Austin Urban Gardens

Raised Bed Gardening and Eating Well in Austin, Texas

Chicken Enchiladas with Cilantro Cream and Salsa Verde February 18, 2012

Last November, I went on a salsa verde canning binge.  Springdale Farm had the most lovely purple and green tomatillos.  It was so easy and fun, and at the time I could think of lots of things to do with salsa verde; comprised of charred tomatillos, onions, peppers, garlic, cilantro and lime juice.  I am a compulsive girl, and canned about 12 pints of salsa verde.  I have given some away, and used some to make Chiliquiles thus far.

I was invited to s dinner for Valentines day, and decided to make chicken enchiladas, using the salsa verde and a Dewberry Hills Farm chicken I had purchased at the farmer’s market.  I also had on hand lots of cilantro pesto and fresh cilantro from raiding the garden at Austin Wine Merchant.  (Austin Wine Merchant has a working garden on all sides of the parking lot, which I help them with from time to time.)

In order to make the salsa verde shelf stable, the canning recipe calls for quite a bit of lime juice, making it fairly tart and astringent.  My goal to counter this tartness, was the addition of a creamy element, via Full Quiver Neufchatel, which is like a decadent, thick cream cheese.  First, I cooked and diced the chicken and dumped it into a big bowl.

Full Quiver Neufchatel

Next, I made my cilantro cream mixture, by combining 2 tubs of Neufchatel with about a 1/3 cup of the cilantro pesto I had made earlier.  The creamy sauce was too thick, so I thinned it with some goat milk, then added more handfuls of cilantro and blended it.  Once I was happy with the texture, I added it into the chicken, with about 3 cups of grated Full Quiver Monterrey Jack cheese, mixed it and set it aside.

Chicken, cilantro cream mixture

I had purchased fresh corn tortillas from El Milagro tortilla factory on East 6th.   I attempted to soften them enough to roll, by moistening them in the Salsa Verde.  This did not work, they still broke.  So, in batches of twos, I heated them in a little oil until soft and pliable.

Failed tortilla softening method

I poured about a pint of the salsa in my dish, and commenced rolling the chicken, cheese mixture into each tortilla and filling the pan.  Once it was filled to capacity, I poured over a bit more salsa, the topped with a good amount of grated Full Quiver Cheddar, and some chopped cilantro for color and garnish.

Enchiladas just need baking

The enchiladas were heated at the farm, so there is no final melty picture, but I think you get the gist.   They were well received, although I would have tweeked the recipe more to add more heat to the chicken mixture.  Alas, peppers aren’t in season, so I make do  with what I can get from the farmer’s market and farm stands.  This coming pepper season, I will roast lots of green chiles and keep them in the freezer for future enchiladas and other dishes.


One Response to “Chicken Enchiladas with Cilantro Cream and Salsa Verde”

  1. This looks just heavenly, Carla! I’m planning to grow tomatillas this year, so I’d love that recipe; }

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