75 ratings

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas
Will Budiaman

Chicken Enchiladas

Here’s my twist on chicken enchiladas. Red sauce is great and all, but sometimes you just need a change. I topped my enchiladas with a cilantro-pepita dressing and pico de gallo, but you can definitely turn up the heat level with some serrano or habanero peppers. Pepitas are green pumpkin seeds often used in Mexican cooking and can be found in the specialty foods aisle of the grocery store (try asking for pine nuts, and they should be nearby).

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For the pico de gallo

  • 1 tomato, diced finely
  • 1/2 onion, diced finely
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped finely
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the green sauce

  • 3/4 cups shelled pepitas
  • 3/4 cups water
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the enchiladas

  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 whole chicken legs, bone-in
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 poblano pepper
  • 15 ounces canned black or pinto beans
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 onion, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 12 corn tortillas


For the pico de gallo

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

For the green sauce

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spread the pepitas onto a baking sheet in a single layer, and place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool briefly. Keep the oven on.

Combine the toasted pepitas, water, cilantro, and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor, and pulse until it forms a loose paste. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.

For the enchiladas

Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in an ovenproof 10-inch sauté pan over high heat until shimmering. Season both sides of the chicken legs with the cayenne, paprika, chili powder, and salt. Brown both sides of the chicken, about 5 minutes total.

Meanwhile, char the poblano pepper directly over a high gas flame, allowing each side to char completely black before turning with tongs. Set aside to cool.

Place the chicken in the oven, and roast for 25 minutes. Meanwhile, add the beans, garlic clove, and bay leaf to a small pot, and set over medium heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt, to taste. Drain the beans and discard the garlic and bay leaf. Set aside, and keep covered.

Once the poblano pepper has cooled, slice it in half lengthwise, and remove the stem and seeds. Slice the pepper into ¼-inch strips. Set aside.

Remove the chicken from the oven, and set the chicken aside on a work surface to cool. To the same pan, add the onion and cook over high heat until crisp tender, about 5 minutes. Combine the onions, sliced peppers, and beans in a bowl. Pick apart the chicken meat from the bone and add to the mixture. Drizzle with the lime juice and mix well. Set aside, and keep covered.

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon of oil, and heat the tortillas through, one by one, about 15 seconds on each side. Keep the tortillas covered. To assemble the enchiladas, take about 2 tablespoons of the filling and place it in the center of each tortilla. Roll the tortillas, and top with the sauce. If the filling has cooled to room temperature, place the assembled enchiladas back in the oven for about 10 minutes to warm through. Serve immediately topped with pico de gallo.

Nutritional Facts
Calories Per Serving1090
Total Fat44g68%
Vitamin A95µg11%
Vitamin B121µg16.1%
Vitamin B61mg70%
Vitamin C59mg98%
Vitamin D0.2µgN/A
Vitamin E2mg11%
Vitamin K30µg37%
Folate (food)601µgN/A
Folate equivalent (total)601µg100%
Niacin (B3)12mg60%
Riboflavin (B2)0.6mg35.4%
Thiamin (B1)1mg68%