3fresh jalapeñosseeds & membranes scraped out & discarded
1/2cuppacked fresh cilantro leaves
1 1/2cupssour cream
1 1/2cupssalsa verdetomatillo salsa, DIVIDED
3/4teaspoonsaltplus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepperto taste
1tablespoonextra-virgin olive oil
4cupschopped/shredded cooked chicken
12 to 156-inch corn tortillas
3cupsshredded Monterrey Jack cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro and/or sliced fresh or pickled jalapeñosfor garnish
To make the Creamy Jalapeño Sauce, in a blender or food processor, pulse the jalapeños until finely minced. Add the cilantro and pulse until chopped. Add the sour cream, buttermilk, 1/2 cup salsa verde, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper, and blend/process until the mixture is smooth and completely puréed. Adjust the seasonings to taste, adding more salt and pepper if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, to allow the flavors to blend and the sauce to thicken.
Remove the Creamy Jalapeño Sauce from the refrigerator. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat; add the olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the chicken to the pan and allow it to cook for a few minutes until just heated through, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Stir in the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or until fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 cup salsa verde plus 1/2 cup of the prepared Creamy Jalapeño Sauce; set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread a thin layer of Creamy Jalapeño Sauce in the bottom of a large, deep baking dish.
Place the tortillas on a plate, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute or until warm and pliable; cover and keep warm. Spread a generous spoonful of chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla. Add a pinch of shredded cheese on top. Roll the tortilla around the filling and place it seam side down in the baking dish (the enchilada should be full but not overstuffed). Top the enchilada with a spoonful of sauce to prevent the tortilla from splitting while you prepare the rest of the enchiladas.
When all of the enchiladas are in the dish(es), evenly pour the rest of the Creamy Jalapeño Sauce over the enchiladas, gently spreading it with the back of a spoon, if necessary. Sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese on top of the sauce. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. Garnish with cilantro and/or sliced jalapeños, if desired.
I recommend making this recipe in a large, deep baking dish -- such as the size you would use to make lasagna, about 12"x16" -- in order to fit all of the enchiladas in one pan, although you still may have to turn a few enchiladas sideways down the sides of the pan. You can also split this recipe between two baking dishes, such as a 9"x13" and an 8"x8".
Removing all of the seeds and membranes from the jalapeños will result in a mild sauce. Leave some of them intact for more spice. Also pay attention to the heat level of the salsa verde that you buy (mild, medium, or hot) in order to control the ultimate spiciness of this recipe.
I use leftover chicken if I have it on hand. Otherwise, I poach 3 large chicken breasts OR I pull the meat from a rotisserie chicken to yield approximately 4 cups of shredded chicken.
Corn tortillas can split once rolled. Therefore, I try to work quickly when making enchiladas, and I spoon sauce over each enchilada as soon as it's rolled. Alternatively, you can make this recipe with corn/wheat blend tortillas, which are a cross between corn tortillas and flour tortillas and are much more pliable than straight corn tortillas.
The amount of sauce you need to pour on top of the enchiladas may vary depending on the dimensions of the baking dish you use. I would definitely recommend pouring most, if not all, of the sauce on top of the enchiladas before baking. However, if you feel like it's too much and end up with a little extra, you can always drizzle it on top of the baked enchiladas or enjoy it as a dip with tortilla chips or raw veggies.