Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas with Green Chile Roasted Tomatillo Sauce

One of the best things about roasting a whole chicken is the sheer number of meals you get out of it (especially when you’re cooking for one!) My typical go-to meal for using up leftover roasted chicken is tacos, but I was in the mood for something a little more exciting. Plus, I’ve been having a tomatillo craving recently. Enter this creation.

This recipe will keep you in tasty, healthy enchiladas all week long. Or, invite some friends over and share the wealth. Either way, you won’t be disappointed.

If you don’t happen to have half of a leftover roasted chicken, never fear – you can easily cook up a couple chicken breasts and go from there.

3 lbs fresh tomatillos

4 cups shredded cooked chicken

2.5 cups cooked black beans

1/2 head garlic

1 small bunch cilantro

2/3 cup roasted New Mexican green chile, peeled

1/2 cup canola or safflower oil

24 corn tortillas

1.5 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend


Peel off the tomatillo husks, then rinse under warm water. Place stem-side down on a baking sheet. Turn on the broiler, then roast until tomatillos are slightly charred (about 12 minutes), rotating the sheet a few times to ensure all of the tomatillos cook. Some of the tomatillos may burst while cooking. Set aside to cool.


Add the chicken and beans to a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.

Add the tomatillos to a blender. Peel and chop the garlic and cilantro, add to the blender. Dice the green chile, add to the blender. (Note: The large volume of tomatillos relative to the amount of green chile will cut a lot of the spice out from the dish. However, if you’d rather have the flavor with even less spice, remove some of the green chile seeds before dicing.)

Blend for approximately 30 seconds; just enough to combine the ingredients. Set aside.


Heat half of the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add sauce and stir frequently. Once sauce starts to bubble, reduce the heat to low and continue stirring until sauce has thickened. Turn off the heat and let sit.

Preheat oven to 350.

Add the remaining oil to a heavy skillet and heat on medium-high. Prepare a plate with a paper towel, leave near the skillet. Leave another plate near the pan with the sauce.

Working in batches of 6, briefly pass each tortilla through the hot oil, then lightly pat with the paper towel to remove excess oil. Place on the other plate.


Tortilla prep station in action.

Once a stack of lightly fried tortillas has accumulated, pass each one through the pan of sauce, then add a large spoonful of the chicken and bean filling to the center.


Roll the tortilla around the filling, then place seam-side down into a 9 by 13 pan. Repeat until the pan is full; you should have used about 12 tortillas.


Take just under half of the remaining sauce and pour over the rolled tortillas, covering them with a thin layer. Sprinkle half of the cheese over the top.


Assemble the remaining 12 enchiladas and add to the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until cheese is melted. Serve warm. While best fresh from the oven, enchiladas will also keep well in the fridge for several days.


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