This is no fly by night recipe. I make a lot of quick dishes, but this just isn’t one of them.
It’s well worth the toil and sweat, but if you want to see this through from beginning to end in one shot, be prepared to spend an afternoon tinkering in the kitchen.
Before you nix it and head to the next recipe! Let me offer you some ways to simplify this dish.
The shredded chicken in the salsa verde is on its own an excellent meat dish. It can be served with greens and/ or grains, and guacamole of course. If nothing else, make the salsa verde and combine it with the shredded chicken. I promise that this alone will not disappoint! If you want the taco experience, just wrap it in a plain toasted corn tortilla. This will reduce the time investment by half.
What requires the most hands on time is preparing and filling each corn tortilla. I highly recommend preparing the whole enchilada dish for a special occasion – or just because you love the meditative process of cooking an involved dish. It’s really a treat unlike anything served in most restaurants.
For a vegetarian version, use 2 lbs of sautéed Oyster mushrooms in place of chicken.
Cooking Tips + Options
There are two components that you could tackle a day in advance:
- boiling of the whole chicken
- roasting the veggies for the verde sauce
If you have the time to do either of these tasks the day before you won’t have to wait for them to cool, which will greatly streamline your process.
- After boiling the chicken you’ll reserve 3 cups of the cooking liquid for this recipe. Use the remaining liquid to make bone broth, or to use in another recipe that could benefit from the slight umami, such as a pot of grains.
- Once the chicken has cooled, you’ll be shredding the chicken by hand. This is fairly easy but time consuming. Goes much faster if you have a couple pairs of hands going at it! Go one leg, wing and breast at a time, simply pulling away the meat in shreds. Use the bones and skin for the afore mentioned bone broth. You may not have the wherewithal to take on broth while making this recipe, so freeze the remains for a later date.
- If you’ed prefer an easier undertaking, simply use 4 breasts instead of a whole chicken. This will be a little more expensive and a bit less nutritious, but sometimes compromises have to be made. To boil only breasts, reduce cooking time to 15 minutes.
- Don’t worry if any part of your shredded chicken looks bloody. The meat closest to the bone likely will. The shreds will be cooked thoroughly after combined with the salsa.
- You may have leftover chicken. I used a whole chicken and after filling 12 fat tortillas I had enough chicken left for another dinner, of two!
- After roasting the tomatillos, let the ingredients cool completely before placing them into your food processor. No plastic is safe plastic. BPA 1, 2, infinitum. If you put hot foods into plastic the chemicals are more likely to transfer to your food.
- You’ll be glad if your food processor is a 10+ cup. Mine is a 7 cup processor and though I made it work, that was too much tomatillo for that bowl.