Health(ier) Chicken Enchiladas


Enchiladas aren’t necessarily the healthiest Mexican entrée you can make. They’re typically loaded with cheese, tons of sour cream, and sometimes fatty cuts of meat. These ones are of the lighter fare, but do not lack in flavor, as the tomatillo sauce delivers a delicious umami punch, and there’s just enough low-fat cheese and cream to satiate your appetite. Plus, you don’t have to bake them – which means each person served can control their own toppings. Another thing that makes this recipe great is that each step is really simple and there’s time between steps to clean up the kitchen, listen to music, or even time to check in with your family and/or watch a little TV.


Health(ier) Chicken Enchiladas!

Time: 1 Hour
Serves 4

2.5 pounds skinless chicken legs, thighs, and breasts
1 bay leaf
6 peppercorns
5 medium cloves garlic, unpeeled
1.5 lbs tomatillos, husks removed
1 medium onion, halved
1-2 medium serrano or jalapeno peppers, roughly chopped
Sea salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tsbp olive oil plus additional for frying
12 corn tortillas
1/2 cup Monterrey Jack or Colby cheese, shredded
1/3 cup light sour cream or Mexican crema
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, stems removed, chopped
4 birdseye chilies, chopped, for garnish (optional)

In a large stockpot, add chicken, bay leaf, peppercorns, 2 cloves garlic, and ½ onion. Add cold water several inches above chicken level and bring to a boil. Simmer on low heat for 20-25 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 150F (the temperature will rise when the chicken rests). Reserve ½ cup chicken broth and transfer chicken to a platter, breaking up the chicken a little with two forks to speed cooling.

Meanwhile, add tomatillos to a large saucepan with 3 cloves garlic and ½ onion. Add cold water slightly above tomatillo level. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, or until tomatillos are soft. Strain tomatillos and garlic and set aside to cool.

Once tomatillos and garlic have cooled a little, add to a blender with reserved chicken broth and peppers. Blend on high until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and blend again for 10 seconds to combine.

In a shallow skillet over medium-high heat, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Lightly fry tortillas for about 30 seconds on each side and transfer to a paper towel lined plate, adding new paper towels between each tortilla.

To plate, fold tortillas in half and slightly overlap them in an even layer (3 tortillas per person). Spoon over a layer of tomatillo sauce followed by a layer of shredded cheese, chicken, Mexican crema, diced onion, and cilantro. Top with additional tomatillo sauce, and garnish with birdseye chilies if desired.