Green Chicken Enchilada

  • Yield: 6 servings


1cup shortening
12-- corn tortillas
-- Salsa Verde (below)
3 to 4-- chicken breasts, cooked, skinned, and shredded
1 1/2pounds Monterey Jack cheese, grated
2-- (7-ounce) cans ripe olives, coarsely chopped
1/2cup light cream
1bunch scallions, whites only, chopped
1cup sour cream
Salsa Verde:
2-- (12-ounce) cans (tomates verdes) (tomatillos)
1bunch coriander leaves (cilantro), chopped (about 1 cup)
3-- chiles from can of jalapenos en escabeche, seeded and chopped
1-- garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2-- onion, coarsely chopped
3tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh parsley
-- salt
1pinch sugar
2tablespoons shortening


  1. Heat 1 cup shortening in a heavy 10- to12- inch skillet and dip a tortilla into the hot oil for a few seconds until it is limp.  Then dip the same tortilla into warm Salsa Verde.  Laying the tortilla on a flat surface, assemble the enchilada by putting 2 tablespoons chicken, 2 tablespoons grated cheese, and 1 tablespoon chopped olives in the center of the tortilla.  Roll the tortilla up and place seam side down in a shallow 9×13-inch casserole dish.  Repeat the process until all tortillas have been assembled into enchiladas.
  2. Pour the cream around and under the enchilads, lifting the edges with a spatula to permit the cream to run under.  Cover enchiladas with the remaining salsa and grated cheese.  Top with chopped scallions.  Bake uncovered in a preheated 350F oven for 20 minutes.  Pass sour cream separately in a small bowl and have guests put a spoonful on top of each enchilada if they desire.
  3. To prepare Salsa Vede:  Drain the tomates verdes, reserving the liquid for use if the salsa is too thick, and place them, along with the remaining salsa ingredients, except the shortening, in a large mixing bowl.  Pour 1/2 the mixture into the container of an electric blender and blend until smooth, about 45 seconds.  Pour this into another large bowl and blend the second half of the mixture until smooth.  Combine the mixtures.
  4. In a heavy 10- to 12-inch skillet melt the 2 tablespoons shortening over medium heat and add the salsa.  Bring the sauce to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Note:  The enchiladas should not be assembled more than 1 hour ahead of time, as they absorb liquid and become limp.

Recipe reprinted with permission from The Junior League of Pasadena’s The California Heritage Cookbook (Pasadena, California, 1976).