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Chicken Enchiladas in Creamy Avocado Sauce {Avocados from Mexico}

Okay.  I know that there are a ton of avocado lover's out there.  And I am definitely a card-carrying member of that group!  That's why, when the gang over at Avocados from Mexico launched a new recipe section on their site entitled Recipes from Avocado Lovers, I high tailed it over to check it out.

It's an avocado lover's dream.  Not only are there tasty recipes and meal ideas built around the beautiful avocado, but you can also download ringtones, wallpapers, and other fun avocado goodies.
While my favorite avocado preparations are the simplest... guacamole, sliced and strategically placed in a BLT, adorning tacos, tostadas, and salads...I always love finding unexpected used for them.  Use them to moisten a quick bread.  Combine them with chocolate to make a delectable cake.  Creamy them with sweetened condensed milk for a paleta that will keep you cool in the heat.

Today, I decided that I wanted to blend them into a creamy sauce alongside tangy tomatillos, earthy chile peppers, and cool Mexican crema.  What better vehicle for that sauce than a family favorite, enchiladas!?  These turned out rich, earthy, and laden with the flavor of avocado - a real treat for any avocado lover.

Chicken Enchiladas in Creamy Avocado Sauce

by Heather Schmitt-González
Prep Time: 30-45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Keywords: bake entree avocado chicken chiles tomatillos American Southwest

Ingredients (serves 8-12)
  • ~1¼ lbs. tomatillos, husked & rinsed
  • 1 Poblano
  • 1 jalapeño, stemmed
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • ½ small onion, cut in half
  • ~½ tsp. salt
  • 2 c. chicken stock or water
  • 1 large avocado, peeled & pitted
  • ½ c. crema or sour cream
  • 4 c. cooked, shredded chicken thighs (or breast or a mix)
  • 24 corn tortillas (or small flour tortillas)
  • 8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
to garnish:
  • thinly sliced onion
  • chopped cilantro
  • cubed avocado
  • salsa verde
Preheat broiler. Lay tomatillos, poblano, jalapeño, garlic, and onion out on a broiler pan lined with foil. Slide under preheated broiler until charred and blistered in spots, removing things to a bowl as they are done.

Peel the skin, stem, and seeds from the poblano when cool enough to handle. Peel the garlic cloves. Add everything to the jar of a blender and add salt. Puree until smooth. Strain through a fine mesh strainer and return to rinsed blender jar.

Add chicken stock, avocado, and crema to the blender jar and puree again until you have a smooth sauce. Pour into a microwave proof bowl. Place in microwave (or you can do this on the stove top) and heat for a few minutes until warm.

Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray both sides of the tortillas with pan spray (or brush lightly with oil) and shingle them on a baking sheet. Place in the oven until warm and pliable, ~3 minutes. Remove from oven and drape with a clean kitchen towel to keep warm. Mix ~1½ cup of the heated sauce with the shredded chicken.

Ladle ~½ cup sauce into the bottom of two 9" x 13" pans and spread around. Working quickly, lay a tortilla in front of you and spoon some of the chicken mixture on top. Roll up tightly and place, seam side down, into the pan. Repeat until all of the tortillas and chicken are used up, placing ~12 enchiladas in each pan. Divide the remaining sauce between the pans, pouring it over the top of the enchiladas. Divide cheese amongst pans, sprinkling over the top of everything.

Slide into preheated oven and bake for ~20 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling around the edges.

Serve immediately with any or all of the garnish you desire.

*4 cups cooked chicken comes from approx. 2 lbs. raw chicken. If you need to cook it, place raw chicken along with a quartered onion, a few smashed garlic cloves, some sprigs of fresh herbs (or a few pinches of dried) such as thyme, oregano, cilantro, or parsley, plus some salt and pepper and cover with water by about an inch. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a lazy bubble for ~15-20 minutes or until cooked through. Let cool a bit in the broth until you're able to handle it. Shred using your hands or two forks.

Prepare these just before you're ready to eat and have everything ready to go as the tortillas become very soft in the sauce after cooking and begin to fall apart. They'll still be tasty, but you'll have more of a tortilla casserole than enchiladas if they sit for too long.
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