Jackie’s Magical Green Chicken Enchiladas

enchiladas verdes

By Jackie Camacho-Ruiz

Green enchiladas. Green enchiladas. How can I forget the magic this recipe brought to my childhood?

The vivid smells spread throughout our small brick house in my beautiful Mexico, while my mother multitasked in the kitchen. The smell … yes, unforgettable. I knew that something muy especial was going to happen when she made the green enchiladas.

You see, we come from a humble middle class family and having enough resources to make this special recipe meant abundance and a gathering with our loved ones.

The love for this recipe continued to grow as I became an adult. I would spend days perfecting my mom’s recipe and making them at every opportunity. Every time I made these enchiladas verdes, it became my way to show my love for those I was hosting with this recipe that meant so much to me. Eventually, I became the “expert” in making green enchiladas, making this the only recipe in my repertory. My family would come over and automatically knew what I would make to welcome them to my home.

Now that I am a pilot—Jackie Camacho-Ruiz, la “Pilotina”—and have achieved much since my humble beginnings, I treasure every micromoment in my life even more. Every time I have an opportunity to fly, I think of the traditions that allow me to soar the skies as one of the few Latina airplane pilots in the United States. I think of all the challenges I have had to overcome. I think of my humble beginnings in the brick house in a home filled with love.

There are micromoments in life that stay with us forever, usually marked by smells, flavors, colors that bring us closer to home.

Green enchiladas continue to mark the amazing special occasions that connect our family. What is the recipe that makes you soar and brings you home?

Try Jackie’s Pilotina-Style Green Chicken Enchiladas—and Soar!

Jackie’s Magical Green Chicken Enchiladas

4 from 10 votes
Recipe by Jacqueline Camacho-Ruiz Cuisine: Mexican


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 10 10 tomatillos, peeled and rinsed

  • 3 3 serrano chiles, deseeded and stemmed

  • 1 small bunch 1 cilantro

  • 1 clove 1 garlic, chopped

  • 4 4 chicken breasts

  • 10 oz 10 water

  • 1 pinch 1 salt, to taste

  • 2 Tbsp. 2 olive oil, or as needed

  • 1 cube 1 chicken bouion

  • 12 12 corn tortillas

  • 1 cup 1 olive oil, to fry tortillas

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 jack or white cheddar melting cheese, shredded, to taste

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 cup Mexican crema or sour cream, for garnish


  • The Salsa
  • Boil the tomatillos and serrano peppers until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • In a blender, thoroughly mix the tomatillos and serranos. Add the cilantro garlic, water and salt and pulse to blend.
  • Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the salsa mixture and the chicken bouillon and simmer for about 5 to 8 minutes, until thoroughly dissolved together.
  • The Chicken Filling
  • Boil the chicken in the water, with the garlic.
  • After about 10 minutes, when all the pink is gone and the chicken is cooked, shred the chicken with two forks. Set aside.
  • The Enchiladas
  • Preheat oven 350°.
  • Deep-fry the tortillas in the olive oil, until lightly golden. Lay each on a plate, separated by paper towels, to soak off the oil, as much as possible.
  • Dip each tortilla into the green salsa. Place on a plate.
  • Fill each tortilla with 2 spoonfuls of shredded chicken. Roll it up and place it on a baking sheet or baking pan.
  • Once all of the enchiladas are done and lined up side by side, sprinkle melting cheese on top and place the pan in the oven for 10 minutes at 375°
  • Add a dollop of sour cream, a spoonful or two of the warm salsa, and a remaining cilantro leaf on top of each to garnish, if you wish—and serve. You’re ready to soar.


  • Serve these enchiladas acompañadas by a brimming-full bowl of remaining salsa for your friends and family to add, as they wish.
  • You can find tomatillos in just about any grocery store.
  • If you don’t have or prefer not to use chicken bouillon, substitute with 1 cup of chicken broth.
green enchiladas La Pilotina
La Pilotina in acción, getting ready to soar into the skies. Fun fact: Jackie Ruiz is one of very few Latinas in Aviation in the United States.
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