Enchiladas Pachuqueñas (Chicken Enchiladas with Poblano Chile Sauce)
- Yield: 12 pieces
- Prep: 15 minutes
- Cook: 1 hour
- 2cups poached and shredded chicken breast
- 3/4cup queso fresco, crumbled
- 6 poblano chiles, fire roasted roasted, peeled, seeded, and deveined, divided (1 poblano reserved for garnish)
- 1medium white onion, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1/2cup roasted peanuts
- 1slice French bread, soaked in 1 cup whole milk
- 1tablespoon vegetable oil for frying
- 1/2cup heavy cream
- Milk or water as needed for thinning sauce
- Kosher salt to taste
- 12 corn tortillas
- Vegetable oil as needed for softening tortillas
- Sliced radishes
- Shredded iceberg lettuce
- Reserved poblano chile, chopped
- 1/4cup queso fresco, crumbled
- Poached Chicken for Enchiladas
- 3pounds chicken pieces, bone in, skin on, white or dark meat, or a mixture of both (depending on what the recipe calls for)
- 4teaspoons kosher salt
- 1medium white onion, peeled and quartered
- 2cloves garlic, peeled and slightly crushed
- 8 whole peppercorns
Start with the filling:
- Mix the shredded chicken with queso fresco and set aside.
Prepare the sauce:
- Place 5 prepared poblanos (reserve 1 for garnish), the onion, roasted peanuts, and the bread with its soaking liquid in a blender and purée until smooth.
- Strain through a medium-mesh strainer.
- Heat 1 tablespoon (15 ml) oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the poblano purée, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 5–8 minutes, or until sauce slightly darkens.
- Stir in the cream. Taste and season with salt. Gently simmer for a few minutes longer to allow the flavors to meld. Add milk or water as needed to attain a medium sauce consistency. Cover, set aside, and keep warm.
Assemble the enchiladas:
- Have the garnishes ready and at hand.
- Pour oil to a depth of 1 ⁄2 inch (12 mm) in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Heat to low frying temperature, about 300°F (150°C).
- Place each tortilla in oil and fry for a few seconds, just long enough to soften. Drain on paper towels.
- Dip a softened tortilla in the warm sauce.
- Place 2 tablespoons filling on each tortilla. Fold in half and place, slightly overlapping, on a warm individual plate, 3 enchiladas per serving.
- Garnish with radishes, lettuce, poblano, and queso fresco.
Note: If a spicier sauce is desired, one de-stemmed, chopped serrano can be processed with the chiles.
Poached Chicken for Enchiladas:
- Deep soup pot with lid
- Calibrated instant-read thermometer
- Remove the chicken pieces from the refrigerator approximately 1 hour before poaching. Separate thighs and legs; if breasts are very thick or large, cut in half.
- Place 3 quarts (3 liters) water in a deep soup pot over high heat. Add salt, onion, garlic, and peppercorns and bring to a boil. Lower heat slightly, cover, and let boil for about 15 minutes to infuse water with the seasonings.
- Add the chicken (legs and thighs first, followed by the breasts) and allow the liquid to return almost to a boil.
- Immediately adjust heat to the barest simmer (just an occasional bubble) 195–205°F (91–96°C) and allow chicken to poach until the meat reaches an inter- nal temperature of 165°F (74°C). Begin checking internal temperature of smaller pieces at 25 minutes—cooking times for individual pieces will vary. Large or thick breast pieces may take up to 1 hour, but be careful not to overcook or boil.
- As the chicken pieces are done, remove them from the pot, moisten with broth, and allow to cool.
- When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken into bite-size pieces (deshebrada), discarding skin and bones.
This recipe appeared in the book Enchiladas: Aztec to Tex-Mex by Cappy Lawton and Chris Waters Dunn published by Trinity University Press and was republished with permission. For more information, please visit www.tupress.org