The fresh flavors of the sauce in this enchilada recipe are a refreshing change from the traditional tomato-based variety. Made with tomatillos, jalapeño peppers, freshly squeezed lime juice and cilantro, it adds a bright, citrusy balance to the creamy chicken filling in the enchiladas.
- 1-1/4 lbs chicken tenderloins
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1-1/2 cups finely shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, divided
- 4 scallions, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 4 (8-inch) flour tortillas
For the sauce:
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 2 jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise, seeded and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb (about 6 medium) tomatillos, cored and cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 400°F, coat a 9-inch square baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
- Combine the cumin, coriander, salt and a few grinds of black pepper in a small bowl.
- Trim any visible tendons from the chicken tenderloins and season them on both sides with the spice mixture.
- Coat the bottom of a large frying pan with a small amount of olive oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken in a single layer and cook until lightly browned and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side.
- Transfer the cooked chicken to a cutting board and cool for a few minutes, then cut or shred the tenderloins into small pieces.
- Place the chicken in a mixing bowl and add the sour cream, 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese, scallions and cilantro and combine thoroughly.
- Lay a tortilla on a flat surface and spread about 1/4 of the chicken mixture over the bottom third, roll and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and set aside while you prepare the sauce.
- Using the same pan you cooked the chicken in, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the jalapeños and continue cooking for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and sauté for an additional minute. Add the tomatillos and continue cooking for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a gentle simmer. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then transfer to a blender. Add the lime juice and cilantro and purée until smooth (makes about 1-3/4 cups).
- Pour the sauce evenly over the enchiladas, cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, and top the enchiladas with the remaining cheese and continue baking for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.
Note: You can skip puréeing and leave the sauce chunky if you prefer, just be sure to spread the sauce to the edges of the enchiladas so they don't dry out in the oven.