Ah, the smell of green chiles roasting in a parking lot. Late summer/early fall means it’s time for chile roasting, and man, do I miss that smell. If you go to any grocery store in August in New Mexico, you’ll come across a big, rotating drum tossing chiles over an open flame.
Most New Mexicans obsess over green chile - if you know anyone from the 505, I’m sure you’ve talked about it. I’ve been getting it shipped to California every harvest season since I moved here from NM 15 years ago. A couple of weeks ago my girl Crystal (another NM transplant in CA) called me out on paying all that money for overnight shipping. Turns out, there are groceries all over the Bay Area that roast Hatch chiles for one day each August. Game. Changer.
We found a Mollie Stone’s in Marin this weekend and trekked out there for some of that New Mexico gold. Just walking up to the store, my mouth started watering! We got 10 lbs of fresh roasted green and went to town on some green chile chicken enchiladas last night. They had mild, medium, and hot and we got the hot. The heat was just right - you’re sweating a little, but the flavor is still front and center.
Below is a favorite recipe of mine… it’s not super precise, as it’s developed over time, but it doesn’t have to be exact to be delicious :) No pics of the final product, unfortuntely, as we devoured them too quickly!
1 lb of chicken thighs, boiled and shredded
1 lb. roasted green chile, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
1 large diced tomato
1 medium white or yellow onion
3-4 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon flour
1 quart chicken stock
1/2 to a whole brick grated cheddar
1/2 to a whole brick grated jack
2 tablespoons olive oil or 1/8 cup of butter
salt and pepper to taste, obviously
1) Start with the sauce.
- Heat butter or oil in a dutch over or heavy stock pot
- Add onion, garlic, cumin and oregano, salt and pepper and cook on medium until they are all soft and a little brown
- Add flour and mix it all up until it’s absorbed
- Add diced chiles, tomatoes and stock
- Bring to a boil, then let it simmer for an hour or two
- Throw a hand blender in to smooth it out a little, but leave some chunky texture
2) Now for the enchiladas
- Preheat oven to 350
- Grate a ton of cheese
- Spread some of the finished sauce onto the bottom of a casserole baking dish
- Heat up the tortillas on a comal or frying pan with a little butter (or olive oil spray)
- You can either do rolled or stacked enchiladas - rolled are a bit more work, so it depends on how you’re feeling.
I did flat this time, so...
- Lay down a layer of corn tortillas
- Lay down a layer of shredded chicken
- Cover with a generous layer of cheese
- Then ladle on a nice this layer of sauce
- Bake for about 30 minutes until the cheese it bubbling and crisping up around the edges.