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a great big fog

Recipe: beer chicken green chile enchiladas

I’ve been absent for a while. It was originally going to be intentional and then it became unintentional. The end of last week started well enough. I got to visit with two of my favorite local gal pals and a certain gentleman who steals my heart every time I see him.

cute funny face

baby blues

And then The Crud snuck into my chest that afternoon. I had hoped it would be done with me by the time Jeremy and I got on the road Saturday, but it was far from done. It was just getting started. Nine hours on the road with Kaweah nervously panting in the backseat. Nine hours on the road with increasing congestion, dizziness, and body aches. Nine hours on the road to the Bisti Badlands.

kaweah was happy to be out of the car

me thinks jeremy was happy too

We were greeted with overcast skies and high winds. So much for the super giant huge enormous full moon spectacular. We explored a bit and after a couple of hours of being relentlessly sand-blasted, I called it. No shoot that night, no camping. I was on a fast decline. I needed meds, hot liquids, and sleep. The next morning it was obvious the light still wasn’t working in my favor. We headed to my IL’s house where I promptly passed out for two days while Kaweah has been having the time of her life.

I’m finally emerging from my brain fog to enjoy some homemade roadrunner pizzas for dinner (roadrunner pizzas have green chiles on them), three doggies begging for scraps, and movie night with the family on their fancy new entertainment center in their lovely Colorado home. Jeremy’s folks live in a different part of Colorado than we do. It is definitely a prettier part of Colorado AND they get a good supply of green chiles to boot, which means that we have a lot of green chiles in our freezer to work through.

chicken, green chiles, beer, limes, garlic, dried new mexican red chiles

pouring beer over the chicken, garlic, and red chiles

I used to get about one or two quart-size bags of roasted green chiles, but this year we have several gallon-size bags of the precious chiles. That’s a comfortable amount, even for a hoarder like me. Comfortable enough to start experimenting. A few weeks ago I was rummaging about in the freezer when a package of frozen organic chicken thighs slid out and smacked me in the foot. I made a mental note to do something with the chicken when my reflexes caught a bag of green chiles that had begun to escape the bottom shelf. Chicken and green chiles go together like beans and cornbread…

add green chiles to the slow-cooked chicken

flash fry some tortillas

Enchiladas were on my brain. I’ve never made rolled enchiladas at home, so here was a good excuse to try a new filling and use my pressure cooker (because the love affair never ends, you know). Just something quick and simple: chicken sautéed in garlic then pressure cooked in beer, lime, and red chiles. Add the green chiles and some salt to taste and simmer it down until the liquid is nearly gone. Nice.

dip each tortilla in enchilada sauce

fill the tortilla with chicken and some cheese

Of course, you don’t have to have a pressure cooker to make this – a long slow simmer on a traditional stove top works just as well (but not nearly as fast or as energy efficient). The rest of the assembly is like any rolled enchilada recipe. Dip the tortillas in hot oil long enough to soften, but not long enough to make crisp. Then dip in enchilada sauce and fill each tortilla and roll it up. Fill a baking pan with the rolled tortillas and pour enough enchilada sauce to just cover the tops.


pour on the sauce

Jeremy is our chicken enchilada expert. While I thought they were pretty good, he thought they were the best chicken enchiladas he’s ever had. The chicken is fall-apart tender and there’s something about the combination of lime, beer, and chiles that click on the tongue. I think it’s a recipe to add to my summer entertaining menu. Great with some margs, fresh guacamole, and good company.

serve hot with extra enchilada sauce

…and kindly dig in

Beer Chicken Green Chile Enchiladas
[print recipe]

2 tbsps olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. boneless chicken meat, skinned, trimmed of fat, roughly cut (I used thigh meat)
4 dried New Mexican red chile pods, topped and seeded
12 oz. beer (I used a pale ale)
2 limes, juice of (about 1/4 cup)
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 cup roasted green chiles, peeled, topped, seeded and diced
vegetable oil for frying
16 corn tortillas
8 cups enchilada sauce
6 oz. cheddar or Jack cheese, shredded
queso blanco, crumbled for garnish

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium saucepan or pressure cooker. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add the chicken and sauté until cooked on the outside.

If using a pressure cooker, add the red chiles, beer, and lime juice. Seal and cook on high for 20 minutes (30 minutes at 8500 ft.) with natural heat release. If cooking on conventional stove top, add the red chiles, beer, lime juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer covered for a couple of hours until the chicken is fall-apart tender.

Remove the red chiles from the chicken and scrape the meat from the skins (discard skins). Chop the chile meat and return to the pot. Add salt and green chiles to the pot. Break the chicken down with a spoon or spatula (or shred with a fork). Simmer until the liquid is almost gone.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Heat an inch of vegetable oil in a pan wide enough to accommodate the tortillas. When the oil is hot, dip each corn tortilla into the oil until sizzling and remove to a plate. Don’t let them fry until crisp – that sort of defeats the purpose. Repeat until all are done. Pour some of the enchilada sauce into a large shallow vessel. Dip the tortilla in the enchilada sauce. Place a few tablespoons of chicken filling down the center of the tortilla. Sprinkle some shredded cheese over the chicken. Roll the tortilla up and set in a baking dish. Repeat until all are done. Pour enchilada sauce over the enchiladas until covered. You should have a cup or two remaining. Set aside. Bake the enchiladas for 15-18 minutes. Heat the remaining enchilada sauce. Serve the enchiladas with extra sauce and some queso blanco sprinkled on top. Great with refritos and guacamole!

33 nibbles at “a great big fog”

  1. Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) says:

    Pressure cooker. That is one appliance I don’t have. Seriously have thought about getting one but live in So Cal and have very little kithcen storage space after my 3 blenders, dehydrator, juicers, espresso makers, etc. :)

    Great photos, Jen! Great recipe, too!

  2. Paulette says:

    Just popped in to see the great pics and that little babe is adorable. Hope your feeling better. You know I have never used beer in a recipe and I must be missing out on some great recipes. I think the only thing I have ever used beer for is a setting lotion for my hair in the sixties, now thats giving away my age. LOL Must try the recipe, thanks Jen. Paulette

  3. JelliDonut says:

    Enchiladas made with beer? Where has this dish been all my life?!?!?

  4. April in CT says:

    Gorgeous! The baby, the lovable Kaweah and the enchiladas! Hope you’re feeling all better now. :o)

  5. Shu-Huei Henrickson says:

    My Indian friend’s been telling me I’ve got to invest in a pressure cooker for dal and chana. Looks like there can be more use to it than dal. Would it be ok to skip the oil dipping and go straight to the sauce?

  6. Laura B. says:

    I’ve been looking for a new way to use my frozen green chiles! Do you have a favorite enchilada sauce?

  7. Nancy says:

    Looks so delicious! Being a Southern Colorado girl, I am really enjoying your blog, especially a recipe with chiles. I have a precious few of them stashed away in my freezer and will break them out to try this one!

  8. Nicole says:

    Do you make your own enchilada sauce?

  9. Heidi @ Food Doodles says:

    Those look fantastic. As soon as I scrolled down to the food my 3.5 year old son exclaimed, “should we make that?!” Yes, yes we should. :D

  10. justcooknyc says:

    i need more enchiladas in my life… a LOT more

  11. Megan says:

    Mmmmm, Stone! My favorite San Diego beer :)

  12. Bridget says:

    Red chile and green chile! I like it!

    I feel dumb that I didn’t know about the Bisti Badlands.

  13. Phoo-d says:

    I love love chicken enchiladas. This looks like an awesome recipe. Can’t wait to break out our pressure cooker and give it a try!

  14. Kirsa says:

    Just a quick tip for people maybe looking to invest into a pressure cooker: if you really want a good return of investment, get instead a pressure canner.

    The difference is that you will be able to preserve non-acidic food in jars, as well as use it for regular pressure cooking. I got my big-ass one (23 qt) at 100$, and I was lucky enough to find it on sale (at Ace Hardware) at -20%. Really, this is one of the best investments you will do in your whole life… say hello to meat spaghetti sauce, delicious soups, super stews, all ready to serve and without need for refrigeration !

    For me, it is really a life saver (and I save so much time and money by being able to preserve meals instead of just jam for gifts)

  15. Andrea Meyers says:

    Sorry to hear you weren’t feeling well. I think you and I are channeling each other; we’ve had enchiladas on the brain for a couple weeks. I bought corn tortillas planning to make a big pan of them for the family, but time got in the way. The tortillas are still sitting in the pantry, but we’ll get to them. Love the idea of cooking the chicken in beer.

  16. Margie says:

    Oh my goodness…..I am panting like, Miss K.
    I am green with envy. Gallon bags? Oh, you are sooooo blessed!
    Hope you’re feeling much better.

  17. Andrea says:

    Good to hear you’re on the mend! The clouds prevented our moon watching too :(. You are my new hero for posting a pressure cooker recipe. It is my most favorite appliance! Under the weather, no problem, real chicken soup in a jiffy. Have a hankering for Chana Masala…no problem, poof and it’s ready. Now I have another pressure cooker recipe to add to my small repertoire! That and I always enjoy your Tex Mex recipes.

  18. Gabby says:

    that looks AMAZING!!!! i need to make this! are those hatch green chiles? love it. i lived out in santa fe for two years and i am dying now without my green chiles…
    also, glad to hear you’re feeling better. getting ill during a long trip is no fun at all…

  19. Michelle says:

    Love everything about this, the beer, the chiles… I just love some greasy enchaladas!

  20. Janis says:

    I think the time on the pressure cooker is a typo? 30 minutes in the pressure cooker on high burned the heck out of our chicken. Gave the end result an interesting smoked flavor, but it really should be 3-4 minutes for boneless chicken (according to my pressure cooker handbook I consulted after the burning occurred).

    Otherwise the flavors were good (I could tell the potential) and I will try it again without cooking that long in the PC.

    Janis – at your elevation, it’s supposed to be 20 min, not 30 (I increase time by 33%). So yes, I corrected that and I’m very sorry about the oversight. However, I’m puzzled that yours burned. It could be the type of pressure cooker? 3-4 minutes isn’t enough time to get the chicken to fall apart like that. I assume you had enough liquid, so I’m guessing your pressure cooker was releasing a lot of steam? When my pressure cooker (a Fagor) reaches pressure, we’re supposed to reduce heat a little. It could be a difference in the models? What kind of pressure cooker do you have? Alternatively, you can also add some water (1/2 cup? maybe more?) and when your chicken is done, remove the lid and let is simmer off in a few minutes? I’m really sorry about that. I’m just going by how my pressure cooker works. xo -Jen

  21. Ruth Ann says:

    Oh those enchiladas with the green chiles look so yummy!

    For people who live far from New Mexico, you can actually order some Hatch green chiles from direct from Hatch, NM at Last year, I bought some for my good friend who is from Taos and she went nuts because they were so good. They are pricey though. You can order them from there fresh in August/September and roasted, peeled and frozen at other times of the year.

  22. Jenn says:

    Every time I check out your site I quickly skip through the pictures to read the recipe – then, once I have wiped up the drool, I go back to the top of your post to drool again over your photographs. Today I didn’t make it past that second photograph! The photo of that little boy has to be one of the most beautiful photographs I have ever seen, anywhere! His eyes pierce you in almost the same way as Steve McCurry’s ‘Afgan Girl’. Truly beautiful!!

  23. Paik Chuah says:

    We were at Bisti just before Thanksgiving 2010 and conditions were similar to what you experienced. We’ve been there 3 times and I know there must be some stunning shots but they seem to be quite elusive. The weather and light were not very cooperative on all those visits. Hope you’ll have better luck next time!

  24. Cynthia says:

    This recipe for enchiladas worked out so well! We braised the chicken on the stovetop for a couple of hours on a rainy Sunday, which made the house smell awesome. Thank you for sharing :)

  25. Kelly says:

    I made these enchiladas for friends over the weekend, and oh wow were they ever good. I was pretty stoked to find New Mexican red chiles in Germany, too.

  26. jenyu says:

    Thank you everyone, I’m feeling *much* better now :) xo

    Shu-Huei – I think the oil dipping is to make the tortillas less brittle and more pliable otherwise you may have a hard time rolling them without breakage.

    Laura – I don’t because it’s so hard to find good ones here. I guess I like the Las Palmas brand, but I should probably be making my own from scratch ;)

    Nicole – I should!

    Andrea Meyers – :)

    Gabby – yes! They are hatch green chiles. Best stuff ever!!

    Jenn – he’s a totally cute little kid. I just can’t get enough of him and I’m not even a baby-person :)

  27. Kimberly says:

    Oh man, this looks so good… I think I’ll make this next time I go to a potluck.

  28. Marina says:

    I too love my pressure cooker and this came out so delicious. Thank you!

  29. Keeley says:

    This recipe is the reason that I insisted on a pressure cooker as a birthday gift this week. It just arrived. I’ll be making these enchiladas this weekend. I can’t wait.

  30. Ann says:

    WOW.. you are great ..your cook make me hungry

  31. Meghan says:

    Hi Jen,

    I would like to feature this recipe on, it looks amazing! One of the main focuses of our site is bring craft beer to the dinner table, either through pairings or as an ingredient to food. I would create a post similar to this one: and include a bio/photo/link to your blog.

    Please let me know if that would be possible.



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