Recently roast a chicken and have leftovers? Use the remaining meat, or buy a small rotisserie chicken at the supermarket—either way, you’ll have this Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde dinner on the table in 30 to 45 minutes depending on your cooking method of choice.
The following recipe details using the broiler, but as I’ve complained on numerous occasions, my broiler is a bit finicky to say the least, so I heated them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes until the cheese just starts to brown. But if you’re confident in your broiler’s abilities, go ahead and use that route, it’ll save you about 15 minutes.
Our cheese was a shredded Mexican mix with jalapeños and then I tossed in a bit of leftover shredded cheddar for an additional pop of color—and let’s face it, more cheese 😉 Meanwhile, you can make the side dish of Mexican Rice and Beans which take a total of 40 minutes to assemble. If you have any leftovers, it’s very good by itself reheated.
Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde
- Kosher salt
- 1 lb. tomatillos (about 15 medium), husked and rinsed
- 3 jalapeños, stemmed and halved lengthwise (seeded, if you like)
- 1 large yellow onion, half cut into 4 wedges, half chopped
- 2/3 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- 1-1/2 Tbs. canola oil
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- About 3 cups of leftover chicken meat, chopped
- 8, 8-inch corn tortillas
- 1-1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tomatillos, jalapeños, and onion wedges; cover and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Drain well and transfer to a blender along with 1/3 cup of the cilantro. Purée until just slightly chunky and season to taste with salt.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped chicken, chopped onion, cumin, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper and cook, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until heated through, about 2 minutes.
- Stir 1/2 cup of the salsa verde into the chicken.
- Position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler to high. Grease a 9×13-inch metal or ceramic baking dish with the remaining 1/2 Tbs. oil.
- Wrap the tortillas in a few slightly damp paper towels and microwave on high until warm, 30 to 45 seconds.
- Working with one tortilla at a time, spoon some of the chicken mixture down the center of the tortilla and sprinkle with 1 Tbs. of the cheese. Roll up snugly and transfer to the prepared baking dish, seam side down.
- Repeat with the remaining tortillas and beef mixture. Pour the remaining salsa verde over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Broil until golden brown and bubbly, 3 to 5 minutes. Garnish with the remaining cilantro and serve.
Mexican Tomato Rice and Beans
- 1 cup uncooked medium-grain white rice
- 1 14-1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes (preferably “petite-cut”)
- 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 6 medium cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium fresh jalapeño, cored and finely chopped (if you like spicy foods, leave in the ribs and seeds; if not, remove them)
- 1 15-oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tsp. kosher or fine sea salt
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh oregano leaves and tender stems
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves and tender stems
- In a 1-quart saucepan, combine the rice with 2 cups cold water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let the pan stand, covered, for another 5 minutes.
- While the rice steams, set a fine sieve in a bowl and drain the can of tomatoes. Pour the tomato juices into a 1-cup liquid measure. Add enough water to the tomato juices to equal 1 cup.
- Heat a 10- to 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in the oil and stir-fry the garlic and jalapeño until the garlic browns and the jalapeño smells pungent, about 1 minute.
- Add the black beans, salt, cumin, and chili powder; stir two to three times to incorporate the mixture and cook the spices, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the tomato juice and water mixture and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans absorb much of the liquid, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, oregano, cilantro, and cooked rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is warm, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve immediately.