Enchiladas Pachuqueñas (Chicken Enchiladas with Poblano Chile Sauce)

Enchiladas Pachuquenas
Copyright Trinity University Press
  • 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:

  1.  Mix the shredded chicken with queso fresco and set aside.

Prepare the sauce:

  1. 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.
  2. Strain through a medium-mesh strainer.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. Have the garnishes ready and at hand.
  2. 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).
  3. Place each tortilla in oil and fry for a few seconds, just long enough to soften. Drain on paper towels.
  4. Dip a softened tortilla in the warm sauce.
  5. Place 2 tablespoons filling on each tortilla. Fold in half and place, slightly overlapping, on a warm individual plate, 3 enchiladas per serving.
  6. 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:


  1. Deep soup pot with lid
  2. Calibrated instant-read thermometer


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Add the chicken (legs and thighs first, followed by the breasts) and allow the liquid to return almost to a boil.
  4. 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.
  5. As the chicken pieces are done, remove them from the pot, moisten with broth, and allow to cool.
  6. 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