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Z'Tejas Smoked Duck Enchiladas with Mole Verde

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  • Z'Tejas Smoked Duck Enchiladas with Mole Verde

    These enchiladas get their unusual flavor from smoked duck.

    For those who mistakenly think that Mexican mole always contains chocolate, this vibrant green version will be a revelation. Serve with black beans and rice.

    8 servings


    For the Mole Verde:
    • Nonstick cooking oil spray, for the pan and the tortillas
    • 14 medium tomatillos, husks removed
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 3 cups coarsely chopped cilantro (2 bunches)
    • 2 teaspoons salt
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 2 medium jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 1 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted (see NOTE)
    • 1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted in a dry skillet over medium-low heat until golden

    For the enchiladas:
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 medium green bell peppers stemmed, seeded and finely chopped
    • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
    • 24 ounces smoked duck, shredded
    • 12 ounces shredded or grated Monterey Jack cheese
    • 16 6-inch corn tortillas

    Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease two 9-by-13-inch casserole dishes with nonstick cooking oil spray.

    For the Mole Verde: Work in batches if necessary. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Carefully drop the tomatillos in the water and boil for 5 minutes, then use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a blender (discard the boiling water). Add the 1/2 cup of water, 1 cup of the cilantro and salt; remove the stopper from the top of the blender cap and place a dish towel over it; pulse to puree. Add the remaining cilantro, then the chili powder, ground cumin, jalapeño pepper, honey and olive oil; puree until smooth. Add the pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds; puree until smooth.

    For the enchiladas: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the green bell pepper and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until softened. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the smoked duck and half of the Monterey Jack cheese to the bowl and toss to combine. ( I like to add a some of the Mole Verde to the mixture so the flavor cooks into the meat).

    Spray each tortilla briefly on each side with canola- or olive-oil cooking spray, stack on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave for 1 minute or heat quickly on both sides in a large skillet set over medium heat. Let cool slightly.

    Spoon about 1/4 cup of the smoked duck filling mixture evenly across each tortilla, working about 1 to 2 inches from one end, then roll each up tightly and place, seam-side down, in the prepared casserole dishes. Pour the mole verde sauce over the tortillas, and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling around the edges and the cheese is melted and starting to brown.

    To toast shelled pumpkin seeds: Toss them with 1 tablespoon of canola oil and spread in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 6 to 8 minutes; allow to cool completely.

    Smoking the Duck:
    Split duck along the breast. Wash the duck and dry off with paper towels. Sprinkle liberally with Kosher salt on both sides.
    Smoke with skin side up for 3-3 ½ hours before wrapping the duck in foil, leaving it in the smoker or transferring to the oven set to 230 degrees for another 2 ½ - 3 hours.
    Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle the meat without burning yourself.
    Strip meat from the bird and shred with a fork. Don’t eat all of it…

    I usually smoke 2-3 ducks when I make this recipe. I shred it all up and then package it into freezer zip-locks and squeeze the air out. It makes the next few batches MUCH easier to make.

    You can also do the same for the Mole Verde...I use large square silicon ice cube trays and freeze it into cubes, then transfer to a large zip-lock bag and suck the air out. Then I pull what I need out for the next time I prepare this dish.

    Recipe Source:
    From a Z'Tejas Grill recipe published in the Austin American-Statesman.
    684 calories, 35g fat, 12g saturated fat, 102mg cholesterol, 1701mg sodium, 55g carbohydrates, 7g dietary fiber, n/a sugar, 43g protein.