I have a ton of limes in my backyard right now and thought these Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas would be a great way to use up a few. Cooked chicken (I used grilled chicken breasts) is shredded and marinated in honey, lime, chili powder, and garlic powder. It is wrapped in flour tortillas and covered in green enchilada sauce and cheese. I used a homemade green enchilada sauce, but red can be used based on preference. I also used my flour tortillas to wrap the chicken. The recipe makes enough to fill a 9×13 and 8×8 dish with enchiladas. I served the 9×13 for dinner and froze the 8×8 for a future meal. Add 15-20 minutes to the baking time if cooking from the freezer.
The tomatillo (husk tomato, Mexican tomato, tomate verde) is a vegetable from the nightshade family (same as tomato) and originated in Mexico. It is popular in Mexican and Guatemalan cuisine, often paired with chilies to make green sauces. They are usually green, but yellow and purple variations are also available. Ripe tomatillos should be firm to touch with light green husks. As the age, the husks become brown and brittle. Their peak growing season is during the summer, but may also be available canned during the off season. I was able to find them fresh at the supermarket.
Green Enchilada Sauce:
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
5 medium tomatillos, husks removed
3-4 green chilies, diced
1/2 Poblano pepper, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
1 green onion
3 tablespoons cilantro
1/2 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste
6 tablespoons honey
5 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt to taste
2 pounds cooked chicken, shredded
1 cup heavy cream
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
10 large flour tortillas
Sliced green onions
To make the sauce, combine chicken broth, tomatillos, chilies, Poblano pepper, onion, green onion, cilantro, lime juice, sugar, cumin, salt, and pepper in large blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a small nonreactive (stainless steel) saucepan and heat over medium high heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes. Once thickened, remove from heat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together honey, lime juice, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Add the shredded chicken, tossing to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
In another medium bowl, stir together green enchilada sauce and heavy cream.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour enough sauce, about 1/2 cup each, into a 9×13 and 8×8 baking dish to coat the bottom.
Place a line of chicken on the edge of a flour tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll the tortilla up and place seam side down in prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and chicken. Pour sauce over tortillas in baking dish and cover with remaining cheese.
Cover dish with foil and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 5 minutes until cheese is bubbly and golden.
Let rest 5 minutes, then serve with cilantro and green onions.