Enchilada Suizas and Green Rice

Serve this warm and wonderful Mexican classic on a cold winter’s night.


  • 2 large poblano peppers
  • 4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 medium-large tomatillos, peeled, rinsed and chopped
  • 3/4-1 cup cilantro leaves, divided
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 8 6-inch flour tortillas or 12 5-inch corn tortillas
  • 1 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese (buy 1/3 pound block)
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (buy 1/3 pound block)
  • 1 3/4 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup white rice
  • 1 cup packed fresh spinach leaves
  • 3-4 scallions
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced into rings


Heat the broiler to high.

Place the poblano peppers under the broiler and char until blackened an all sides, 10-12 minutes. Leave the door of the oven cracked to allow the steam to escape. Place the peppers in a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow the peppers to cool until cool enough to handle.

Switch the oven to bake at 375˚F.

While the peppers char under the broiler, place the chicken in a small pan and add enough water to come up to top of meat, but do not submerge completely. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and poach for 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the EVOO, two turns of the pan, in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, 1 of the jalapeño peppers and the garlic and cook to soften, 5 minutes.

While the veggies cook, place the tomatillos, 1/4 cup cilantro and lime juice in a food processor. Peel and seed the cooled poblano peppers, give them a coarse chop, then and add them to the food processor. Process until an almost-smooth sauce forms, 1 minute. Pour the sauce into a skillet and stir to combine. Stir in the honey, then season with salt and pepper and simmer 10 minutes.

Shred the cooked, poached chicken with 2 forks.

Blister the flour tortillas in a dry pan or over an open flame to soften them. If using corn tortillas, warm a thin layer of vegetable oil in small skillet over medium-low heat. Pass the corn tortillas through the warm oil to soften them, stacking them on paper towel-lined plate.

Pour a little sauce onto the bottom of one medium casserole dish or four individual casseroles. Fill eight flour or twelve corn tortillas with shredded chicken, roll them up and arrange them side-by-side in the casserole(s). Top with the remaining sauce. Dot the enchiladas with crème fraiche or sour cream and top with the Swiss and Monterey Jack cheeses. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until bubbly and brown on top.

When the enchiladas have been in the oven for 10 minutes, bring 1 1/2 cups stock and butter to a boil. Stir in the rice and cover the pot, then reduce the heat to simmer.

Meanwhile, process about 1/4 cup chicken stock with the spinach, 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves, remaining jalapeño pepper and the scallions into a finely chopped, thick paste. When the rice has been cooking for 15 minutes, stir the spinach mixture into the rice, then cover the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Turn off the heat; let stand for 5 minutes.

Garnish the enchiladas with the raw red onion rings and serve with the green rice alongside.

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Rachael Ray