Here's an easy way to make a delicious batch of Creamy Poblano Enchiladas.
The sauce is loaded with that sweet roasted Poblano flavor and that's the key to these enchis.
Once you've got the sauce on hand then everything beyond that is a bonus, so feel free to get creative with the fixings. I went with cheese, chicken, and raw onion on the inside for this batch 🙂
How To Make Creamy Poblano Enchiladas
Roasted Poblanos have a wonderfully rich and complex flavor -- we'll keep that flavor at the forefront and build the rest of the dish around it.
We're using 4 Poblanos for this batch and their heat does pile up when used in bunches, but once you add in stock and cream the heat will mellow out. How hot are Poblanos?
You are welcome to roast the Poblanos in your preferred manner, but I'm still in the habit of using the oven so that's what I did for this batch.
They'll need a half hour or so in the oven (400F) to extract that sweet roasted flavor.
And since the oven was on I decided to brine-and-bake the chicken for this batch. I frequently do this when shredded chicken is called for, but feel free to cook the chicken as you see fit.
To brine the chicken, simply add 1/4 cup Kosher or sea salt to a mixing bowl along with a single quart of cold water. Stir to dissolve the salt and let the chicken rest in this brine for 30-60 minutes:
When rushed and hungry I will just grab this chicken when I need it, and I've found that even a short swim in this saltwater will give your chicken a nice bump in flavor.
I usually let the Poblanos roast for 15 minutes or so, and then add the brined chicken breast to the baking dish:
The chicken will need about 20 minutes to fully cook, and by then the Poblanos will be blackening in spots and starting to puff up -- perfect!
Once the chicken goes in the oven I start working on the sauce.
Start by cooking 1/2 onion in a couple tablespoons of butter:
Once it's softened we'll add 2 minced garlic cloves.
Briefly cook and then add 3 tablespoon flour:
This flour step will thicken up the sauce, but you can consider it optional if you want to avoid flour.
Adding the flour directly to the onion-garlic mixture will temporarily clump it up, but this direct contact with the heat will neutralize its flavor.
Then we'll add the following ingredients:
3 cups stock
the roasted Poblanos (de-stemmed and de-seeded)
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
pinch of cumin (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper
Bring this mixture up to a simmer, stirring regularly.
Add it all to a blender and give it a whirl, then returning it to the saucepan.
Looking good! And tasting good too!
Add the final ingredient: 1/2 cup heavy cream Heavy cream substitutes
Combine well and take a final taste for seasoning.
I added another generous pinch of salt to this batch -- so that is a heaping 1/2 teaspoon salt total, but keep in mind that I'm using this homemade chicken stock that has zero sodium. If you're using a store-bought stock you probably won't need to add as much salt as I did.
I also added an extra pinch of Mexican oregano at this point. What exactly is Mexican oregano?
To build the enchiladas start by warming up the corn tortillas, this will make them easier to roll. When the oven is on I usually just plop them in there for a few minutes. Other ways to warm up corn tortillas.
Each enchilada gets cheese, shredded chicken, and raw onion.
I should mention that I usually make these extra cheesy. Why? An ultra-cheesy bite that's drenched in the creamy Poblano sauce is off-the-charts delicious!
So lately I go easy on the chicken and heavy on the cheese. This batch was 8 enchiladas and there was still some chicken leftover from the single chicken breast.
But again, feel free to get creative with the insides of your enchiladas -- even though cheese is definitely recommended 🙂
You can optionally drench these enchiladas with the Poblano sauce before baking. I do that sometimes and it will look like this before the bake:
But I kept this batch plain for the bake. This will ensure all the cheese gets melted and will give the edges a slight crisp. I go back and forth between those two options, so feel free to use your preferred method.
These were in the oven for 10 minutes or so, and then it was time to plate them up!
Add a few enchiladas to a plate and drench them in the creamy Poblano sauce.
You'll have plenty of sauce so feel free to load 'em up!
I also topped with:
crumbled Queso Fresco
freshly chopped cilantro
a final squeeze of lime
And it was one of the best meals I've had in recent weeks:
I served it up with some plain ol' white rice and it was a total keeper.
And yes, the cheesy bites that were drenched in the sweet, creamy Poblano sauce were the highlight 🙂
Let me know if you have any questions about these Creamy Poblano Enchiladas. I think it's a real treat to whip up a meal like this at home for your friends and family.
Creamy Poblano Enchiladas
For the Creamy Poblano Sauce:
- 4 Poblano chiles
- 3 cups stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 3 tablespoons flour (optional)
- 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
- pinch cumin (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
- freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
For the enchiladas:
- 1 chicken breast
- 8-10 corn tortillas
- 1/4 onion, finely diced
- 1-2 cups cheese for the filling (I used Jack)
- freshly chopped cilantro (optional)
- cheese for garnish (optional, I used Queso Fresco)
- I used the brine-and-bake method for this batch, but you are welcome to cook the chicken in your preferred manner. To brine, add 1/4 cup Kosher or sea salt to a mixing bowl along with a single quart of cold water. Add the chicken breast and let it rest in the brine for 30-60 minutes. Note: when I'm in a hurry I just put the chicken in the brine and grab it when I need it -- I've found that even a rushed, short brine still gives a nice bump in flavor.
- Give the Poblanos a good rinse and roast them in the oven (400F) for 30 minutes or so. Tip: set a timer for 15 minutes when you initially add the Poblanos to the oven, this middle point is a good time to add the chicken.
- The chicken will need about 20 minutes in the oven to fully cook, so I usually add it to the same baking sheet as the Poblanos once the Poblanos have been roasting for 15 minutes or so. Simply remove the chicken from the brine, pat dry, and add it to the baking sheet. Cook the chicken for 20 minute or until the insides register 160F.
- Once the chicken goes in the oven I start working on the sauce. Dice up 1/2 onion and cook it in 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Cook for a few minutes until softened, then add 2 minced garlic cloves, cooking briefly. Then add 3 tablespoons flour and combine well, giving it a minute or so in direct contact with the heat to neutralize its flavor. This flour step will thicken up the sauce, but you can consider it optional.
- Add 3 cups stock to the onion-garlic mixture along with: 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano, pinch cumin (optional), 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some freshly cracked black pepper. And by now the Poblanos should be roasted enough -- remove them from the oven, then de-stem and de-seed them. If there are puffy bits of skin on the Poblanos you can remove and discard those, but don't worry about getting rid of every last bit. Add the Poblano pieces to the saucepan and bring this mixture up to a simmer, stirring regularly.
- Add the saucepan mixture to a blender and combine well. Return the sauce to the same pan, reducing heat to medium-low. Add 1/2 cup heavy cream and combine well. Take a final taste for seasoning. Yum! I added generous pinches of salt and Mexican oregano to this batch, but keep in mind that I used a zero sodium stock so you may not need to add as much salt as I did.
- I usually test the temp of the chicken around the 20 minute mark. It's usually around 160F in the thickest part at that point so that's when I remove it. Set it aside and let it rest for a few minutes, then shred it using two forks.
- To build the enchiladas, start by warming up the corn tortillas. I put them in the oven for a few minutes, but you are welcome to nuke them. Other ways to warm up corn tortillas. Add a thin layer of the Poblano sauce to the enchilada baking dish, this will prevent sticking. Finely dice 1/4 onion and slice up (or shred) some melting cheese (I used Jack). Each enchilada gets plenty of cheese, 2-3 tablespoons of shredded chicken, and a sprinkle of raw onion. Roll tight and place enchiladas seam side down on the baking dish. I rolled 8 enchiladas for this batch and made them abundantly cheesy, so there was still some chicken leftover after rolling.
- You can goop the creamy Poblano sauce on your enchiladas either before or after the bake. I wanted to make sure all the cheese melted so I baked this batch plain for 10 minutes, keeping the Poblano sauce warm on the stove. Once baked I served them up immediately: each plate got a few enchiladas and loads of the creamy Poblano sauce, I garnished with crumbled Queso Fresco, freshly chopped cilantro, and a final squeeze of lime. Yessssir 🙂
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