This Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas recipe is a no-brainer!!! It is so easy and fun to assemble, and it could easily feed up to four people. Truly, a recipe that does not need constant attention or be used as a family activity.
Currently in my kitchen I do not have any wall cabinets (remodeling). I only have three long shelves that run the length of the wall and they are above the stove. On the bottom shelf, I keep a few pantry items like ghee, specialty salts, and for some reason my Frontera Green Tomatillo Salsa. I believe I started putting there because I did not want to forget that I had it. You know, you buy something that sounds interesting, put it in the cupboard or pantry and "poof" it disappears until it expires and you never knew you had it.
What to make
So this jar of Frontera sat on my shelf for a little while. This was the second time I have ever bought it. The day I made this recipe we were bouncing ideas back and forth and we were narrowing to tacos, but we didn't want to go to a restaurant to eat. We also didn't have all of the toppings you normally put in a taco, but we had the essentials; taco shells, some chicken breast, cotija cheese left over from the previous taco craving, and tortillas. We normally have these cravings almost weekly. When, I noticed the jar of Frontera Green Tomatillo Salsa, sitting on the shelf. I thought, let's make enchiladas!!! Enchiladas will take the entire jar salsa and it will be a different dish from our normal taco craving.
Preparing The Chicken for our Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas
To make this dish I had to think back to when I worked at a Mexican restaurant. I am not Mexican, so if my process is not the same as what you or your family does at your home, remember this is my version, but please let me know if there is a better way down in the comments!
As I think back as to how I prepared the meat, a new method has jumped in my mind. I will try the new method and I might update this recipe if all goes well. Anyhow, I started by cooking the chicken in water with onions, bay leaf, salt, pepper, and chicken broth. Pretty much, I boiled the chicken, but I only used enough water to cover. I also added a small amount of olive oil, since chicken breast is lean and it will dry out.
Once the chicken was cooked I pulled the chicken meat apart to shred and added a small amount of the enchilada sauce, just to moisten and cotija cheese. I had also found some shredded cheddar mix cheese and I added that as well on to the mixture.
The Tortillas Make A Difference
I am about to go into a small rabbit hole, so bear with me. During the beginning of the pandemic, my husband and I went grocery shopping. Besides not being able to find toilet paper, paper towels, hand sanitizer, and water, tortillas were also depleted. It was almost too funny, but there it was, no tortillas available. The only tortillas we were able to find were La Tortilla Factory. Until then, I had never had tortillas from La Tortilla Factory (LTF). We get home and make tacos, remember this is the first time we use LTF, and low and behold these tortillas are thicker than the regular corn tortillas and they taste homemade. I absolutely fell in love with them and they are the only tortillas we buy now.
I like these tortillas in this application because I baked the enchiladas. This allowed the tortillas to soak up the juices and thicken up a bit more. The thickness of the tortillas gave the enchiladas a tamales feel to it. It gave my dish great texture.
Assembling The Frontera Green Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas
Back to the enchiladas! So, I mixed a small amount of the tomatillo salsa with the chicken, and I added cheese, both cotija and shredded cheddar mix. I then sprayed a casserole pan. Mine is about 9 x 13 'ish; this could be done in a smaller casserole or individual pans if you have elongated ramekins. Whichever vessel you choose, spray the bottom and sides of the pan. This allows for easier cleanup.
For my pan size, I took about ¼ cup of salsa to spread it at the bottom. What we are looking for is a mild covering of the bottom of the pan. Working one tortilla at a time, I warmed the tortilla and placed about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture just below the center. Rolled the tortilla closed and placed them in the casserole with the seam facing down. I continued like this until all 8 tortillas in the package were full. If there is any leftover chicken mixture, you could tuck some into the openings of the tortillas.
I ladled the remaining tomatillo salsa on top of the enchiladas and covered them with more cotija and shredded cheese. Note on cotija cheese; the cheese does not melt like cheddar. It behaves a lot like feta, meaning that it holds its shape relatively well, and it is not gooey. If you are looking for that gooey cheese look, skip this option and use shredded cheddar mix, or taco mix, or a Monterey mix.
Bringing It All Together
Frontera Green Tomatillo Salsa is quite spicy. This recipe seems quite mild, but the salsa has a spice that builds the more you eat it. Like I said before, La Tortilla Factory tortillas have a nice bite and thickness to their tortillas. We used the white corn tortillas, but the yellow corn tortillas are just as delicious and fresh corn masa flavor, reminiscent of tamales.
I apologize for the lack of production photos from this recipe. It was a great idea that came about rather quickly and just as quickly it was eaten. I hope you try it. Please share down below if you do and post a picture too!
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Green Tomatillo Chicken Enchiladas
- One pound of chicken breast. Skinless and diced large
- 32 oz of chicken broth
- One Onion peeled and quartered
- 2 to 3 cloves of garlic whole
- 2 bay leaf
- Salt and Pepper
- Frontera Green Tomatillo Salsa or favorite green salsa
- La Tortilla Factory white corn tortillas or favorite tortillas
- Cotija Cheese
- Shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack Cheese mix
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a saucepot, bring to a low simmer chicken, broth, onion, garlic, bay leaves, salt, and pepper—Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once cooked, remove the chicken from the liquid and let the chicken cool slightly. Feel free to reserve the liquid for later use on another recipe, or it could be used to thin and expand the salsa in this recipe.
- In a bowl with a fork, pull the chicken apart to shred. Mix with enough salsa to moisten and add ¼ cup of each cheese.
- Spray the casserole pan with cooking spray and cover the casserole's bottom with some of the salsa. Set aside.
- Working one tortilla at a time. Warm a tortilla on a hot skillet. Place tortilla on a cutting board and take 2 to 3 tablespoons of chicken mixture and place it on the bottom half of the tortilla.
- Roll the tortilla and place with the seam facing down on the sauced casserole. Continue until the casserole is full. If you have any leftover chicken mixture, tuck the mixture with a spoon into the ends of the enchiladas.
- Top the enchiladas with the remainder of the salsa. Try to extend the salsa towards the edges of the tortillas. If you don't have or do not think you have enough salsa, you can expand the salsa you have by blend it with some of the reserved cooking liquid. Add the liquid gradually so as not to make it too runny.
- Top the enchiladas with cotija and favorite shredded cheese. Place in oven and bake for about 20 or until chicken comes to 165°.