Cinco de Mayo is an excellent excuse for us here in the US to drink beer and eat “Mexican Food.” Wanting to join in this crazy party, I decide to make Enchiladas.
Growing up and living most of my life in California and Arizona, I’ve had the opportunity to eat and cook a lot of “Mexican Food.” You’ll note I put “Mexican Food” in quotes; this is because most of what we eat here in the US is not genuine Mexican cuisine, but adaptations.
This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission (at zero cost to you). Please see my full disclosure policy
We spent a total of five weeks in Mexico last year, Cancun for a wedding, San Miguel de Allende because we heard of its great art and food culture and a few stops on our cruise through the Panama Canal. There were so many inspirational dining opportunities during those visits.
The enchiladas I had at Gombos on our first night in San Miguel are my inspiration for this recipe.
But there is another obstacle preventing more original Mexican food right now. The US (along with most of the world) is in the middle of the long “Shelter-in-Place of 2020.” Damn you, Covid-19! So I have to make do with even less than authentic ingredients and use what I have in my pantry. Good thing I believe in having a well-stocked pantry!
Enchiladas From My Pantry
Checking the freezer and pantry, I find some good ingredients!
Ground chicken is in the freezer. I always keep ground meats on hand for quick weeknight dinners. Ground chicken can be tacos, larb, or chicken burgers. Tonight it will be the star in my enchiladas
I continue to pull things out and have plenty of ingredients for tasty enchiladas.
There are tortillas, canned green peppers, and green enchilada sauce. And in the frig, I find tomatillos, jalapeno, onion and Monterey jack cheese.
Try shopping from your pantry before you head out to the grocery store next time. I was forced into this situation, but the outcome was delicious!
Enchiladas in Green Sauce
- 9" x 13" baking dish
- 10" skillet
- Large saute pan
- medium sheet pan with a cooling rack to use for a drip pan
- 1.25 lbs ground chicken
- 12 oz monterey jack cheese grated
- 1.5 cups brown onion chopped
- 7 oz diced green chiles (1 large can)
- 1 cup tomatillos chopped
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 16 6" corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup canola oil (or other high temperature oil for frying , using more oil as needed)
- non-stick cooking spray
- 1 28 oz can green enchilada sauce (I used Las Palmas)
- 1 jalepeno pepper (cored, seeded and chopped)
Preparing the Ground Chicken Filling
- Add 2 tbsp of oil to large saute pan bring to medium heat
- Add onions, tomatillo, and chiles to oil and saute until onions are translucent,
- Remove onions mixture from saute pan and set aside
- Using the same saute pan brown the ground chicken
- When the ground chicken is browned, add the onion mixture back to the pan along with the chipotle chile powder, salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook the ground chicken mixture over a low heat for 10 minutes or so to combine flavors.
- Remove the ground chicken mixture from the heat and allow it to cool to handling temperature.
- When the ground chicken mixture is cool, add 8 oz of the grated monterey jack cheese to the mixture (set aside the remaining cheese to top the enchiladas toward the end of cooking)
Frying the Tortillas
- While the ground chicken mixture is cooling begin frying your corn tortillas.
- In a 10 " skillet, bring the canola oil up to high temperature
- Add one tortilla at a time to the skillet. Cook the tortilla for about 30 seconds on each side. The tortilla should be soft and flexible at this time. Do not cook the tortilla too long or you will not be able to roll the enchilada.
- As each tortilla is done cooking, place it on the drip pan.
- When all tortillas are fried, you can begin assembling your enchiladas
Assemble the Enchiladas
- Preheat your oven to 350*
- Prepare the baking dish by spraying with non-stick cooking spray
- Place a thin layer of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.
- Taking one tortilla at a time, fill the tortilla with about 1 tbsp of the ground chicken mixture. Roll the tortilla tightly around the filling and place seam side down in the baking dish. Continue this process until all tortillas are rolled and placed in the baking dish.
- Pour the remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas in the baking dish. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and place in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
- When the enchiladas have baked for 20 minutes, remove the aluminum foil and sprinkle the remaining 4 ounces of cheese ove the top of the enchiladas. Return the enchiladas to the oven and cook until the cheese is brown and bubbly