Deconstructed Chicken Enchiladas

There’s a pretty big debate about chilies where I’m now living – three years ago I would have asked what the big fuss is all about, but now I know.  Not only is the debate between green and red (New Mexicans put green chili on everything), but also about what goes better with red or green.  In our home, C is convinced that pork only goes with green, while I prefer the more traditional carne adovada with red.  One thing we do agree on however is that green chili enchiladas are better than red, so the last time C was making enchiladas I asked him to set aside some of the chicken for me and the Deconstructed Chicken Enchilada was born.

Deconstructed enchilada

All of the traditional flavors are there, but it looks a whole lot prettier! Instead of wrapping everything in a corn tortilla, I lay it atop pillowy polenta and add in some more vegetables for color.

Deconstructed Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas


2-3 large chicken breast

1 c roasted diced green chilies


1  1/2 c polenta or course corn meal

2 c water

2 c milk

2 c chicken broth

1/2-3/4 c sharp cheddar cheese

1 tsp salt

1 tsp red chili powder or to taste


1 large onion, roughly chopped

1/4 large bunch swiss chard or kale, chopped

1/2 bunch asparagus, cut to bite sized pieces


Chicken: Place the chicken and chilies into a crock pot on low for 6-8 hours and let cook.  Shred chicken and mix in chili drippings.  Set aside.

Polenta: Stir together all the ingredients sans the cornmeal and cheese and bring to a boil.  Whisk in the cornmeal, making sure to get rid of clumps.  Stir until creamy, 10-15 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in cheese.

Preheat the over to 350-375F.  Grease a 2-quart baking dish.  Spoon the polenta mixture into the casserole dish.  Bake for 30 minutes, until polenta is golden brown and bubbling.

Vegetables: Toss onion into a saute pan with about 1 T olive oil, cook until translucent. Once onions are cooked add in greens and asparagus and cook 2-3 minutes more.

To serve, place a scoop of polenta in the bottom of a bowl and top with chicken and vegetables – now you’re ready to eat!



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