Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
The cheesiest way to satiate your Hatch pepper hunger.
Roasted Hatch chiles are the most important ingredient in these rolled enchiladas from American chef David Tanis. Hatch green chiles are available for purchase fresh or frozen online in mild, medium and hot varieties (find our favorite Hatch chile sources here). Roasted Anaheim or other green chiles may be used as a substitute. (Just don’t tell anyone from New Mexico.)
These are rolled enchiladas—soft corn tortillas stuffed with shredded chicken and smothered with green chile sauce and cheese. If you prefer, make “stacked” enchiladas by layering tortillas, chicken, sauce, and cheese, as if making lasagna.
Featured in: “Inside New Mexico’s Hatch Green Chile Obsession.”
What You Will Need
For the chicken and sauce:
- One 3½-lb. chicken, with the neck, giblets removed
- 1 small carrot (3 oz.)
- 1 large white onion (10 oz.)
- 7 garlic cloves (3 unpeeled; 4 finely chopped)
- 1⁄2 tsp. cumin seed
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 2 cups diced white onion
- 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 3 cups roasted, peeled and chopped Hatch green chiles (from about 30 if using fresh chiles)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1⁄4 tsp. dried oregano
- 6 cups hot chicken broth
For the enchiladas and garnish:
- 12 soft corn tortillas
- 7 oz. grated Oaxacan or Monterey Jack cheese (21/2 cups)
- 10 oz. crumbled queso fresco (2 cups)
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced (3/4 cup)
- 1 cup coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
- Crema or sour cream
- Thinly slivered crisp lettuce, tomato slices and radishes (optional)
- Make the chicken: To a large pot or Dutch oven, add the chicken, chicken neck and enough water just to cover. Add the carrot, onion, and 3 unpeeled garlic cloves, bring to a simmer, and cook until the meat is cooked through and the broth is flavorful, about 40 minutes.
- Strain, reserving both the broth and the chicken. Let the chicken rest until cool enough to handle. Shred the meat and discard the bones and skin. You should have about 4 cups of meat. Set aside. Reserve 6 cups of broth for the sauce, plus 2 cups more for softening tortillas.
- Make the sauce: In a small, dry skillet over medium-high heat, add the cumin. Cook, stirring or shaking the pan occasionally, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Remove, then finely grind.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Once hot, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and barely colored, about 8 minutes. Stir in the finely chopped garlic and let cook 1 minute, then sprinkle the flour into the pan and stir to incorporate. Add the chiles. Season generously with salt and lightly with black pepper, then add the cumin and oregano; stir well. Gradually whisk in the reserved 6 cups chicken broth, bring to a simmer, and cook until sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed, then set aside.
- Make the enchiladas: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Ladle 1½ cups of the sauce into a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish. In a small pot, heat the reserved 2 cups chicken broth. To soften the tortillas so they can be rolled without breaking, dip them very briefly in the hot broth until softened slightly. Working one at a time, distribute about 3 tablespoons of shredded chicken down the center of each tortilla. Roll the tortilla loosely into a cigar shape to cover the filling, then transfer, seam side down, to the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and chicken, placing the enchiladas snugly side by side. Ladle the remaining sauce over the top to coat generously. Sprinkle with cheese, cover with foil, and bake until the enchiladas are heated through and the sauce is beginning to bubble, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is browned and very bubbly, 15–20 minutes more.
- Remove the enchiladas from the oven and sprinkle with the queso fresco, scallions, and cilantro. Divide among 6 plates and drizzle or dollop each portion generously with crema or sour cream. Garnish each with the lettuce, tomato, and radish, if using. Serve hot.