It's time to get down to brass tacks. We can't lie. There's just something about a homemade green enchilada sauce that just cannot be recreated from a can...but we'll forgive you if you should be in a rush and need to use a canned sauce every now and then. But keep in mind that this sauce will keep for weeks in the freezer so you can always make a big batch and freeze it to enjoy months of deliciously homemade enchiladas.
But we didn't stop there, of course not. What type of self-respecting grill and smoke aficionado would? We smoked and roasted a juicy chicken and then tossed it with one of our most favorite flavor combinations - sweet, spicy and tangy - with some chipotle peppers, honey and citrus juices. We rolled that up with a man-sized handful of cheese and smothered it with that robust homemade roasted anaheim pepper enchilada sauce. Home run, son!
SMOKED CHIPOTLE HONEY CITRUS ENCHILADAS WITH ROASTED ANAHEIM PEPPER SAUCE
PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 hour 45 minutes
RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Any
SERVES: 4 to 8
for the Roasted Anaheim Pepper Enchilada Sauce:
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 roasted garlic cloves or 2 garlic cloves finely minced
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
3 to 4 anaheim peppers (you want a total of 1 cup of chopped roasted peppers)
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth, or more to thin it
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium jalapeno, finely diced (optional)
for the Enchiladas:
1 3-4 lb. chicken
Traeger Chicken Rub
Chipotle chile powder
2/3 cup honey
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, diced (or more, to taste)
1 orange, juiced
1 lime, juiced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder, to taste
1 cup half and half or heavy cream
1 lb. monterey jack or pepper jack cheese, shredded
8 to 10 flour tortillas
Cilantro, for garnish
Start the Traeger on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes).
Meanwhile, spatchcock the chicken by cutting down both sides of the backbone and removing it. This will help the smoke really get into and permeate the meat of the chicken.
Season the chicken on all sides with the Chicken Rub and the chipotle chile powder. (If you want more heat use more chipotle chile powder or less if you want less heat.)
Place the chicken directly on the grill grate, bone side down, and smoke for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes remove the chicken and turn the heat up to High and preheat, lid closed, for 10 to 15 minutes.
Place the chicken back on the grill surrounded by the anaheim peppers.
Cook the chicken for about 45 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Roast the peppers for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the skin is charred and blistered, rotating the peppers every 5 to 10 minutes to char every side.
While the chicken and peppers are roasting, start on the green enchilada sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil until hot. Add in the onion and garlic and cover. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the onions are soft.
Stir in the flour and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly.
Gradually add in the chicken broth, whisking to prevent clumps. Keep this mixture warm while you wait for the peppers to finish roasting.
When you remove the peppers, place them immediately in a resealable plastic bag and let them sit for 5 minutes.
After you pull them out of the bag the skin will easily slip off. (Don't wash or rinse them or you'll rinse off all that roasted flavor!)
Cut off the stem and use a spoon to gently scoop out the seeds. Dice up the peppers and add them as well as the rest of the enchilada sauce ingredients into the onions and garlic mixture and bring to a boil. (If you're in a pinch you could use a couple cans of the diced green chiles instead of the roasted anaheim peppers - but we can't lie - it just won't taste as good.)
Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ideally, you want the consistency of the sauce to be silky and thick enough to coat a spoon but still drip off. If it's too thick add more broth. We suggest using an immersion blender (or regular blender) to blend up the sauce a little and make it smoother but if you like a chunky enchilada sauce, leave it alone. Taste it and add more salt as needed.
After you remove the chicken from the Traeger, turn the Traeger temperature down to 350 degrees F. Allow the chicken to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes or until it's cool enough for you to handle it. (Or just use some good gloves.)
Remove the skin (save it for a crunchy snack!) and shred all of the chicken meat.
Toss the chicken with the honey, orange juice, lime juice, diced chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and chipotle chile powder. Taste it and add more salt, honey or chipotle peppers as you see fit. If you have the time, allow the chicken to marinate for 30 minutes or so, but if you don't have the time it will still taste delicious!
Whisk the half and half into the green enchilada sauce.
Ladle about 2/3 cup of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.
Fill the tortillas some of the shredded chicken and a generous helping of shredded cheese and roll them up and lay them in the pan. (Reserve about a cup or two of the cheese to sprinkle on top.)
Pour the remainder of the enchilada sauce mixture over top of the enchiladas and sprinkle the leftover cheese on top.
Cook the enchiladas on the Traeger for 20 to 30 minutes or until the cheese and sauce is bubbly and lightly toasted.
Garnish the enchiladas with some freshly chopped cilantro and serve!
Chipotle Honey Enchiladas Recipe.docx (14.34 kb)