With the abundant tomatillos and poblano peppers at the end of the growing season, I made great salsa verde two ways: roasted in a hot oven and gently poached on the stovetop. I had lots of chicken meat from a roast chicken, and the last bit of cilantro from the garden, so I made a filling for either quesadillas or enchiladas, incorporating chicken, salsa verde, additional chopped roasted poblano peppers and torn cilantro leaves.
For the quesadillas, spoon the chicken and salsa mixture onto flour (or corn) tortillas sprinkled the mixture with Monterey jack cheese, and grilled the disks on a stovetop griddle. These made delightful wedges for snacks or lunch.
Rolled in tortillas and topped with more salsa verde and cheese, the chicken mixture made a great filling for baked enchiladas topped with a few oven roasted baby poblanos. Every time I make one of these dishes I wonder why they’re not a weeknight staple. With ample tomatillo salsa in the pantry and a new technique of roasting the sauce on a baking sheet in a really hot oven, I could be on to something.
Quesadillas with Chicken in Salsa Verde
2 flour or corn tortillas (I used 9-inch flour tortillas)
3 tbsp shredded chicken
1 tbsp sautéed or roasted green pepper (combination sweet bell pepper and poblano)
3 tbsp salsa verde
Torn cilantro leaves
3-4 tbsp finely shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Accompaniments: pico de gallo, salsa verde, sour cream
Preheat a stovetop griddle to medium high heat. Place the tortillas next to each other on a flat surface. Combine the chicken, pepper, salsa verde and fresh cilantro. Sprinkle half the cheese on one tortilla, add the chicken mixture and top with the remaining cheese and the second tortilla, Glaze the heated griddle with vegetable oil and place the tortilla on the griddle, weighting it with a grill press or a teakettle. Cook for a few minutes until brown and crisp, flip and cook the other side. Serve warm, cut into wedges and accompanied by homemade pico de gallo (tomato salsa), salsa verde and sour cream. Serves 1 or 2.
Chicken Enchiladas with Salsa Verde
1 c shredded chicken
¼ sautéed green pepper (combination sweet Bell pepper and poblano)
1 c salsa verde, divided
Torn cilantro leaves
Hot pepper sauce or chopped jalapenos
4-5 flour tortillas
1/3 c finely shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the chicken, pepper, 1/3 c salsa verde and cilantro. Taste for seasoning and increase the heat by adding prepare hot sauce or chopped fresh hot peppers such as jalapenos.
In a baking dish large enough to hold the finished tortillas (a 10×10 baking dish held 5 filled tortillas), smear the bottom with a few tbsp of the salsa verde.
Place ¼-1/5 of the filling on each tortilla, wrap it into a tight cylinder and place it in the baking dish. Pour the remaining salsa verde on top and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
Bake for 35 minutes or until bubbly. Let sit for 5 minutes and serve hot, on top of rice combined with sautéed hot peppers and chopped fresh cilantro or alongside a dish of black beans and rice. Serves 2-3.