Enchiladas Especiales Tacuba Style

Enchiladas Cremosas de Pollo, Estilo Cafe Tacuba
Recipe from Season 7, Mexico—One Plate at a Time
Servings: 4to 6


  • 2fresh poblano chiles
  • 1cup (lightly packed) roughly chopped spinach leaves
  • 2cups milk
  • 2cups chicken broth
  • 6tablespoons (3 ounces) butter, or you can use vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2cup flour
  • Salt
  • 3cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken (I usually use a rotisserie chicken or leftover grilled chicken)
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • Alittle vegetable oil for brushing or spraying
  • About 1cup Mexican melting cheese (Chihuahua, quesadilla, asadero or the like) or Monterey Jack, brick or mild cheddar
  • Alittle chopped cilantro, for garnish


  1. Make the sauce. Roast the poblanos directly over a gas flame or on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler, turning regularly, until the skins have blistered and blackened on all side, about 5 minutes for an open flame, about 10 minutes under the broiler. Place in a bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and, when handleable, rub off the blackened skin, tear open and pull out the seed pod and stem. Quickly rinse to remove any stray seeds or bits of skin. Roughly chop and put in a blender jar. Add the spinach.
    In a medium (3-quart) saucepan, combine the milk and broth, set over medium-low heat to warm.
    In a large (4-quart) saucepan, melt the butter (or heat the oil) over medium. Add the garlic and cook for a minute to release its aroma, then add the flour and stir the mixture for a minute. Raise the heat to medium-high. Pour in the warm broth mixture and whisk constantly until the sauce boils. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
    Pour half the hot sauce into the blender with the chiles and spinach. Cover loosely (I remove the center part of the lid, secure the lid, then drape a cloth over the whole thing) and blend until smooth. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining sauce. Taste and season with salt, usually about 2 teaspoons.
  2. Finish the enchiladas. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Smear about 1/4 cup of the sauce over the bottom of each of four to six 9-inch individual ovenproof baking/serving dishes or smear about 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish. Stir 1 cup of the sauce into the chicken.
    Lay half of the tortillas out on a baking sheet and lightly brush or spray both sides of the tortillas with oil; top each tortilla with another one and brush or spray those with oil. Bake just to warm through and soften, about 3 minutes. Stack the tortillas and cover with a towel to keep warm.
    Working quickly so that the tortillas stay hot and pliable, roll a portion of the chicken up in each tortilla, then line them all up in the baking dish(es). Douse evenly with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake until the enchiladas are hot through (the cheese will have begun to brown), about 20 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro and serve without hesitation.



  1. Rick- I and my whole family love u. I’ve made several of your recipes for them & they always brag about how very good it was. You haven’t let me down yet! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with all of us grateful home cooks out here. It’s often a thankless job we do EXCEPT when we use your recipes. Then we get rave reviews!

  2. Mama mia, is this ever good! This may be my favorite of your recipes. The only change I made was to add some heat to the poblano sauce with some cumin and cayenne.

  3. I made this recipe exactly as written. I was disappointed in the sauce. The heaviness of the Bechamel was overpowering. There was little poblano flavor. The sauce needs an acidic element to brighten it up.

  4. I’ve made a vegan version of this – and it’s divine!! Thank you for the guidance towards making perfects enchiladas, of all kinds. xoxo

  5. Loved this recipe!! I doctored it a bit, using a lot more garlic, 5 poblanos, almost an entire bag of spinach, and added a couple jalepenos for heat. But, it turned out great. Very creamy, garlicky, and the spinach doesn’t get lost. I will make this again.

  6. I have made this 100 times and it just gets better and better. I love this recipe as does my whole family. I give it 5 stars!

    Thank you.

  7. Rick and everyone involved,

    Thanks for posting these great recipes on the internet gratis, it is most appreciated by myself, friends and family.

    For a less healthy version, I’ve been pan frying the tortillas in vegetable oil with cumin seeds. Also, I serve them in personal size cast iron pans.



  8. I am making this for the second time due to the constant requests I get for it. I really enjoy the sauce, a bit of heat but blends nicely in the enchilada.

  9. I made this recipe and really like the flavor. I substituted rice and beans for the chicken. I used one poblano and found that was plenty flavor and heat. I’m I the only one who finds poblanos hot? I always use half the amount called for in recipes. I wonder if poblanos vary in heat. The ones I buy here in Oregon are almost as hot as jalapenos. I’m not a spice wimp, really.

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