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You are getting hungry... verde hungry...

Tried my hand at Chicken Enchiladas Verdes tonight! It was supposed to be for Saturday night but, hey, if you can't be a little flexible with meals then you have no business cooking!

Unlike Beef Bourguignon, this recipe did not take all day to make. And, unlike Beef Bourguignon, I had never attempted this recipe before. It was a challenge, to say the least. It called for things I had never heard of before (tomatillos, for instance), and asked me to cook the one thing I really hate cooking: Chicken. But, seeing as this is my experimental cooking time, I went ahead and tried it out.


I'm not going to lie to you. About half way through this recipe, I panicked. First off, some of my tomatillos were less than desirable. Because I'd never used or heard of tomatillos before, I didn't think to check and make sure all of them were okay. I was able to use most of them, but a few had to be tossed into the trash. It was sad. Then, because I have no idea how to cook chicken, I had a mini panic attack because I wasn't sure if it had cooked all the way through (it was fine, tho, just fyi). Then, I had another panic attack because I had to use some of the chili verde sauce to mix into the chicken, and what was left over did not look like very much. Still, I kept on truckin'. 

I seriously thought these were going to turn out horrible, though. But, to my surprise (and relief!) they were VERY delicious, and the only thing I didn't like was that I didn't have more! 

FAVORITE THING: 

The recipe was very flexible. If you compare the picture of my Chicken Enchiladas Verdes with that on simplyrecipes.com, you'll notice that they look pretty much nothing alike. That's because I took quite a bit of liberty with this recipe... once I began to panic, I kind of just fumbled my way through. I used bigger tortillas and thus was only able to make 10 enchiladas instead of 12. I tore the chicken apart with my hands, instead of using a knife and fork. I used a large, sweet yellow onion which I think gave it a touch more flavor (I know my onions, trust me) and I eyeballed most of the measurements. Finally, instead of simply warming the enchiladas in the oven, I let them bake a bit. I put them in as I readied the sauce (as per the instructions), then put them back in once I applied the cheese and chile verde sauce. This made the cheese all melty, and made the chicken and tortillas soak up all of the flavors, instead of simply holding it all together. 
The chile verde sauce. This is something I am definitely going to use with other dishes. It was extremely easy to make and was so delicious! It was easily my favorite part of the meal. It was kind of sweet, and had quite a kick to it. So wonderful. Even after the sour cream was added, it was wonderful. And it went really well with the chicken. 

LEAST FAVORITE THING:

Aside from all the panic involved, I was really bummed that I didn't plan further ahead and actually have something to go along with the meal. It seemed incredibly bare, just having the enchiladas on a plate... but I don't know how to make Mexican food. I realized that it's a genre (can food have genres?) in which I'm lacking when it comes to cooking. I'm hoping I can learn some side dishes and have an actual meal when I come to this recipe again... because I will be coming to it again. 
HELPFUL TIPS: 
  1. Cook the chicken the night before. The recipe calls for you to make the chile verde sauce while you're cooking the chicken, but it saved me a lot of time to just cook the chicken the night before and refrigerate it. That way, I could shred the chicken while the sauce was cooking! And I microwaved it for about 45 seconds to get it warmed a bit. The oven did the rest. 
  2. Let it bake in the oven. As I said already, it helps melt the cheese and forces the flavors to all blend together. 
  3. Check your tomatillos when you buy them/buy them the day of cooking. This may be known by everyone else but I'm going to assume there are a few people out there that didn't know this: tomatillos are apparently very common in grocery stores. They come in little papery husks that I thought were completely attached; they are not. SO, be sure to check your tomatillos for any dead spots. A few small ones are fine, those can be cut off, but some are too damaged to take. The husk is very easy to remove, and I'm sure there isn't a law against checking your produce before purchasing it. 
  4. Double the recipe! Everyone so far has enjoyed these enchiladas, and they are all wanting more! If you plan on feeding 4 or more people with this recipe, double it. Your consumers will be grateful!
CONCLUSION: Chicken Enchiladas Verdes is a bit of a challenge in the hands of a first timer, but it is extremely flexible, very affordable (about 30$), and quite delicious. If you like cooking, and like the idea of cooking, I suggest you give it a whirl. Your family's taste buds will be thanking you! 

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1 comments:

aggiechica said...

Here's a Mexican Rice recipe I use when I make Mexican food. Is it authentic? Probably not. But it's an easy side and it's pretty good!
http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Mexican-Rice-II/Detail.aspx

Christa