, coriander, and chili powder. Now, grab a spoon and taste your sauce. Season with salt and pepper accordingly.

Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, stir in the sour cream and remove from heat and carefully pour over your chicken enchiladas. Top with remaining shredded cheese and chopped cilantro. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese melts and everything is bubbly and delicious looking. Remove from the oven and let the dish sit for 5-10 minutes to allow everything to set up a bit. I like to serve this with my Mexican Caesar salad and Cilantro Lime rice which also come together ridiculously fast.

A little fun, a lot Gluten Free, a little trying to be a pit-master, a little me.

My name is Betsy; I was born and raised in Maine but my family and I make our home in North Texas. I have spent time in nearly every region of our sweet little country and you will see those food memories reflected in a lot of my cooking. The other thing you’ll see reflected in my cooking? My Celiac Disease.

For 28 years, I lived as a regular foody who loved to eat and enjoyed going out and dining at any restaurant of my pleasing. Fried clams in Maine? All day, gimme some crinkle fries too. Sushi? YAS. With the fake krab and the soy sauce which is basically main lining gluten? I’ll take two. Burgers, Pizza, Sandwiches, Pasta…if it was battered, I ate it. How I didn’t weigh a quarter ton was beyond me. But, it actually wasn’t that mysterious. Suddenly, seemingly overnight, I was ill. At the time, my husband and I were in the baby stages of dating. You know, where you really want to impress someone, always have makeup on, your hair did, and wore high heels because it was Wednesday? I was so there. Until it was New Years Eve, and I was so sick. Finally, after my fourth trip to the bathroom, he asked if I “needed something”. Yes, I’ll take all the Imodium in the world. (And he married me, y’all!) I was pretty ill for 6 whole months before I visited my GP to chat about my symptoms. He was relatively clueless as to what could be causing me to be in such a way and punted me straight to a gastroenterologist (GI). The GI was the kindest man. He listed to me go on for 20 minutes about indigestion and bathroom habits, joint pain, and chronic fatigue. At the end, he said, “I’m sending you for some blood work and based on those results we will most likely schedule an Endoscopy and a Colonoscopy. I think you most likely have Crohns disease, Colon Cancer, or Celiac Disease…” He sort of trailed off while I got hung up on the C word; he insisted he felt it was not cancer and more than likely Celiac disease and I said, “well, I hope to shit your feeling is spot on.” He didn’t even smile at my poop joke. So, I had the lab work done and a few days later, he personally called me. My blood-work was positive for three Celiac antibodies; in order to confirm the diagnosis he would do an endoscopy and check out my villi. Villi line your small intestine and are the body’s bits which absorb nutrients from food. Celiac disease causes your body to turn on itself and destroy the villi making most people with undiagnosed Celiac disease malnourished. Guess what? I essentially didn’t have any villi. I was vitamin and nutrient deficient in half a dozen things which required a year of supplement injections. SO, there I was, about to turn 29, and required to completely and entirely change my diet. I had heard of Gluten free diets because certain Hollywood starlets had made it the most recent fad diet but I really didn’t know anything about them and certainly didn’t know how to best incorporate a GF diet into my life. Also, going out to eat can be extremely difficult on a gluten free diet. Many restaurants sweetly claim to have gluten free options but have no concept of cross contamination. What is cross contamination? Think of it like this, would you eat off of a plate that had raw chicken on it? Nope. It’s same for gluten. My food can’t touch a surface that has stored, cooked, or even touched gluten or else I risk illness for dayyyyssssss. Not worth it. Thankfully, here in our immediate area we have some amazing restaurants who take great pains to be celiac friendly but not everyone is so lucky. So, I took my project back home.

Growing up, meal preparation was a family affair, our kitchen was truly the center of our home. For my 18th birthday, my parents gifted me with a knife skills course and cooking basics class. I learned the five mother sauces, how to break down animal protein, dice, slice, chop, sauté…you get the picture. My parents had gifted me with a nutritional foundation. I began voraciously reading culinary textbooks and cookbooks. I quickly learned that A LOT of gluten free replacement food is generally processed crap. Turns out when you remove gluten, in order to make something slightly palatable (and have decent texture and cook normally), you have to add fat, sugar, salt and God knows what else. Before I figured this out, I gained a quick 10lb which I immediately cursed my crappy gluten free food for. So, that’s how this all happened. I wanted to make my family great meals which also happened to be gluten free. My husband says he genuinely can’t tell the difference and I probably wouldn’t have started blogging if my friends and family hadn’t echoed the sentiment.

Grill? Please. 

A year ago, we built and moved into a new home and for his birthday, I bought my husband a Traeger Wood Pellet grill as a birthday gift. I don’t think he’s touched it yet but I use it weekly. I have fallen head over heels in love with this grill. We joke that if we divorced today, I would get the grill. (Don’t worry Mom and Dad, we’re good! Love you, babe) Because it’s tremendously easy to use and produces excellent quality smoked and grilled foods, I incorporate the Traeger into a lot of my cooking and you’ll see that. I’m not quite a pit master but I’m definitely master of my own grill!

Anyway, that’s a baseline for us to start from. I like to think of this process kinda like that big ole bumble bee. Wings that physically shouldn’t be able to lift it, bumbling from flower to flower, hoping to get lucky and find a good one. Hopefully, as I bumble down this path, I’ll hit on a good one that you learn from and enjoy. If you do, please like, share, comment, encourage to squash my ridiculous insecurities. 😉