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Claudette Zepeda's Chicken Enchiladas Suizas

What's the perfect dish to satisfy your crunchy, cheesy and spicy cravings? Chicken enchiladas suizas made by Chef Claudette Zepeda of El Jardín Restaurant in San Diego. But, be sure to follow Claudette's instructions or you might end up with a pickled chicken!


  • 24 (8-inch) tortillas
  • 2 heads iceberg lettuce, sliced thin
  • 4 cups Emmental cheese, shredded
  • 5 radishes, sliced thin
  • 2 cups crema
  • For the chicken:
  • 3 pounds chicken
  • 1/2 gallon water
  • 1/2 gallon ice
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges
  • 1 serrano pepper, halved
  • 1 gallon chicken stock
  • For the Suiza Salsa:
  • 2 pounds tomatillos
  • 2 cups cream
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup Emmental cheese, shredded
  • 3 serrano peppers
  • 1/2 cup pepitas
  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • Salt, to taste
  • White pepper, to taste


  1. Prepare chicken: Brine chicken using a large pot. Bring all ingredients to a boil (except chicken, broth and ice). Remove from stove and add ice. Once completely cool, add chicken and brine for 4 hours to 3 days.
  2. Remove chicken from brine and pat dry completely. Place chicken in a medium pot with chicken stock and cook on low/medium heat until cooked through. Shred and set aside.
  3. Prepare Suiza Salsa: In a medium pot on low heat, cook and combine tomatillos, onion, serrano, stock (or water) and cream. Cook until onions are translucent. Remove from heat and blend in batches with cilantro and shredded cheese.
  4. Assemble enchiladas: Heat tortillas on a griddle and place roughly 3 tablespoons of chicken, a spoonful of salsa and 1 spoonful of cheese on each. Roll, place in a baking dish and repeat.
  5. Top with remaining Suiza salsa and shredded cheese and put under the broiler to melt for 10 minutes. Plate enchiladas and garnish with crema, lettuce and radish.
  6. Enjoy!