OK! My first Daring Cooks Challenge completed! W00T! This was a little time consuming, but not much, maybe two hours start to finish? This months challenge came from Barbara of Barbara Bakes and Bunnee of Anna+Food. Nicely hot, lovely rich flavor...YUM! This is going to be a little long, so...let's get started!
1½ pounds Fresh Anaheim chilies (about eight 6 to 8 inch chilies) - roasted, peeled,remove seeds, chop coarsely.
7-8 ounces Tomatillos (about 4-5 medium), remove stems
4 cups Chicken broth
1 clove Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons yellow onion, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ tsp Kosher salt (to taste)
¼ tsp Black Pepper (to taste)
2 tablespoons Cornstarch (dissolved in 2 tablespoons water)
Hot sauce, your favorite, optional
2 Boneless chicken breasts (or thighs)
3 tablespoons Olive oil or other neutral vegetable oil (I prefer lard or solid shortening)
Kosher salt and pepper
12 Small Corn tortillas
6 ounces grated Monterrey Jack, (Or Mexican blend, any good melting cheese that will compliment the chilies)
First, roast the peppers. You can do this on your grill outdoors or use your broiler. Line the pan with foil, lightly coat the peppers with oil and place directly under the broiler. Turn them several times, until they are black, blistered and ugly as sin. Place into a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap immediately on removing from broiler.
Once the peppers are cooled to room temperature again, pull the stems off, cut the peppers in half, use your thumb to push any seeds off the edge of the cutting board. Use your knife to scrape the "meat" from the skin. Discard the skins and roughly chop the pepper flesh. Never, EVER, rinse the pepper in water to get rid of seeds. One or two here and there will not hurt, and certainly hurt less than washing all the flavor down the drain!
While the peppers are cooling, bring a pot of water to the boil and chuck in the tomatillos from which you have removed the papery skins. Boil them 8-10 minutes until soft. Remove from the water, remove the stems. Place back in pot. Add the remaining sauce ingredients, oregano, onion, garlic, chicken stock, salt, peppers and black pepper to taste. Use your stick blender to blend all into a smooth sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Allow to simmer 10 minutes. Add the 2 Tbls corn starch dissolved in 2 Tbls water. Return to boil and boil another 10-15 minutes, until reduced to around 5 cups.
While the SAUCE boils...grill your chicken. Simply season with salt and pepper and grill on your stove top griddle. In a pinch, chuck them in a bowl and nuke them, but really, the grilling gives so much more flavor. Once cooked and allowed to rest, shred or chop your chicken.
In a pan, add your oil or shortening. When hot, cook the 12 tortillas, one at a time. Slide one in, let it cook 15-20 seconds, turn over. Cook another 15-20 seconds and remove with tongs. Blot on a paper towel and set to the side.
We're now ready to assemble. Place sauce thinly in 2 9x13 dishes. Add two tortillas, side by side, in each pan. Add another ladle of sauce over tortillas. Add 1/2 the chicken sprinkled evenly between the 4 tortillas. Add 1/3 the cheese, over the 4 tortillas. Ladle sauce over. Add the next tortilla on top of each of the four down. Repeat with remaining chicken, another 1/3 of the cheese and ladle sauce over. Top each stack with the last 4 tortillas, ladle over with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Slide dishes into 350 degree oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes or so. Remove each stack to a plate, drizzle over with some of the sauce from pan. Sprinkle with fresh cheese, onion and/or cilantro if desired.
I chose red onion, as whatever gene it is that allows people to like cilantro, I compeltely lack. Might as well sprinkle Comet Cleanser over the dish for all (or the same) flavor it will add for me!
This was wonderful! Hot, filling, rich, spicy but not TOO spicy...give it a try!
OK...secondly, quick cooking lesson. Mincing Garlic
Grab your garlic clove. Cut the stem end off. Use the flat side of your knife blade and smash the clove of garlic. It will rupture and split and the skin will slide off. Hold the clove on your cutting board and slice it up.
Add about 1/2 tsp of salt. Push the cut garlic into a pile and chop through it again. Slide any stuck to your knife off and push the garlic back into a pile. Flatten it with the side of your knife.
Chop through it again, repeating cleaning and flattening the mass of garlic. You will find the salt causes the garlic to stick to itself nicely, making it much easier to chop and giving you a finer mince, rather than the garlic spreading all over your board.
Simply remember you added this 1/2 tsp of salt when continuing with your recipe!
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