Chicken Enchilada Stack
One of the regular Sunday dinner dishes that my great-aunt Ilene prepares for our extended family is chicken enchiladas. Rolling forty to fifty tortillas for enchiladas is time-consuming, so I created a new version that saves time and stress in preparation, which will allow you more time to fellowship! I use corn tortillas, which contain less fat than flour ones, and serve a fresh green tomato sauce, avocado cubes, and cilantro on the side. Using corn tortillas instead of flour makes the dish a great gluten-free menu option.
Thanksgiving Tip: You can use leftover turkey instead of the chicken in this dish.
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
1 (2-pound) rotisserie chicken
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne
10 cups packed finely chopped turnip greens or kale
2 cups chicken stock, divided
18 small white corn tortillas
1 1/4 cups shredded Colby Jack cheese, divided
1 1/4 cups shredded pepper jack cheese, divided
Southern Verde Sauce (see recipe below)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
1 avocado, pitted and diced for garnish
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish with olive oil.
Shred both the white and dark meat from the chicken into a medium bowl.
In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, 1⁄ 4 teaspoon of the sea salt, and ground cayenne. Pour over the chicken and toss to coat.
In a large sauté pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the turnip greens, and cook, stirring often, until the greens begin to wilt, about 3 minutes. Add 1⁄2 cup of the chicken stock and the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt. Cook for another 7 minutes.
Heat the remaining 1 1 ⁄ 2 cups chicken stock in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Dip the tortillas, one at a time, into the stock, and then place in the baking dish until the bottom of the pan is covered by slightly overlapping tortillas. Sprinkle half of the chicken mixture over the tortillas, and then evenly top with half of the turnip greens. Scatter 1 ⁄ 2 cup of the shredded Colby Jack and 1⁄ 2 cup of the pepper jack cheese over the turnip greens. Dip more tortillas into the stock, and place on top of the cheese. Spread the remaining chicken mixture on top, and scatter 1⁄2 cup Colby Jack and 1 ⁄ 2 cup pepper jack cheese over the chicken. Place a final layer of dipped tortillas on top of the cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil, and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove the pan from the oven, and pour 1 1 ⁄ 2 cups Southern Verde Sauce over the stack. Sprinkle the remaining 1 ⁄ 4 cup Colby Jack cheese and the remaining 1 ⁄ 4 cup pepper jack cheese on top. Return to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
Serve warm topped with the chopped cilantro and avocado. Serve the remaining Southern Verde Sauce on the side.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Southern Verde Sauce
1/2 yellow onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
3 medium green tomatoes, sliced
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup unsalted chicken stock
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon fresh lime juice
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Layer the onion, garlic, and green tomatoes in a 9 x 13-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle the salt over the vegetables. Add the chicken stock. Bake the vegetables on the top rack of the oven for about 40 minutes, until soft and lightly browned.
Transfer the vegetables to a blender jar. Add the cumin, cilantro, honey, and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Season the sauce with additional salt, to taste.
Serve warm or cold. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Makes about 2 1/4 cups.