Hatch Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas with Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

You could say this recipe developed in the midst of complete kitchen chaos…

It was a concoction created minutes before dusk as we rushed out to exercise the energetic lab puppy residing with us for the next 10 days.

But, it doesn’t really matter how this dish came together because it’s all about flavor and this enchilada packs a punch.

You are probably thinking “really, again with the lettuce wraps?” Sorry!  These gigantic, locally grown collard greens were irresistible!  If you must, you can substitute the greens for corn or (it pains me to say) flour tortillas.

We had a communication breakdown during the recipe development; I said “grill the tomatillos,” the resident carnivore heard “peel and pulverize.”

We were left with a delicious, fresh tomatillo salsa that added a wonderful flavor to the dish.  It’s a great thing the resident carnivore’s dad is a chef because Bob inherited some major skills!

Hatch Green Chile & Chicken Enchiladas with Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

Time: 1 hour Serves: 4


  • 3 boneless Chicken breasts
  • 1 can black beans (omit for Paleo)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ white onion
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 5 fresh Hatch Green Chiles, you can used canned as well
  • ½ c. Cilantro
  • Tomatillo salsa (recipe below or use store bought)
  • 1/2 c. shredded Monterrey jack cheese (optional, omit for Paleo)

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

  • 6 tomatillos, peeled and chopped
  • 1 poblano
  • 1 Jalapeno
  • 1.5 c. cilantro
  • Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees

Place the chicken breast garlic and white onion into a pot, fill with enough water to cover the chicken and bring to a boil until cooked about 18-20 minutes.

Wash and dry the collard greens and place in a large baking dish filled with about a ½ inch of water.  Cover and place in the pre heated oven to steam for 10-15 minutes (depending on size).  This will soften the greens and make them easier to fold.

Meanwhile, heat a grill pan or skillet over medium heat and cook the green chiles, jalapeño and poblano pepper  until they are blistered and soft.  Set the poblano aside as you will use this in the salsa.  Drain and rinse the black beans and place into a large mixing bowl.  When the chicken is through cooking, shred and add to the black beans.  Add chiles and cilantro and mix well.

To make the salsa, add the tomatillos, blistered poblano, jalapeno and cilantro to the food processor and blend until well combined.  Season to your liking with salt.

To assemble place a few spoonfuls of the chicken filling in the middle of a collard green leaf, add one spoonful of salsa (more if desired) and begin to fold the bottom and sides in as you wrap up the collard green.  Place in a baking dish and repeat until you use all leaves.  Top with salsa and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until heated through.

Make ahead: the filling can be made ahead and refrigerated for one day, you can also assemble the enchiladas ahead of time and store in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.


Spicy Italian Lettuce Wrap

One of my rare fast food indulgences is the Vito Unwich (lettuce wrapped sandwich) from Jimmy John’s.  It is a salty mix of Genoa salami, capicola, onion, lettuce & tomatoes topped with an Italian vinaigrette.

I was perusing the grocery store without a list after a workout (always dangerous) and I picked up ingredients to make my own Jimmy John’s inspired unwich for lunch.


If you have ever ordered the unwich, you know it is like an iceberg lettuce burrito wrapped in paper and the secret is never to unwrap!  When you make the wrap at home, it helps to use a paper towel to hold it together.

Spicy Italian Lettuce Wrap

Yield: 1 wrap, you can easily double


  • 3 slices of lettuce (iceberg or romaine)
  • 3 thin slices of  nitrate-free Genoa salami
  • 2  slices of capicola
  • 1 slice provolone, divided (omit for Paleo option)
  • 5 slices of mild or hot banana peppers (optional)
  • 3 thin slices of tomato
  • 3 slices of white onion
  • 1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. oregano
  • pepper to taste


  • Make the dressing by mixing the vinegar, olive oil, oregano and pepper in a small bowl
  • Lay out a large paper towel or two on a plate or the counter and begin to assemble your wrap on top
  • Start with 3 slices of lettuce, lay 2 of the lettuce leaves on the paper towel ensuring that they overlap a little bit and save the other piece for later
  • Place 3 slices of Genoa salami on top of the lettuce leaving some room at either end
  • Add the capicola then split the slice of provolone in half and place on top of the meat & top with tomatoes, white onion and banana peppers
  • Pour the italian dressing over the ingredients and put the remaining piece of lettuce on top
  • Begin to use your paper towel to wrap the sandwich like a burrito, first folding in the middle then taking one side and wrapping it over the other, be careful not to trap the paper towel inside the lettuce, a giant bite of paper could totally ruin the experience!

I hope you enjoy this quick and easy lunch as much as I did!  Now, I just need to work on my freaky fast sandwich making skills!