Four Clan Kitchen

What we eat everyday

Enchiladas Tacuba Style

Posted by fourclankitchen on February 20, 2011

When I saw this recipe on Rick Bayless’ website.  I knew it had to be made. Now my son requests it every week and it has supplanted the tomato sauce based bean-stuffed enchilada that I used to routinely make.  You must try this, it is better than anything you have eaten at a restaurant.  Its a multi-step process, but really worth it.

Tacuba Enchiladas (adapted from Rick Bayless, Mexico -One Plate at a Time)
1 cup (lightly packed) roughly chopped spinach leaves

2 poblano peppers, cut into large strips (about 4-5 per pepper)

2 cups milk

2 cups chicken broth

6 tablespoons (3 ounces) butter—or you can use vegetable oil for the sauce + 1 tbs. more for roasting vegetables

4 fat garlic cloves, skin on (or 3 cloves garlic, minced)

1 onion, coarsely chopped for roasting (optional)

1/2 cup flour

 to taste (about 2 tsp. total)

3 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken (A rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled chicken, a recipe is provided below)

12 corn tortillas

A little vegetable oil for brushing or spraying

About 1 cup Mexican melting cheese (Chihuahua, quesadila) or mild cheddar


1. Roast the chicken( if you dont have any that is pre-cooked).
I like the following version for these enchiladas:  Season 6-7 skinless, boneless chicken thighs generously with a mix of oil, oregano, lemon juice, cumin, salt and paprika (these ingredients are not listed above).  Marinade for 2 hours or more in the fridge, then grill as usual.  Coarsely chop or shred the chicken by hand/with a knife.  You can also shred chicken very gently in the food processor-Do not overprocess to a pulp.

2.    Roast the vegetables. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Generously coat the garlic, onions, poblanos with oil and salt.  Roast the vegetables, till nicely browned about 30 min.

Note: The original recipe calls for chopped fresh garlic and does not use any onion.  Instead it calls  for roasting the poblanos directly over a gas flame or on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler, turning regularly, until the skins have blistered and blackened on all side, about 5 minutes for an open flame, about 10 minutes under the broiler. If you go with the latter option, place in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and, when handleable, rub off the blackened skin, tear open and pull out the seed pod and stem. Quickly rinse to remove any stray seeds or bits of skin. Roughly chop.

4. Make the sauce. Place the onions (if using) and poblano peppers in a blender jar/food processor.  Add the spinach.
In a medium (3-quart) saucepan, combine the milk and broth, set over medium-low heat to warm.
In a large (4-quart) saucepan, melt the butter (or heat the oil) over medium.  Squeeze out the garlic,  then add the flour and stir the mixture for a minute.  Raise the heat to medium-high.  Pour in the warm broth mixture and whisk constantly until the sauce boils.  Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat.
Pour half the hot sauce into the blender with the peppers and spinach and blend until smooth.  Pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining sauce.  Taste and season with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons.
5.    Finish the enchiladas.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Smear about 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 13×9-inch baking dish.  Stir 1 cup of the sauce into the chicken.
Lay half of the tortillas out on a baking sheet and lightly brush or spray both sides of the tortillas with oil; top each tortilla with another one and brush or spray those with oil.  Bake just to warm through and soften, about 3 minutes.  Stack the tortillas and cover with a towel to keep warm.
Alternatively, if you are in a hurry, soak a paper towel in water and wring out as much water as you can.  Wrap 6 tortillas at a time  in the wet towel and microwave on high for 30 sec.  Put together these tortillas together, before nuking the next six (This tip is courtesy Rick Bayless also)
Working quickly so that the tortillas stay hot and pliable, roll a portion of the chicken up in each tortilla, then line them all up in the baking dish.  Douse evenly with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the cheese.  Bake until the enchiladas are hot through (the cheese will have begun to brown), about 20-30 minutes.


2 Responses to “Enchiladas Tacuba Style”

  1. I know I must make these. They look divine AND I am a HUGE Rick Bayless Fan! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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