January 21, 2009

Enchiladas Suizas (Verdes)

Living in Mexico, this was easily one of my top five dishes to order, and as far as I'm concerned, enchiladas suizas are without a doubt the best enchiladas out there. Creamy, cheesy chicken and green chile sauce? Yes, please. And just so you know, it would be nearly sacrilegious to make enchiladas with flour tortillas. (In fact, corn is always best, in my not-so-humble opinion.)

This recipe is a variation on one I found about five years ago in the San Francisco Chronicle Food Section. The woman who wrote it got the recipe from the family running the bed and breakfast where she stayed. The original version calls for making the salsa verde from scratch, but I didn't want to spend all day on this and just used canned green enchilada sauce. Some brands are better than others, and while I've yet to do a brand by brand taste test, I know that El Pato, Las Palmas and La Victoria are decent.

(If you are wondering, the word suiza, surprisingly enough, means Swiss. Apparently Swiss immigrants in Mexico often ended up making cheeses and other dairy products, like the crema Mexicana in this dish.)

The Chicken
  • 2 chicken breasts (It called for bone and skin, but we used boneless/skinless.)
  • 1/4 of a white onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 quart chicken broth
  1. Rinse chicken and put in a 4 quart pot with the onion quarter and garlic. Add broth. If the chicken is not completely covered, add water until covered. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and let chicken cool in broth for 20 minutes. Remove chicken from broth and when cool, shred it.
  3. Save the broth for use in any recipe calling for chicken broth. (We used it to make tortilla soup.)
The Enchiladas

  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 10 large corn tortillas
  • 4 cups (or more) green chile enchilada sauce (spicy, if you like!)
  • Shredded chicken from above
  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion (optional)
  • 3 cups grated manchego or Monterey Jack Cheese (We used cheddar and it was fine.)
  • 3/4 cup crema Mexicana (We had to substitute sour cream; it's definitely not as good as the real stuff.)
  1. Heat 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a wide skillet and fry the tortillas (1-2 at a time) to soften them, turning once--about 20 seconds on each side. Stack them as you finish. Add more oil to the pan as needed.
  2. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  3. Use 1 teaspoon oil (I used a spray instead) to coat a 12x9 inch (or so) baking dish. Spread 1 cup of green sauce over the bottom of the dish.
  4. Moisten the shredded chicken with 3/4 cup of the green sauce.
  5. For each enchilada, spoon some of the chicken, some chopped onions and some shredded cheese down the middle of a tortilla. Roll it up and place seam side down in the dish.
  6. When all of the enchiladas are in the dish, spread 1 tablespoon of crema over each one. Pour 2 cups (or more as desired) of the green sauce over the enchiladas, then sprinke more grated cheese all over the top.
  7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until heated through and bubbly. Pass the remaining salsa verde at the table.


  1. I want to make these for dinner tonight!

  2. Andy, Mary Ann and I just made these for dinner, and they were amazing, thanks Alexis! We also made Tostones, and ate them with canned salsa verde. We were able to go to Mi Tierra and find Crema (Andy ate it by the spoonful). I would say the white onion is a must, it adds delicious crunch and tang to the enchiladas. Next time I might crock pot the chicken so it's ready when I get home. I can't wait to make Tortilla Soup with the broth!

  3. Post the tostones recipe please!!!

  4. I guess Tostones was a made up word in my head. I meant Totopos. Yum! We also had canned hominy on the side.

  5. Oooh, I see. Tostones are actually fried plantain slices that are very delicious! Did we ever go to Pambiche, the Cuban place? They make them there. Maybe I'll look into it further.

  6. YES! That's why I was confused, since I had Tostones a few days before at the best Puerto Rican place ever - Sol Food. If we could figure out how to make them that would rock.

  7. My friend Ramon knows. Maybe I can get him to post it!


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