Have I mentioned that Sam and I were trapped in the house all day Friday, waiting for the contractor to come? No pool, no trip to the library, not even a walk around the block lest the man-with-the-ladder should call or appear at the exact moment we were too far from the house to hear the rumble of his truck.
I had planned to make a recipe from the June, 2007 “Bon Appetit,” for Stacked Chicken Enchiladas with Tomatillos and Cheese. Never mind that the whole point of the recipe (and others) was to provide recipes using tomatillos, and that there are none to be had in Michigan at this time of year. I had a plan.
I roused Sam from the couch where he was lounging in his boxers, and told him that he was going to help me cook. Following a less than enthusiastic response about the people he hadn’t killed yet in his Xbox 360 game (“Crackdown”- he insists on journalistic accuracy), I went in for a kill of my own: this recipe involved FIRE! He was in like the proverbial Flynn. Sam charred the poblanos and fried the corn tortillas, I shredded cheese and chicken, and when we were missing something, we improvised. Our version did not come out looking like the one on the cover of “Bon Appetit,” but it did, as my grandfather used to say, “eat good.” It ate wonderful!!
Stacked Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde and Cheese
Adapted from the June, 2007 “Bon Appetit” Magazine
- 2 poblanao chiles (8 ounces, total)
- 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 12 5-6 inch corn tortillas
- 4 cups Salsa Verde, divided (note: the magazine included a recipe to make Salsa Verde, but since I couldn’t get tomatillos, I bought two bottles of ready-made Salsa Verde. I am guessing this dish would be even better with the fresh version).
- 2 cups shredded, roasted chicken, divided (I used the leftover fried chicken breasts from the July 4th festivities)
- 3/4 cup sour cream, stirred to loosen, divided
- 6 ounces grated Emmenthaler, Muenster or Mexican Chihuahua cheese (I used the Chihuahua for authenticity, but could only find the kind with peppers. We loved it).
- 3 tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro
- Pickled Red Onions (recipe follows)
Char chiles directly over gas flame or in broiler until blackened all over. Enclose in paper bag; let stand 10 minutes. Peel and seed, then cut into 2 x 1/2 inch strips. (Note: wear gloves when you peel and seed chiles!!!!!)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tortilla to skillet; cook until slightly softened, about 15 seconds per side, turning with tongs. Transfer tortilla to paper towel to drain. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding oil to skillet as needed.
Spread 1/2 cup salsa over bottom of 8x8x2 glass baking dish. (I don’t own such a dish, so I used a small, rectangular ceramic baking dish). Arrange 4 tortillas over salsa, covering bottom of dish completely, overlapping slightly and extending about 1 1/2 inches up sides of dish. Scatter 1 cup of chicken over tortillas, then half of the poblano strips. Spoon 1 1/2 cup salsa over, spreading evenly. Spoon 1/4 cup sour cream over in small dollops. Cover with 4 tortillas, overlapping slightly. Layer with remaining 1 cup chicken, remaining poblanos, 1 cup salsa and 1/4 cup sour cream. Cover with remaining 4 tortillas, then 1 cup salsa and remaining 1/4 cup sour cream. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake casserole until bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, about 35 minutes. (Our cheese, as you can see, is more than lightly browned because the contractor returned with the plumber at 30 minutes, and wanted to show me what they were going to do). Cut into 6 pieces, divide, and sprinkle with cilantro. Spoon pickled red onions alongside and serve.
Pickled Red Onions
- 1 1/2 pounds red onions peeled, halved and cut into 1/8 inch slices
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 small habanero chile (These are tiny, orange and extremely hot chiles. We found them at our grocery store not with the loose peppers, but in a plastic hinged container containing several peppers).
Toss first three ingredients in large glass bowl. Add juice and vinegar; press down to submerge onions. Cut 1/2-inch-long slit in narrow tip of chile and add to onion mixture. Top mixture with small plate to weigh down slightly. Cover and refrigerate overnight. These can be made up to a week in advance.