Enchiladas Suizas (Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas)

Enchiladas Suizas is one of Dennis’ all time favorites – combining tender, white meat chicken with a green chile sauce cooled by cream cheese and sour cream, these babies rarely stay on the plate for too long when Dennis is around.  His favorite version were from Cafe Frida in New York City and it was ne’er a visit that he didn’t order both the Enchiladas Suizas and the Tres Leches.  Incredibly, the dish originates from Swiss settlers in Mexico contributing swiss cheese to the traditional enchiladas verdes, or corn tortillas rolled and sauced with tomatillos.  The dish now refers less to the use of swiss as the inclusion of a creamy sauce with white cheese.

This version, which is loosely based on Dennis’ favorites, is incredibly versatile for all palettes and spice levels.  Make the version below for a relatively mild experience or kick it up with a chopped jalapeno in the chicken mixture and a hotter green chile sauce (which are available at the market in both mild and spicy varieties).  Poaching the chicken before mixing with the cream cheese helps to keep it super tender and moist, and the scallions add flavor.  It’s a nice diversion from straight up red sauced enchiladas, but if you feel like a fiesta, make these along with the red variety and call it a party.  I don’t know about you, but I loooooove an impromptu party.

Enchiladas Suizas

2 chicken breasts
a couple tablespoons of peppercorns
1 quart of chicken stock (or salted water)
2 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic, smashed

12 corn tortillas
28 oz. of green chile sauce
8 oz. of neufchatel
1/2 c. of sour cream
4 scallions, thinly sliced
2 c. of cheese, quesadilla or jack
2 tbs. of mild green chiles
1 tsp. of olive oil

Begin by poaching the chicken breasts.  In a saucepan (with a lid), bring the broth or water, peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic and chicken to a boil.  Pop the lid on top, turn off the heat and let sit for 15 minutes.  Take out the chicken and once it is cool to handle, shred with your fingers or two forks.  Set aside.

In a standing mixer or with an egg beater, mix the neufchatel, sour cream, scallions, olive oil and chilies.  Taste for salt and pepper and season.  Mix in the shredded chicken, 1/4 c. of green chile sauce and 1 cup of cheese.  Set aside.

Spray a 13×9 inch pan with cooking spray and cover the bottom with a cup of the green chile sauce.  Place 4 tortillas on a plate and microwave for 45 seconds until pliable.  Fill a tortilla with 2-3 tablespoons of filling, roll up and place seam-side down in the pan.  Continue to roll the enchiladas until the pan is completely filled.  Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake in the oven on 400° until the cheese is bubbly and melted, about 20 minutes.  Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.