This site is meant to be a balance of health and hedonism. Consider this the hedonism, please.
I would not ordinarily make something like this. But I live with a Texan, and after an attempt to purchase tamales for the Super Bowl went awry, I offered to make enchiladas instead.
My enchiladas are killer, with this incredible gluten-free red sauce that he says smells like home. But that’s not what he wanted, he said. He wanted enchiladas, but his craving was more specific — he wanted a type of enchiladas he’d never been successful in making himself.
“Bet you can’t make sour cream enchiladas,” he said.
BAM, the game was on. “Can’t” is not in my culinary vocabulary.
For the uninitiated, sour cream enchiladas comprise a chicken, cheese and onion filling seasoned with salt and pepper, wrapped in corn tortillas and topped with a sour cream sauce that usually includes garlic, jalapenos and chicken stock. The dish is then covered with even more cheese and baked until brown.
Don’t get me wrong — I love cheese. Cheese is one of the reasons I figured I’d never be paleo long-term. But half a pound of cheddar plus a full pint of sour cream? That is enough dairy to make a cow think twice.
I did it, though, because one doesn’t just back down from a challenge. I came, I saw, I made the sour cream enchiladas. And he ate them. And loved them. Mission accomplished.
While enchiladas covered in sour cream are not and will never be one of my favorite foods, there is something appealing about the spice of the jalapenos combined with the smoothness of the sour cream. Tomatillos add an extra tang, and baking the chicken makes it incredibly tender and juicy.
I resisted any attempt to do anything to make this recipe healthier. It’s only gluten-free because to make it gluten-free was so easy. Just revel in the dairy products tonight, and have a salad for dinner tomorrow. You know you want to.
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter (or olive oil, if you prefer)
- 2 serrano chiles, seeds and stems removed, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp masa (corn flour)
- 2 cups chicken broth (I used homemade bone broth)
- 2 cups full-fat sour cream
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- dash of cayenne pepper (or Frank’s, if you want a Buffalo twist!)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1 pound fresh tomatillos, husks removed, quartered
- 12 gluten-free corn tortillas
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Preheat over to 350 degrees.
- Sprinkle chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. In a cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add chicken and cook for three minutes on each side, or until browned. Place skillet in oven and bake for 30 minutes or until juices run clear and the chicken is thoroughly done.
- Remove chicken from oven and let cool. Shred with two forks; set aside. DON’T TURN OFF THE OVEN.
- Meanwhile, while your chicken is doing its thing, heat oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add chiles and cook until soft, three to four minutes. Add garlic and cook for one minute.
- Whisk in masa and cook for one minute, allowing to brown a bit. Pour broth into the pot and whisk, cooking until slightly thickened. If you think, “Has this thickened?” it probably hasn’t yet, so keep going. Remove from heat. Stir in sour cream, cumin, cayenne, and cilantro.
- By this time, your chicken is possibly done. So as it’s cooling, place your prepped tomatillos under the broiler and cook on each side until blackened, probably 10 to 15 minutes.
- Then, either add tomatillos to the sour cream sauce in saucepan and blitz with an immersion blender, or place the tomatillos and sour cream sauce in a regular blender and puree until smooth. Either way, the result should be the same.
- Grease a large baking dish (13 x 9). Take your tortillas and wrap in a damp paper towel, six at a time, and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Wrap in a towel to keep warm.
- It’s time to assemble! YAY. Okay, pour one cup of the sour cream sauce in the bottom of your pan and spread it around. Then, take each corn tortilla and place 1/4 cup of chicken in it, 1 tsp of those diced onions, and 1 Tbsp of cheese. Roll ‘er up, and place seam side down in the dish.
- Repeat with remaining ingredients. If you find you have too much filling for the tortillas, poke it in the dish around the sides.
- Cover with remaining sauce and cheese and bake for 30 minutes, or until the top of the cheese is brown and bubbling. Serve, garnished with cilantro.