Enchilada Dinner

Arriba! Arriba! It’s a Mexican Fiesta!

I started making this recipe right after Thanksgiving last year when some friends gave us a smoked turkey for Thanksgiving.  We had lots of leftovers and while I love turkey, a little smoked turkey goes a long way with me.   My sister-in-law told me she had made enchiladas out of hers and I started looking for a good enchilada recipe so I could use up my turkey.   I found this recipe by Tyler Florence that uses a store bought roasted chicken, and it turned out so great, that I’ve been making it regularly ever since, of course with a few modifications of my own.    Well, I got what we in the south call a “hankerin” for some of these enchiladas and I proclaimed yesterday a Mexican Fiesta!  No Fiesta is complete without Salsa & Guacamole with Chips, Sangria and Margaritas, so I put my man to work on the Enchiladas while I made a run to the store and then went to work on the salsa, guacamole & sangria!   I’ve also posted those recipes too!    We were only missing the pinata, but didn’t have time to get out the paper mache’!

This dinner does take a little while to pull together, but it’s well worth it.  You can make much of it ahead of time and then assemble the enchiladas when you are ready.    If you have a partner, you can make fast work of it.    The recipe also calls for white long grain rice, but I substituted a brown rice medly that included barley this time and it was really excellent!  This easily makes enough for 8 people or you can make the whole batch and freeze half for later.

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa


Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa:

  • 2 pounds tomatillos, husked
  • 2 white onions, peeled, sliced, quartered or whole
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 4 jalapenos
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime, juiced


  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • Chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1 deli roasted chicken (about 3 pounds), boned, meat, shredded
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • About 20-25 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • Chopped tomatoes and cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Spicy Black Beans, recipe follows
  • Yellow Rice, recipe follows
  • Guacamole, optional


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

For the salsa:

On a baking tray, roast tomatillos, onion, garlic and jalapenos for 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer the roasted vegetables and any juices on the bottom of the tray to a food processor. Add the cumin, salt, cilantro, and lime juice and pulse mixture until well combined but still chunky.


Meanwhile heat a 2 count of olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat (roughly 2 tablespoons). Add the onion and cook until soft and caramelized – this should take 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin then cook for a further minute. Sprinkle on the flour and stir to ensure the flour doesn’t burn then gradually add the chicken stock to make a veloute. Continue stirring over a low simmer until the flour cooks and the liquid thickens. Turn off the heat, add 3-4 cups of the roasted tomatillo chile salsa, some additional fresh chopped cilantro and fold in the shredded chicken meat. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.

Change the temperature of the oven to 350 degrees F and begin assembling the dish. Take a large baking dish and smear the bottom with some of the reserved tomatillo salsa.  Now take the  tortillas and warm them so they are flexible.  You can do this by wrapping them in foil and putting them in the oven for about 5 minutes.  Put a scoop of the shredded chicken-enchilada mix on top of the tortilla followed by a sprinkle of the shredded cheese. Fold the tortilla over the filling and roll like a cigar to enclose it.  Place the tortillas in the baking dish and continue to do the same with all the tortillas. Finally pour over some more of the salsa and top with the remaining shredded cheese. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes until bubbly and cracked on top. Garnish, cilantro and tomato.

Serve hot with Spicy Black Beans and Yellow Rice, the remaining tomatillo salsa, sour cream and fresh guacamole, if desired.

Spicy Black Beans:

  • 2 cans black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper


In a pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, jalapeno pepper, garlic, and bay leaf and cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and cover with water by about 1-inch. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the beans are hot. Let sit for 15 minutes to soak up the flavors.  Remove the bay leaf and discard. Taste the beans and season with salt and pepper.

Yellow Rice:

  • 2 cups long-grain rice (or your favorite rice)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 bay leaf

Put all the ingredients into a heavy-bottomed pot, stir well, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook over low heat until the rice has absorbed the water, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and let sit, covered, for 5 minutes. Discard the garlic and bay leaf, fluff with a fork, and serve.

See the Salsa & Guacamole recipe here.

See the Sangria recipe here.

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