Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
Historically speaking, I’m not a particularly mature human being, nor am I all that interested in being one. I like to mind my own business and am generally unaware of surrounding events. I clean up my own yard and have tried all my life to fly safely under the radar. I embrace the views of the 1960’s, try to live and let live and feel as the Beatles wrote, only a fool makes his world a little colder.
My utter lack of awareness was in full swing when Stella and I met and it was not love at first sight for her. Not even close. I chased the girl 3 years! For a date! Finally, in a moment of alcohol induced weakness or maybe pity, she agreed to have dinner with me. Let me set the stage, bluntly.
I was 25 years old and dumb as a bag of hammers where women were concerned and not all that advanced today. Fearing she would change her mind, I hustled her into the car and drove straight to Carlotta’s Cadillac, a cozy Mexican restaurant in Dallas near where we both worked.
We ordered, we drank, we laughed and had a great time and when the bill came I dropped my handy American Excess card onto the table and was promptly told, “I’m sorry sir, we don’t accept American Excess.” I checked my wallet and found three 1-dollar bills. I was screwed.
Stella, suddenly the gentleman at the table said, “No problem, I’ve got it covered,” and reached for her purse only then remembering she’d left it at the office. Great, our first date, one that took three years to get and I go all Jerome Horwitz! We’ll probably end up washing dishes. First date and last, crap!
This is where you 21st century people think, no problem I’ll pop out to the ATM and be back in a flash. No. Not in the 1970’s. There are no ATM machines. Need cash? Write a check, drive to the bank and get it cashed or maybe the local grocery store. The first ATM didn’t arrive until September 1969, making its public debut and dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. 
Anyway, Stella said, “I’ll go to the office to get my purse, I don’t know if I have enough cash but I do have a Mastercard.” I said, “No way. Order more drinks and I’ll go get your purse.” And that’s exactly what I did. As best I can tell this event endeared me in the eyes of my then future wife and we’ve been together ever since. Now, before you go all Ward and June Cleaver on me, there’s more you need to know.
We were getting serious about our relationship and she decided she wanted to prepare a home cooked meal for me. I remember clearly how excited she was to have me over for dinner. Our first “home-cooked” meal, a meal she worked on all afternoon trying to get just right, overheating her non-air-conditioned one-bedroom flat by using the oven, a well known Texas no-no in in the summer.
I can still remember the grin on her face and the pride in her presentation as she set the bubbling hot, steaming casserole pan of chicken enchiladas on the table. The smell was Heaven, the melted cheeses coming together with the sour cream, the delicate sprinkle of green onions on top.
Onions on top!!??? Crap, I don’t like onions! In fact, I hate onions! What do I do??? And like the idiot I am, I told her I don’t eat onions.
There was this brief moment, this little pause that said so much as she realized I was not as advanced as the credit she afforded me and that “this” (read, us) was going to take more work than she’d realized.
For a moment, I thought I might be wearing those enchiladas but as grace would have it, Stella, far more mature, then and now, simply scrapped them off and we ate chicken enchiladas, drank cold beer on that very hot summer evening and she’s had a story to tell ever since.
The recipe below is for Stella’s Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas, not quite the same recipe as that fateful evening, that recipe is long lost, but it’s close. This recipe is quick, easy and tastes a great deal better than the commercial chicken enchiladas you’re served at your local Mexican restaurant. Try these enchiladas. Muy delicisco!
Serve with rice (we like Zatarain’s Cilantro Lime Rice), ice cold Dos Equis and homemade salsa. See our Homemade Fire Roasted Salsa recipe at,
And Stella, thanks for teaching me to eat onions and so much more.
Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas
Prep Time: About 10:00 minutes
Cooking Time: About 30:00 minutes
Tools you’ll need:
8×12 Casserole Pan
Small Sauté Pan
Knife or Cleaver
2 cups diced leftover roasted chicken
4-6 green onions, chopped
½ – 1 cup of sour cream
2T cream cheese (optional)
½ t ground cumin (optional)
2 cups Monterey jack cheese grated
8-10 corn tortillas
16oz jar of Green Chili (we use King’s Chef medium Colorado Green Chili)
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the chicken and green onions.
Add the sour cream, cream cheese and cumin.
Stir to combine. Add salt to taste. We don’t usually add salt.
If the tortillas aren’t super fresh, heat each one in small sauté pan on medium heat until slightly soft. This just takes a few seconds. Fill each tortilla with the chicken mixture.
Top with a bit of the cheese and roll and add to the casserole dish.
Note: we spread a little bit of the chili in the bottom of the dish.
Pour the green chili over the top and add the remaining cheese.
Heat until bubbling and the cheese is melted – about 30 minutes.
Note: We love Costco roasted chickens and always have leftovers. This is a good way to use that leftover chicken.