Cream Cheese Verde Chicken Enchiladas
This recipe needs to go on your menu this week. It is fairly simple – the only tricky part is warming the tortillas in the skillet while thickening the sauce in a pan. The trickiness is simplified by lining everything up in a row and forming an assembly line. All of that disappears when that first bite passes your lips… the taste far outweighs the tiny bit of trouble ((just you wait and see!!)).
The entire herd ((except Gracie)) loved the dish. To be honest, I didn’t even offer Gracie a taste — I feared the enchiladas would be too spicy for her little tastebuds so I heated up 2 tortillas and some cheese and let her have 8 quesadilla triangles.
The boys begged for me to let them have a bowl of the cream cheese verde sauce to eat as dip with tortilla chips. I was so pleased they loved it, I almost caved and let them…but I just couldn’t… I wanted it for MY lunch tomorrow! ((I am bad, I know.)
Although I am sharing the complete recipe, I am also going to share a shopping list and a few specific brands I prefer:
• Sam’s rotisserie chicken — ((2)) I love the Sam’s chickens, they are far superior to any other I have seen. I used the breast meat for another meal & saved the dark meat, with enchiladas in mind.
• Corn tortillas — “Ramirez and Sons Authentic Stone Ground Tortillas”, found at Wright’s IGA off of Porter in Norman. Why this brand?? There are only 3…THREE!! ingredients, 1. wholegrain stoneground corn, 2. water & 3. trace of lime. It’s as if I slaved away and made them myself, but instead I paid $1.84 for them ((yay)).
• Salsa Verde – Herdez brand. I love this brand for similar reasons to the tortillas…very limited ingredient list, tastes homemade and cuts out like 17 steps by buying it pre-made.
• Cheese – anything white ((I like pepper jack & sharp white cheddar))
• Light cream cheese
• Jalapeño, cilantro, garlic, onion & celery
• Chicken broth, low sodium is a must. The chicken broth lightens up this dish without skimping on flavor…traditionally, cream would be the only liquid. This substitution will only be noticed when you zip up your pants ((haha))
- 4-5 c cooked chicken, diced ((I used rotisserie))
- 1 T cooking oil
- 1 c. celery, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 T jalapeño, finely chopped (about 1/2 of a medium jalapeño)
- 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 T dried oregano
- 1 - 2 T green chili powder ((I used mild))
- 1/2 c cilantro, chopped (divided)
- Dash of sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 8 oz cream cheese, softened ((I used 1/3 less fat))
- 6 oz chicken broth
- 6 oz cream
- 6 oz salsa verde ((I used Herdez))
- 1/4 c cilantro, chopped
- 6 oz shredded sharp cheddar
- 3 oz shredded pepper jack
- 18 corn tortillas
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Enchilada filling: Add oil to a large braiser over medium heat. Once oil is hot (about 1 minute) sauté onions, celery and jalapeños for 4-5 minutes. Next, add garlic, chicken, oregano and chili powder. Stir to combine, cooking for 5-10 more minutes. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. Keep warm on low heat until ready to fill enchiladas.
- Sauce: Add cream cheese, broth, cream and salsa verde to a medium pot, stir to combine and bring to a gentle boil. Add half of the shredded cheeses and continue to stir over a gentle boil, allowing it to reduce and thicken. Once sauce has thickened (about 10 minutes), add cilantro and stir to combine. Keep sauce on low heat stirring occasionally while you heat the tortillas in a medium/large skillet.
- Follow package instructions to heat tortillas. ((*See note))
- As a tortilla is warmed, remove it from the skillet, fill it with about 2 T of chicken mixture, roll up and place in a 9" x 13" baking dish. Repeat until all tortillas have been filled and rolled. Pour sauce over the top of the enchiladas and allow the sauce to ooze down the sides and bottoms of the enchiladas. Top with remaining cheese and bake for 5-10 minutes. Raise oven temp to broil in order to brown the top of the enchiladas. Keep a close eye on the enchiladas to make sure they don't burn.
- *When heating tortillas, I added a teaspoon of butter to the skillet after every third batch of tortillas. If the tortillas are not completely warmed they will crack and tear easily. So be sure to get them fully warmed.