Chicken Enchiladas Suizas By Jen Sommerness
This recipe is one of my absolute favorites to have after coming home from the ski slopes, skating rinks or any other activity that you are doing that makes your family and friends come inside needing something warm and filling for their hungry, tired bodies. It is a true crowd pleaser and couldn’t be an easier meal, especially when you make part of it in advance.
I have adapted this recipe to how my family likes to eat it, with a bit of spice, leaner on the dairy products, and heavy on the veggies. The original recipe called for twice as much cheese, the use of heavy cream (and more of it), as well as a different blend of chiles and salsas. I love my version – it tastes fresh and allows for the different ingredients to stand out.
Some friends recently asked me if I would ever “stoop so low” as to use a pre-roasted chicken…the answer is absolutely, yes! This is the perfect dish to use one, or use up leftover chicken you have on hand. Otherwise, I like to grill chicken for use in this dish (the original recipe calls for poaching, and you can do that too if you prefer).
I like to make the meat mixture ahead of time and put it in the fridge. Then, about an hour before we want to eat, I just preheat the oven, roll the enchiladas, pour over the sauce, and bake. Alternatively, you can prepare them all the way up to the point of putting the sauce on, up to one day in advance; however, I prefer the finished texture when they are rolled just before baking.
*Also – the meat mixture freezes well, so you can easily make a double batch and freeze some to have on hand).
Pair it with your favorite salad – and enjoy this awesome dish! It is a plate-licker! Salute!
Chicken Enchiladas Suizas
1 ½ - 2 pounds cooked chicken (original recipe calls for breasts, but any chicken works well)
1 T butter
1 large onion, diced
2 bell peppers, diced (I prefer yellow, orange and red for this recipe)
8 ounces shredded cheese (I like to use any combination I have on hand, cheddar, mozzarella, etc.)
4 oz diced mild green chiles (I use hot, and I add more – but 4 oz., mild is all that is necessary)
1 cup tomatillo salsa (buy whatever spice level you like)
½ bunch of cilantro, chopped
4 tsp. ground cumin
2-3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, chopped (optional – but I strongly encourage you to use even one chile and freeze the rest of the can for the next time you make this).
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
12-15 7-inch flour tortillas
6-8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1 cup half and half (or milk works well, too)
1 cup chicken broth
Garnish with avocado, tomatoes and cilantro (if desired)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Shred the chicken using two forks, and place into a large bowl.
Melt butter in a pan over medium heat and add onions and peppers. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and stir occasionally until the mixture softens, 5-8 minutes. Allow to cool slightly, and then add to the chicken.
Add cheese (not the Monterey Jack – that is for the topping), green chiles, salsa, cilantro, cumin, and chipotles. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
Grease a 10x15x2 inch baking pan or 2 smaller pans. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the chicken mixture along one edge of the tortilla, roll up from the filling side and place it seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat until your mixture is gone!
Sprinkle Monterey Jack over enchiladas. Combine half and half and chicken broth and pour over enchiladas. Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking for 10 more minutes or until thoroughly heated and slightly browned.
Recipe adapted from Colorado Collage Cookbook, Junior League of Denver, 1995.