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Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas

In 2010, a dear friend delivered this meal to Jim and me while I recovered from surgery. Providing dinner for a friend or neighbor is a fantastic way to meet a real need in someone's life while showing you care.

These Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas were so good; I had to ask for the recipe. Thank you to two sweet sisters, Laura and Leslie, for passing this on to me.

Preparing enchiladas can be a labor-intensive effort, but it doesn't have to be. This recipe streamlines the process, making it a dish appropriate for a weeknight meal. Try shortcuts like buying a rotisserie chicken, or look for pre-shredded chicken at your grocery store. If I can plan ahead, I will bake more chicken earlier in the week to use in multiple meals. Canned enchilada sauce is also a lifesaver, and I've settled on the Hatch brand for this recipe.


Tortillas (see note below)

3 cups cooked and shredded chicken

2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1-4.5 ounce can of chopped green chiles (For a more pronounced green chile taste, add two cans)

Half a bunch of cilantro, chopped (roughly 1/3 cup)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 can Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce (or green sauce of your choice)

Optional toppings

I like to sprinkle additional cheese on top, like cheddar and queso fresco. A drizzle of Mexican Crema is excellent, as is more cilantro.

Mise en place

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray pan with non-stick spray and spread a tablespoon of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish. I do both, but I'm sure one or the other is just fine.

Gather ingredients, can opener, and chop cilantro.

Mix the filling

In a large mixing bowl, combine chicken, cheese, sour cream, green chiles, cilantro, and seasoning. (Reserve the can of enchilada sauce for right before you put in the oven.) Taste and adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Rolling and stacking

Working one at a time, top each tortilla with 2 tablespoons of the filling and roll tightly into a cigar shape. Arrange, seam-side down, in prepared baking dish.

Toppings and bake

Pour the can of enchilada sauce over the top and add a sprinkle of cheese. Bake, uncovered until cheese is melted and enchiladas are heated through about 15-20 minutes.

Sprinkle with a cilantro pinch, and some extra cheese (maybe a contrasting cheese), and serve!

Hints, tips, and tricks

Tortillas - there is a divide in my house. Jim likes flour tortillas, and I prefer corn. I try to buy the H-E-B fresh flour tortillas for Jim because they are homemade right there in the store and taste delicious.

Many recipes suggest dipping the tortillas into hot oil before filling and rolling. Frying them in a small amount of hot oil allows the tortillas to have a barrier so that they do not soak up too much sauce or liquid, which could cause them to break down and become soggy.

I sometimes fry the tortillas, but the purpose of THIS recipe is to be quick and easy, which means leaving the tortillas as they are. When I use corn tortillas, I wrap them in a damp paper towel and microwave them for a minute until pliable without breaking on me.

Spicyness - there is also a divide in my home since we have kids on what constitutes "hot." Look on the cans at the grocery store, and decide whether you need to buy mild, medium, or hot products. If your family likes spicy food, add a fresh jalapeno.

Make now, eat later - these enchiladas freeze well. Follow these guidelines.

If making this for someone else, deliver the enchiladas with the can of enchilada sauce on the side. Leave instructions to pour the sauce on top and heat in the oven for 30 minutes (assuming you made the enchiladas and put in the refrigerator before delivering them). Add a can of beans, a bag of chips, and a jar of salsa, and you will have provided a serious blessing to someone!

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