Sloppy Hatch Chile Chicken Enchiladas

By Unknown - 9:00 PM

You can't judge a book by its cover or even's description. You have to judge it on its taste!
It's possibly the best enchilada I've ever made, trust me this is a goooood recipe.

It's Texas... the month of the Hatch Chile Festival.
Yes, you heard me right!
We, Texans, love these green chiles harvested from Hatch, New Mexico. It's green chile roasting season, which means that in grocery store parking lots, backyards and roadside stands around the whole state, chile roasters set up their huge, rotating drums over flames.
Hatch green chiles pack a thick skin that has to be roasted off...not to mention the flavor that an open fire affords these peppers. The smell of roasting chiles wafting in the air, clinging to your clothes makes me want the winter to come sooner. Even people who don't love chile cop to appreciating this aroma of early Fall.

Not only are these chiles warming, comforting & delicious in your dish, they are also contain 6x as much Vitamin C as an orange!

So, are you ready for some serious thigh slapping, head nodding & mmh mmmhh mmmmhhh inducing tastiness?
Best of all?
It's pretty damn delicious.

To feed 3 or 4 or 5 very hungry hippos you'll need...

3 cups of cooked & shredded chicken breasts or thighs
1 lb. roasted green chile, peeled, seeded & chopped
1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes
2 onions (red & yellow) - chopped
4 garlic cloves - minced
Sprinkle of ground cumin & ground oregano
1 quart chicken stock or broth (low sodium)
corn tortillas
Grated Jalapenos Pepper Jack Cheese
2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper, of course
& shredded iceberg lettuce, diced tomato, sliced avocado, sour cream* & beans to serve alongside.

You can purchase already roasted Hatch chiles or if you're like me & got 'em fresh. Here's what you do:
Heat your oven broiler to 425F.

Lay your chiles across the roasting pan & broil for ~10 mins.

Remove & flip chiles & broil for another~10 mins until the skins are golden brown.
They should look something like this.

Let 'em cool off before peeling, seeding & chopping 'em roughly.

For the chicken, you can buy a rotisseri chicken & shred the meat...
But it's quite fun & easy to cook & shred your chicken...and here's how.
Bring 4 cups of chicken broth (low sodium) + 1 cup of water + large handful of chopped cilantro + 1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes + juice of 1 lime + sprinkle of S&P to a boil. Add your chicken breasts and/or thighs. Simmer until chicken cooked. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out cooked breasts&thighs & reserve the broth for later...remember that 1 quart chicken broth mentioned in the ingredients list up there? Yeah, that's what you'll use it for.
Oh, don't forget to shred your chicken!

 Next up, heat up a heavy bottomed pan with olive oil while you get the onion chopped & garlic minced.

Add chopped onions, minced garlic, cumin, oregano, S&P and sweat until soft.
Cook until they begin to turn light brown & the moisture is gone from the pan.

Add your chopped chiles next, along with 1 quart of the stock + drained diced tomatoes & stir to combine.
Bring to a boil, then simmer as long as you have time for. Letting it reduce a bit 'til the broth has some of the chile flavor.

Use a slotted spoon & scoop all the chunks into a blender, blend the sauce as much like.
I like mine not too soupy, but with a little texture left.

Pour the blended sauce back into the pan & add shredded chicken to the sauce & stir together.

Continue to simmer while you grab your grated cheese, corn tortillas & a baking dish...have 'em ready to go. Feel free to taste & add more S&P to your liking before putting every together in a baking dish.
I must warn you, these chiles pack quite a punch! So if you can't take the heat make adjustments as needed.

So here's how to put together my sloppy-lasagna-layer-style enchilada.
Spread the bottom of a baking dish with a bit of the sauce.

Layer corn tortillas on top of that. Yes, it's outrageous that tortillas are round & baking pans are square/rectangular, but you'll make due.

Pour some chicken & sauce on top & spread evenly throughout.

Add a layer of cheese.
Then more tortillas, chicken & sauce, cheese.

Repeat until you reach the top of the dish.

There should be a cup, more or less, of the sauce left...pour it over the whole dish.
This helps the cheese get extra sloppy.

There were a couple of corn tortillas left so I tore them into pieces & threw 'em on top with some more cheese.

Bake for 25 or so minutes in the heated oven at 350F until the whole thing is bubbling & the cheese on top has completely melted & the torn tortilla bits are golden.

Just look at this golden beauty!

I know you want some more up close shots of its gorgeous crust.

Let it rest & cool down for 5 minutes before serving to prevent liquid cheese burns.

Serve in heaping piles on a dinner plate with shredded iceberg lettuce, fresh diced tomato & beans on the side & a dollop of sour cream.
Feel free to substitute the sour cream with Greek yogurt, you won't even notice the difference.
Oh, don't be a cluck like me & forget all about avocado! Get 'em sliced & plate 'em on top & garnish with fresh cilantro.

It's quite alright if you want to unbutton your bottom & go back for a second or third serving.
If you've never tried Hatch Green Chiles I encourage you to try them out. You could also use them in homemade salsa, pico de gallo, chili, tortilla soup or on top of burgers! They are extremely cheap during the month of August (Whole Foods currently has them 3lbs for $1!) but they're available 'til early October.
Try them out & you'll find out why we (Texans) evangelize, obsess over & consume green chiles with abandon.

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