This week, we used the leftover turkey from our August Turkey Dinner to make Green Chile Turkey Enchiladas. You can also use leftover chicken or pork in these enchiladas, which are a great way to turn leftovers into a completely different dish. They are really simple to make and we love them as a Tex-Mex version of comfort food.
It’s green chile time in Texas, and we had some freshly-roasted chiles in the fridge that we used in the enchiladas. Chop up about 2 cups of leftover turkey, grate about a cup of cheddar cheese, and add a half cup or so of chopped green chiles into a big bowl. With comfort food like leftover enchiladas, we typically don’t specifically measure the ingredients — wing it and go with however cheesy, spicy, etc. you like it.
Add about a half cup of the enchilada sauce and a pinch of salt to the turkey mixture and stir all the enchilada ingredients together.
Classic enchilada recipes use corn tortillas that have been dipped in hot oil to make the tortillas pliable. In an effort to eliminate this extra step and make the dish more healthy, we wrap the tortillas in damp paper towels, then foil, and warm them in the oven while preparing the enchilada fillings. If you live in the 21st century, you may instead choose to warm the tortillas in a microwave. Our microwave is broken, and pretty much always has been as long as we have lived in this house (Yes, Dan, I know I should call to get it fixed).
Build the enchiladas one at a time. First, dip a warmed corn tortilla in the enchilada sauce.
Did we mention that it’s best to have your enchilada-building station ready when you start to build? The station should include the pan for the enchiladas (with some enchilada sauce on the bottom to add more flavor and prevent the enchiladas from sticking to the pan), the bowl of enchilada filling, the bowl of enchilada sauce, and a plate on which to build those delicious enchiladas.
Spoon a nice amount of enchilada filling on the dipped corn tortilla — spread it out along one end of the tortilla for rolling purposes.
Roll up the enchilada, gently so that the corn tortilla does not split.
After rolling up each enchilada, place them in the baking pan, next to each other so they don’t un-roll.
Spoon some of the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas in the pan.
Add the remaining cheese to the top of the enchiladas and garnish with sliced jalapenos (with seeds intact they are more spicy — eat at your discretion).
Enchiladas ready to go into the oven, which has been preheated to 350 degrees.
After about 30-45 minutes or so, the enchiladas are done. You can tell that they are done when the enchilada sauce is boiling in the pan and the cheese is bubbly. After removing the pan from the oven, allow the enchiladas to rest for a few minutes before serving. Tonight we served them with chips and salsa and a sliced avocado. Sour cream is also a good garnish. Muy bueno!
Green Chile Turkey Enchiladas (with leftover turkey)
about 2 cups of leftover turkey breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces (you can also use leftover chicken or pork)
1/2 cup chopped green chiles (or two 4.5 oz cans of chopped green chiles if you don’t have fresh chiles)
1 jalepeno, sliced into circles
1 & 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
6-8 corn tortillas
2 (14 oz) cans green enchilada sauce (you can also use red, depending on your preference and what is available)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Soften corn tortillas by wrapping in damp paper towels and microwaving or heating in the oven until just warm.
Combine the turkey, green chiles and 1 cup of the grated cheese in a bowl. Stir 1/4 to 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce into the turkey mixture. Add 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce to the bottom of a 13×9 size baking dish. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce in another large bowl.
Build the enchiladas one at a time. Dip a warm tortilla into the enchilada sauce so that it is coated on all sides, then lay flat on a plate. Spoon a small amount (1/3 cup or so) of the turkey mixture onto the tortilla and roll it up. Place the enchilada in the baking dish. Continue until all the enchiladas are built and placed — touching — next to each other in the dish, such that they keep each other from unrolling. Spoon enchilada sauce over the rolled enchiladas, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, and place a jalapeno circle on top of each one.
Bake in the oven for approximately 30-45 minutes, until the cheese is melted.