Mexico City Enchilada

Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
1h 30 min
8 servings

In Mexico, the go-to enchilada flavour is spicy stewed chicken and salsa verde, and this dish captures that authentic flavour, bringing together fresh ingredients and traditional cooking styles for a true Tex-Mex creation. (Courtesy of Sylvia Casares, Sylvia’s Enchilada Kitchen.)



Salsa Verde

1 ½
lb(s) tomatillos, peeled and rinsed
large white onion, chopped papery outer skin, cut in half
jalapeño, cut into 4 pieces (do not remove seeds)
large tomato, chopped in 4 pieces
garlic cloves, minced
1 ¼
tsp salt

Tortillas, Pollo Guisado and Assembly

cups masa harina
tbsp all-purpose flour (optional)
tsp salt
Chile sauce (your own preference and optional)
cup vegetable oil
- 3 lb(s) chicken, whole or cut into 8 or 10 serving pieces
3 ½
tsp salt
tsp Tex-Mex Holy Trinity cheese
onion, chopped
bay leaves
large tomato, chopped
cup tomato sauce


Step 1

For Salsa Verde, in a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the tomatillos, onion, jalapeño, tomato, and 2 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until all the ingredients are soft. Remove from heat & set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.

Step 2

In a blender jar or work bowl of a food processor, mix garlic, cilantro, and salt until smooth.

Step 3

Add the tomatillo mixture. Process on high speed until very smooth, about 1 minute.

Step 4

Set aside for at least 10 minutes to let the flavors mellow before serving. Reheat gently, if needed, on the stovetop or in a microwave oven on low power until heated through.

Step 5

For tortillas, Pollo Guisado and Assembly, in a medium bowl, combine the masa, flour (if using), and salt.

Step 6

Using your hands or a wooden spoon, mix well to blend.

Step 7

Add 1 1/2 cups water and mix until all the ingredients are well blended.

Step 8

Knead for about 30 seconds, until the dough forms a firm but very pliable ball.

Step 9

If the dough is too dry, add 2 to 3 tablespoons additional water. Divide the dough into 16 golf ball–size rounds. Place in a large, clean bowl and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap.

Step 10

Preheat a comal or griddle over medium-high heat. The comal is ready when water sprinkled on the hot surface “dances.” The temperature should be around 400°F.

Step 11

Before cooking the tortillas, use a balled-up paper towel to apply a light coat of vegetable oil to the surface of the preheated comal.

Step 12

Using a tortilla press, place one piece of plastic wrap on the bottom plate. Place a dough ball in the center and press down with your hand to flatten to about 2 inches in diameter.

Step 13

Center a second piece of plastic over the flattened dough and press down with the top side of the press. Press until the tortilla is about 6 inches in diameter.

Step 14

Lift the tortilla off the press and carefully peel the plastic off one side. Turn the tortilla into your other hand. Peel off the second piece of plastic. Flip the tortilla onto the hot comal. Veteran tortilla makers flip tortillas with their fingers. This requires a great deal of experience and desensitized fingertips. Not recommended that you try this at home!

Step 15

Cook the tortilla for about 15 seconds; then flip it over using a spatula. This step is very important to set the dough.

Step 16

After flipping, cook the tortilla for about 1 minute, then flip again. Cook for another 1 minute. Place the cooked tortilla in a tortilla warmer or a bowl covered with a towel.

Step 17

Repeat the process, oiling the comal as needed, until all the tortillas are pressed and cooked.

Step 18

Dip each tortilla in the chile sauce. Drain off excess liquid. Stack the spiced tortillas on a plate.

Step 19

Using a nonstick spatula, slide one flavored tortilla at a time into the hot oil, cook for 2 or 3 seconds, then turn it over. When the tortilla is pliable (after another 1 or 2 seconds), remove from the oil immediately so the tortilla doesn’t crisp. Tortillas should remain pliable for rolling. The total time in the oil should be no more than 5 seconds.

Step 20

Stack the softened tortillas on a plate and continue dipping in hot oil until all the flavored tortillas are softened. Cover the softened flavored tortillas with plastic or foil to keep soft.

Step 21

Allow the tortillas to cool for 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Covered tightly with plastic wrap to prevent drying out, tortillas may sit for as long as an hour.

Step 22

In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the whole chicken or chicken pieces, 1 quart water, and 2 teaspoons of the salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 35 minutes.

Step 23

Remove the chicken from the saucepan and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Reserve the broth in a saucepan off the heat.

Step 24

To the broth in the saucepan, add the Holy Trinity, the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the onion, bay leaves, tomato, and tomato sauce. Stir to combine.

Step 25

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin. Pull meat from the bones and shred the meat by hand or chop into bite-size pieces. Discard the skin and bones.

Step 26

Over low heat, add the chicken to the broth mixture.

Step 27

Simmer for 20 minutes, or until soft.

Step 28

Set aside off the heat for about 15 minutes to cool. Using a slotted spoon, transfer seasoned chicken meat to a clean container, draining most of the liquid.

Step 29

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray a 9 × 11-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Step 30

Place 2 tablespoons of the chicken in the center of a tortilla.

Step 31

Roll and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until all the tortillas are filled, arranging them in the baking dish with 1/8 inch in between.

Step 32

Pour 1/4 cup sauce over each enchilada and sprinkle evenly with the cheese.

Step 33

Bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.

Step 34

Top each enchilada with about 2 tablespoons sour cream. Serve immediately.

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