Fact: The length of this post’s title is nothing compared to the length of time it took to make this meal. If I’d had a clue about how involved this recipe was going to be, I probably wouldn’t have attempted it. It was also completely delish. So worth the effort!
I’d brought home a big bag of homegrown tomatillos from Durango recently and wanted to use them in something other than my pork chile verde. I found this delectable-sounding recipe for Grilled Shrimp and Tomatillo Enchiladas and decided to tweak it a bit, using chicken instead and adding extra veggies. I love Mexican food!
I started by seasoning both sides of the chicken breasts with cumin, chile powder, and garlic salt, then drizzling them with olive oil. I heated my indoor grill and got the chicken going while I prepped the veggies.
I quartered an onion, cut up a bell pepper in big chunks, and sliced a zucchini length-wise so it could lay flat on the grill. I gave the veggies a little drizzle of oil (including two whole jalapeno peppers) and got the whole party started on the grill. I made sure to get some char on everything without cooking the vegetables thoroughly. I like crunch!
My indoor grill is only so big, so I had to grill the veggies in batches. I also oiled and seasoned my lovely tomatillos and tossed THOSE on the grill, too! They softened up and got that tasty grill char.
It was about this time that I was feeling kind of OVER the grill, but I wasn’t done with it yet! Per the recipe, I tossed the corn tortillas on the hot grill and let them get grill marks on both sides. They got a little crispy, too. I ended up with a lovely stack of charred tortillas.
Time to make the sauce! Into the food processor, I dumped my charred tomatillos, half of the grilled onions, the two blackened jalapeno peppers, a few whole garlic cloves, and a healthy squeeze of lime. Whirrrrrr! I added a big handful of cilantro and blended again. I decided to add a tad of each spice- cumin, chile powder, and some spicy crushed red pepper. A little garlic salt, a little black pepper, another whir of the processor… tomatillo sauce complete.
The grilling was finally done. The sauce was ready. All I had to do now was chop up my chicken and veggies and assemble the enchiladas!
Here’s how it went down. First, I poured some of the tomatillo sauce in the bottom of a sprayed baking dish. I layered six crispy tortillas over the sauce. Next, I spread about 1/3 of the sauce over the tortillas (not enough to cover them, but evenly distributed) and half of the chopped chicken and veggies. Next came a nice sprinkling of cheese. More torts, more sauce, more chicken and veggies, more cheese. The last six tortillas, the last of the sauce, and cheese on top and this baby was ready to bake. Finally.
I love how you can see the layers through the glass pan!
A half-hour later, the cheese was melty and browning and my tummy was grumbling. Stacked enchiladas aren’t the easiest thing to serve, and it might not be the prettiest plate you’ve ever seen… but YUM.
The veggies still had a slight bite to them. The tortillas were still crunchy. The spice from the jalapenos in the tomatillo sauce was perfect. The sauce itself was tangy and fresh, and the char on EVERYTHING (no, really, everything) added a smoky depth that would have been missed had I not grilled it all.
As we devoured half of the pan, John and I decided that using the larger outdoor grill would have changed everything– the grilling could have been done all at one time. Or we could have divided and conquered- John grilling the chicken and veggies outside, me charring tomatillos and tortillas indoors. In the end, the enchiladas were so scrumptious that the time it took to make them didn’t matter. This recipe’s a keeper.
I’ll just start earlier next time.
Grilled Everything Stacked Chicken Enchiladas with Charred Tomatillo Sauce (adapted from Prevention RD)
- Two chicken breasts
- Olive oil
- Tablespoon cumin
- Tablespoon chile powder
- Teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Garlic salt and pepper
- 1 onion, peeled and quartered
- 2 jalapenos
- 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
- 1 lb. tomatillos, peeled
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into large chunks
- Small bunch of cilantro
- 2-3 cloves garlic
- 1 lime
- 18 corn tortillas
- 2 cups shredded cheese
Heat your grill to medium high heat. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a shallow baking dish, season both sides of the chicken breasts with half of the cumin, chile powder, and a few shakes of garlic salt. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken and rub the seasoning in. Grill the chicken until done. Set aside to cool, then chop into bite-sized pieces.
Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables and sprinkle more of the seasoning on them. In batches, grill the veggies (onion, whole jalapenos, zucchini, bell pepper) until they have a char but are not soft. Remove from the grill and allow to cool slightly. Chop half of the onion, the zucchini, and bell pepper into bite-sized chunks.
A few at a time, lightly oil all 18 tortillas and char them on both sides, allowing them to get slightly crispy. Set aside.
In a food processor, blend the tomatillos, the other half of the onion, the garlic cloves, and the jalapenos (stems removed). Squeeze in the juice of half of the lime and add the remaining cumin, chile powder, and crushed red pepper. Add a generous handful of cilantro leaves and blend until pureed. Season as needed with garlic salt and pepper.
In a sprayed 9 x 12 baking dish, spoon some of the tomatillo sauce and spread it evenly on the bottom. Layer 6 charred tortillas over the sauce. Spoon about 1/3 of the sauce over the tortillas, using your spoon to evenly distribute it. Add half of the chopped chicken and veggies over the tortillas, then sprinkle about 1/3 of the shredded cheese. Repeat with another layer of tortillas, 1/3 of the sauce, the second half of chicken/veggies, 1/3 of the cheese. Finally, layer the last of the tortillas, the last of the sauce, and the last of the cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the cheese is completely melting and starting to brown. Serve topped with fresh cilantro and a wedge of lime, and try to forget how many things you grilled. YUM!
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