HomeAbout UsWine ReviewsArchivesAdvertiseContact Us


Wine Columns

Wine Reviews

WineReviewOnline on Twitter

Critics Challenge

Distillers Challenge

San Diego Challenge

Sommelier Challenge


Winemaker Challenge

WineReviewOnline on Facebook

WineReviewOnline on Instagram

Oct 8, 2019
Printable Version
Email this Article

WINE WITH…Deconstructed Chicken Enchiladas Suizas

Like us, you probably enjoy spending a few hours in the kitchen on occasion, carefully pulling together a special meal to share with family and/or friends.  But then there are those days when you still want to prepare a nice dinner…but you’re rushed for time.  This second scenario was where we recently found ourselves.  We were hankering for chicken enchiladas but didn’t really have time to cook the chicken, make fresh salsa, stuff and roll up the individual enchiladas and so on.  Then it hit us: K.I.S.S. – as in, keep it simple, stupid.  The solution to that day’s dietary dilemma would be to pick up a pre-cooked bird in the form of a rotisserie chicken, and some fresh salsa.  Then, instead of filling and rolling individual enchiladas we would cook everything together in a skillet.  At the last minute we would stir in the tortillas, letting them dissolve into the mixture.  We hoped it would be a simple one-dish dinner with all the tastes and textures of classic enchiladas.

We invited some friends over to test this experiment.  We were a little nervous that the it might be disappointing, but after digging in we all agreed that this one-dish meal was delicious.  And as a bonus, it also paired tastily with a variety of wines.

Deconstructed Chicken Enchiladas Suizas

Serves 4

Enchiladas Suizas, or Swiss-style enchiladas, is an indication that the dish includes cream or sour cream.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 cup peeled and diced tomatoes (if using canned tomatoes, drain them first)
about 1 ½ cups fresh tomato salsa or pico de gallo
4 cups shredded cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken is fine)
1 cup sour cream
6 6-inch corn tortillas torn into eighths or quarters
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (about 4 ounces)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
1 avocado, diced
About 1 cup roughly torn fresh cilantro

Place the olive oil in a large skillet and add the onion.  Stir it over medium heat and when it has softened stir in the garlic.  Add the cumin and cook, stirring frequently, for a couple of minutes.  Stir in the tomatoes and salsa and simmer for 2-3 minutes; then add the chicken and simmer a few moments longer, stirring frequently.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sour cream, the tortilla pieces and the Monterey Jack cheese.  Return the pan to the stove and stir the ingredients constantly over low heat until the tortilla pieces have mostly dissolved into the mixture.  Sprinkle the cheddar cheese over the top and remove from the heat immediately.  Top with the avocado and cilantro and serve immediately from the pan.

Connect  on Twitter:   @M_L_Thomas  and  @Wine_With_
More recipes and wine pairings:    Wine With...  
*         *        *

We tried both reds and whites with this dish, and both worked well.  The enchiladas seemed to like being paired with wines that offer some oak flavor, while they didn’t much like astringent tannin.  Otherwise, they proved very versatile.  Since this is a quick, unpretentious one dish meal, there is no need to buy or open a special bottle.  Just pop the cork on what you have on hand.



Approx. Price



Luca Bosio,

Moscato d’Asti



(Imported by Quintessential)







We guessed that this cheesy, creamy one-pan supper dish might work well with something sweet, and we had a bottle of Moscato d’Asti in the fridge, leftover from aperitif sipping on steamy summer evenings.  They in fact paired very nicely, the peach-scented wine giving the dish lift and freshness.






Breaking Bread,

Redwood Valley

Mendocino County












Juicy but soft, with an initially reticent spiciness, this supple red matched the dish in terms of weight and body.  It made for a very satisfying match.





Le Fervent,

Costieres de Nimes



(Imported by Ste. Michelle Wine Estates)










Though French, this wine tasted brash and forward, so more like a California red, with plenty of wood as a backbone.  Still, there was nothing rough or aggressive about it, so it worked nicely as a partner for our deconstructed enchiladas.








Vin Blanc


(Imported by Travis Wine Imports)







Only the second Tunisian wine we’ve ever tried, this white is a blend of equal parts Chardonnay and Muscat of Alexandria.  The Muscat keeps it lithe and lively, but the wine tastes dry, with an especially intriguing because spicy finish.  We liked it so much that we’ve vowed to try some more Tunisian wines—if we can find them.





Rodney Strong,

Chalk Hill

Sonoma County


“Chalk Hill”







Perhaps the best match overall, the apple and pear fruit flavors in this wine worked well with the dish, while the presence of oak gave it structure, substance, and even more flavor.  It made for a superior pairing.