According to Renato Luduc, the writer and poet from the state of Aguascalientes, “After the cock fights, after card games, there is no Aguascalientes visitor or family member who doesn’t go on to savor a plate of chicken enchiladas or some other regional dish at the stands lined up alongside the beautiful gardens of San Marcos.”
1 whole chicken breast, about 12 oz (375 g)
6 cups (48 fl oz/1.5 1) water
5 cloves garlic
1 small onion (4 oz/125 g), 1,4 cut in half, ½ thinly sliced
3 small sprigs parsley
1 carrot, cut into large pieces
2 - 4 chiles serranos
2 lb (1 kg) tomates verdes, husks removed
½ cup (¾ oz/20 g) coarsely chopped cilantro (coriander)
1 tablespoon oil
12 corn tortillas
oil for frying
1/2 cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) thick cream (crème fraiche) (optional)
1/2 cup (2 oz/60 g) crumbled queso fresco or grated Cheddar cheese (optional)
* Place the chicken, water, 3 cloves garlic, ¼ onion, parsley, salt to taste and carrot in a large saucepan, cover and simmer until the chicken is tender, about 20 minutes. Remove and shred the chicken, reserving the stock.
* Add 2 cloves garlic and the chiles to a saucepan of boiling water. After 5 minutes, add the tomates verdes and cook another 7 minutes. Drain.
* In a blender, purée the tomates verdes with the garlic, chiles and another onion quarter. Add the cilantro and process briefly so that the dilantro is not ground too fine. Add 1 cup (8 floz/250ml) of the reserved chicken stock.
* Heat the oil in a small skillet and sauté the puréed tomates verdes in it. Add 1 teaspoon salt and correct the seasonings. Lower the heat and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add another ½ cup
(4 floz/250 ml) stock.
* Heat ½ in (1 cm) oil in a skillet and fry the tortillas in it until they just begin to soften, 10 seconds on each side. Immerse each tortilla in the warm sauce, then transfer to a plate. Place some chicken in the center of each tortilla, roll up and arrange on a platter. Spoon the warm sauce over the enchiladas, garnish with the sliced onion and add cream and queso fresco if you wish.
* Variation: The enchiladas can be placed in an oven- proof dish, covered with sauce, wrapped in aluminum foil and placed in a preheated oven (375°F/190°C) for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with
Cheddar cheese and return to the oven until the cheese browns slightly.
SERVES 6 Photograph page 50