Some Like It Hot Chicken Enchiladas with Hatch Chile Sauce

Scrumptious South Of The Border Enchiladas

2Some Like It Hot Chicken Enchiladas with Hatch Chile Sauce

Tom Preface:  (About five years ago…when I was gainfully employed…I conducted an interview with my friend Robert at Melissa’s Produce.  I asked him what was new, and he replied, “Well, it’s almost Hatch Chile season.”

I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about.  Some reporter I was!  Robert went on to say that fresh Hatch chiles from New Mexico…grown in the Hatch Valley…were hitting retailers the second week of August…the season is a short one…and he was nice enough to provide us with a box.  They come in “mild” and “hot,” and, of course I went for the hot.

Well, that day changed my life, because I became a certified “Hatch addict.”  Although you can freeze them, we always run out long before August approaches.  A couple of weeks ago, after I shared our Grilled Watermelon Gazpacho with Robert…we used Melissa’s Hatch Chile Powder in that recipe…I told him I was having serious “Hatch withdrawals.”   Knowing my love of everything Hatch, Robert sent me a bag of their dried chiles…Don Enrique Brand…to tide me over until  the fresh chiles come out in about a week.  He challenged me to come up with a recipe using his chiles, and fortunately…thanks to the combination of talents of a good friend and Tracy…they have come up with a very good one.)

Tracy: I had never cooked with dried chiles before, but I recalled the terrific chicken enchiladas made by our friend and subscriber, Xochitl, that included a fabulous chile sauce made with dried chiles.  This seemed like the perfect time to try Xochitl’s recipe as not only have I never cooked with dried chiles, I have never made enchilada sauce from scratch either!

I have to say this recipe turned out great, although if you were going to serve a large group, I would make the sauce the day before to cut down on kitchen time.  Just a few comments; one large chicken breast yields about 10 enchiladas.  If you need more than that, you will need to cook more chicken. I used Better Than Bouillon, which I had recently been told about, and I will never use boxed broth again.  There was plenty of leftover sauce so I would not change that portion at all.   We used the  leftover sauce to make Huevos Rancheros Quesadillas… yum.

IMG_4416Grocery List:
4 oz. dried Hatch chiles (we used Melissa’s Don Enrique Brand)
2 T.    cilantro seeds
1        med. white onion
6        tomatoes (Roma if available)
5        large garlic cloves
1        head Iceberg lettuce (or a bag of Shreds)
2        Carrots
1        bunch green onions
2        radishes
1        package of Corn Tortillas
Chicken Better Than Bouillon
1 large Chicken breast with ribs attached (enhances the flavor)
8 oz. pkg. Monterey Jack cheese (We used Cabot Hot Habañero Cheese…because we like it hot!)

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For the Chile Sauce:

4 oz. dried Hatch chiles
1        med. white onion, quartered
4        tomatoes, cut in quarters (Roma if available)
3        Large garlic cloves (peeled)
2 T.    Cilantro seeds (crushed)
3 t.     Chicken Better Than Bouillon

Open the chile pods and remove the stems, veins and seeds.  Rinse in water.  For a spicier sauce, leave in a few of the seeds.
Combine all the ingredients in a medium sauce pan (I used my Dutch oven) with 3 c. water, and boil until reduced by half.  Strain the cooked ingredients (strain to keep cilantro seeds out) into a blender or small sauce pan, blend on high for 2 min. either in the blender or with an immersion blender, set aside.  Discard cilantro seeds.  Salt to taste.

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For the Chicken:

1    large Chicken breast with ribs
2    Garlic cloves (peeled)
2 t. Chicken Better Than Bouillon

Combine all the ingredients in medium sauce pan, fill with water to cover chicken (about 4 c. water).  Bring to a boil, cover with a lid and simmer until cooked, about 30 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the pan to a medium plate.  Reserve the liquid!  Use a fork to pull it apart and let stand for about 10 minutes to cool.  Using a fork or your fingers, remove and discard the skin and ribs, and then shred the meat.  Return the shredded meat to the reserved broth so it won’t dry out.  Remove the chicken from the broth just before assembling.

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Toppings:

½     head of lettuce (thinly sliced)
2      tomatoes (cubed small)
2      carrots (peeled and grated)
1      bunch green onions (finely chopped)
2      radishes, thinly sliced
1      8 oz. pkg. Monterey Jack or Spicy Habañero cheese, grated

Combine the lettuce, tomatoes and carrots in a medium bowl and set aside.
Add green onions and cheese to separate bowls and set aside.

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Assemble the enchiladas:

1 pkg. (10) corn tortillas
Corn oil

1Add oil to a medium skillet, heat until the  oil is very hot.  Fry the tortillas for about 5 seconds each side.  Remove to a small plate.
Continue until you have fried all the tortillas.  One by one dip the tortillas in the chile sauce just to cover both sides.  Add chicken to the middle of the tortilla, add small amount of green onions, and cheese and roll up, placing seam side down on the plate.  Top with more chile sauce, grated cheese, and the lettuce mix.  Garnish with sliced radishes.  Serve right away.

2Makes 10 enchiladas with plenty of chile sauce left over.

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Some Like It Hot Chicken Enchiladas with Hatch Chile Sauce — 1 Comment

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