Because I’m close to being a Pam Anderson groupie, I bought Perfect One-Dish Dinners: All You Need for Easy Get-Togethers, sight unseen. Didn’t even ask my library to get a copy first! Her books have never disappointed me and only once can I remember making a recipe that wasn’t superb. (And it was superb later than expected, just the cooking time was way off.)
My daughter saw the picture of her Chicken Enchiladas Verde and said “Ooh, will you make that for dinner?!” In fact, I’d already decided to. I also needed to restock my chicken broth supply in the freezer so bought a whole chicken today and made chicken broth and cooked chicken at the same time. I left the whole chicken in the pot for about an hour, then pulled it out, let it cool while the broth simmered, pulled the meat off and put the bones and skin back into the pot to simmer another hour. I’ve got the broth sitting in the fridge so I can skim the fat off tomorrow and freeze the broth. I also hope to make some baked potato soup later this week. I’ll freeze the rest in 1 cup portions.
I would have followed her recipe exactly, other than halving it, except I didn’t have quite enough salsa verde so I ended up using some green taco sauce in addition to the salsa verde I had. My daughter has a sweet spot for anything with “verde” sauce, either one, be it chile verde or just adding the green sauce to tacos. These chicken enchiladas were right up her alley! And I’m pretty sure some will be taken to school for lunch later this week.
Chicken Enchiladas Verde
- 2 cups diced cooked chicken
- 2 cups salsa verde or a combo of salsa verde and green taco sauce!, divided
- 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese about 6 ounces, more than she called for, we like cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro more than she called for, we like this too!, divided
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 corn tortillas for 4 servings of 2 enchiladas each
- a few onion slices
- a bit of sour cream to serve at the table
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- In a small bowl, mix together the chicken, 1/2 cup salsa verde, 1 cup of the cheese, 1/4 cup cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.
- Spread half of the rest of the salsa in the bottom of a 7×11 baking pan. (This fit 8 enchiladas perfectly. You could probably also squeeze them into a 9×9 but this odd sized pan I have is just perfect for stuff like this and I use it more and more now that there are just two of us.)
- Heat the tortillas. I have a tortilla warmer that goes in the microwave. You could also wrap tortillas in paper towels and microwave. Or heat in a cast iron skillet until softened. They just roll better once they’re warmed up a bit.
- Spoon about 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture onto a tortilla and roll it up. Place it seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until you’re done.
- Top the enchiladas with the rest of the salsa and grated Jack cheese. Take a piece of aluminum foil and rub a bit of oil across it to prevent it from sticking to the enchiladas, then cover the enchiladas with the foil, oiled side down. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Take the dish out of the oven and take off the foil. Top the enchiladas with the onion slices and the rest of the cilantro. Let sit a few minutes while you fix everything else, then dish up.
- Serve with the rest of the salsa verde and sour cream to add at the table.
I made some pinto beans to go with these, as well as a simple salad.
This would be a great dish to entertain with, as she says in the book. You can fix it all ahead of time up to the baking part, and the refrigerate up to a day. That also means you could fix it on a Sunday when you have more time to cook and have dinner all ready to go into the oven on Monday night. I would venture to guess you could also freeze it at that point (where you cover with foil) but I have not yet tried that. I don’t do much freeze-ahead meals at this point.
The other recipes in the book seem to run the gamut from simple to complex. The idea is to provide a menu that lets you entertain easily, so much of the prep work can be done in advance, before your company arrives. She provides appetizer, side or dessert recipes to go with many of the dishes, plus ideas for variations. For example, the enchiladas section included ideas to substitute crab for the chicken. There were also recipes for beef and seafood enchiladas that did not use the verde sauce. I am frustrated by the lack of a table of contents that lists individual recipes. I would prefer that up front with the major sections (stews, casseroles, etc.) but you have to go browse the index to find individual recipes.