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Jun 3, 2014 11:46 AM

Corn or Flour Tortillas for Chicken Enchiladas?


My beloved sister is coming in to town for a visit and I want to make her chicken enchiladas with salsa verde (I make my own roasted tomatillo and chile salsa).

But do I use flour or corn tortillas? I've seen recipes with both, and I'm inclined to go with flour because it seems corn would be a bit too...corny... for the mild flavors, and hard to roll. But then I see that flour may get gummy.

Ideas, tips, experiences?


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  1. It's totally up to personal preference. Corn is very common for all types of enchiladas, and chicken is no exception. We always use corn tortillas for chicken enchiladas at home. They may or may not taste too "corny" against the "mild flavors" of chicken--again, that is completely subjective. They are not at all "hard to roll," though, since they are traditionally dipped in hot oil or sauce prior to rolling.

    1. For me, Enchiladas = corn tortillas.

      However, I've had enchiladas based around flour tortillas that were good too, but I think the enchiladas were baked with less sauce, but sauced when served.

      1. I always use the flour as the corn is a little too intense and "corny" to go w/ the chicken.Mine do not get 'gummy'
        and what with all that delicious sauce/salsa and cheese topping,just get nice and soft and yummy.Good luck!

        2 Replies
        1. re: grangie angie

          Do u have a recipe that I can use for chicken enchiladas with soft tortillas?

          1. re: grangie angie

            Do u have a recipe I can use please it's would be awesome to make this for my family

          2. Corn is definitely more authentic. Like dave c, for me, the nixtamalized corn flavor of the corn tortillas mingling in with chiles is what makes enchiladas enchiladas. I also prefer the texture with corn tortillas, which are not as sweet and soft and don't tend to get as slimy as flour ones do.

            The cornerstones of New Mexico-style chicken enchiladas are Hatch green chiles, a good blend of sharp cheddar, jack and queso fresco, and, in most homes, a can of cream of mushroom soup. My twist is to skip the canned soup and stir a little cream cheese in with the poached chicken. It adds a nice tang and keeps the chicken moist and chicken-y tasting. It also counteracts the corniness a bit.

            Hope you and your sister have a wonderful time together.

            16 Replies
            1. re: ninrn

              You had me at "nixtamalized." Then you lost me at the cheaddar/jack and cream of mushroom soup. I guess that's "authentic" for New Mexico.

              Corn tortillas. Shredded chicken. Tomatillo and green chile salsa. A sprinkling of queso fresco. Nada mas, in my book.

              1. re: LorenzoGA

                Yeah, everything in New Mexico is weird. At least we don't add meth to our enchiladas. (At my house, anyway.)

                1. re: ninrn

                  I live in Las Cruces. No cream of mushroom soup, ever. I don't know anyone who would ever use that.

                  1. re: zeldaz51

                    Ask around a bit. It's a classic NM practice to add cream of mushroom soup to green chile chicken enchiladas. I've never seen it done anywhere else, and maybe not everyone in the state does it, but native New Mexicans, especially older people, know it's 'a thing' (probably because New Mexican cuisine is strongly influenced by BIA reservation food subsidies). I've even seen mushroom soup-containing enchilada recipes in local foodie magazines like Local Flavor and Edible Santa Fe, always with a note sort of apologizing for the canned soup but saying that's how it's done here.


                    LorenzoGA, I wasn't suggesting that those other ingredients make for "authentic" enchiladas, just saying that's how one regional version is made. It's pretty delicious, too.

                    1. re: ninrn

                      It is actually a Campbell soup classic recipe from the 1970's and was cooked all over the united states. It was one of the first recipes I learned to cook as a teen...that and Campbell's hamburger chop suey, Hungarian goulash and Italian baked spaghetti. Yeah, good ole Campbell's "ethnic" cuisines!

                      I still love a good soup casserole hot dish every once in a while, brings me back decades! :)

                      1. re: sedimental

                        Campbell's may have copped it, but the condensed cream of mushroom version of chicken enchiladas has been going strong here in NM at least since the '40's. I have an Acoma pueblo recipe pamphlet from 1948 that has such a recipe in it titled: "Real McCartys Enchiladas". I think the end of WWII saw lots of surplus canned goods turning up in both reservation and military base stores here because a lot of recipes in this pamphlet call for canned soup and canned meat. This type of enchilada put down roots, though. I've seen it all over NM.

                        You're right, sedimental, NM enchiladas are more like a casserole or a lasagna than Mexican enchiladas. Much less fresh and refined, but lush and comforting. Sort of a parallel to American vs real Italian pizza.

                        1. re: ninrn

                          anything made with cream of mushroom soup has no resemblance to lasagna. That sounds like a 60 year old recipe that needs to be forgotten, for the sake of your children at the very least.

                          1. re: genoO

                            Are you kidding!! That Cheesy Chicken Enchilada casserole was the BEST :-D. The cream of mushroom, cream of celery soup wasn't even detectable.

                            Sure it's a fat and sodium bomb, but during the 60's - height of the processed food craze - it sure tasted good ;-)

                            1. re: DiningDiva

                              I grew up with that kind of stuff. It is detectable to me.

                              1. re: Becca Porter

                                Somehow I think if exactly the same stuff that's in those Campbell's cans were sold in tiny glass jars labeled "creme de champignons" or "crema de hongos", it would be getting a lot less contempt here. ;-)

                                1. re: ninrn

                                  Actually, speaking for myself, I am a strict ingredients-reader. Fancy or plain names/labels don't matter to me. I have learned the hard way not to assume anything based upon name.

                      2. re: ninrn

                        I understood--no need to explain. Just giving you a hard time. I would love to sample NM-style enchiladas, cream-of-mushroom and all. Thanks for the explanation of its possible origin in BIA food subsidies. I like this explanation better than it being purely the result of Campbell's soup marketing. It's possible that both influences led to its prevalence in NM.

                        1. re: ninrn

                          Well, I've been here seven years and my husband grew up in New Mexico, so I don't think any asking around is necessary. We don't see it. Maybe the people using it are closeted.

                          1. re: zeldaz51

                            My sister took me to her favorite burrito place in San Diego, a hole in the wall, to try their shrimp burritos. She couldn't figure out why she loved them better than any others she could find. I suggested cream of something soup as an ingredient, something Mom used in many a dish, and we both agreed that could very well be it. They were very rich and delicious either way!

                  2. re: ninrn

                    If it is not corn tortillas it is not an enchilada. Burrito or Chimichanga maybe but not and enchilada