Chicken Chilaquiles

Wow. This is the best main dish that I’ve made in weeks. B and I both LOVED it and devoured it. I’ve wanted to try chilaquiles for a long time, but I really didn’t think that they would be that different from enchiladas, because they’re basically like enchiladas but in lasagna form. A layer of tortilla, a layer of filling, a layer of tortilla, and so on…topped with a sauce and cheese. So I came into this meal thinking that it would be much like an enchilada, but I was definitely wrong. The tortillas end up with a surprising and amazing texture, almost like the texture of dumplings. And since there are several layers of tortillas, you get a lot of that dumpling-like texture in every bite. Amazing. And I want to note that the green sauce in this recipe is the best green sauce that I’ve ever made, and I’ve tried many different recipes for enchiladas verdes. This is going to become my stock green sauce recipe. I really can’t rave enough about this entire recipe…it was so delicious that I think I might even prefer chilaquiles to enchiladas now. We devoured the whole pan in two nights. Oops.

Chicken Chilaquiles
Source: Adapted from The Crepes of Wrath

2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
Butter or oil
1/2 cup onions, chopped
3/4 cup pepper jack cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup half and half (or milk or cream)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1 (11-ounce) can tomatillos, drained
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, drained
9 (6-inch) flour tortillas

1. Heat a bit of oil or butter in a saute pan, and saute the onions until softened and slightly browned. Remove from the heat, and add the chicken, 1/4 cup of the pepper jack cheese, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine.

2. Add the half and half, cilantro, tomatillos, and green chiles in a food processor or blender and process until smooth.

3. Pour 1/3 cup of the tomatillo mixture into the bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish. Arrange 3 tortillas in the dish, and top them with half of the chicken mixture. Add another layer of tortillas, followed by the other half of the chicken. Add the final layer of tortillas.

4. Pour the tomatillo mixture over the tortillas, and then sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of pepper jack cheese, or more if you like. Bake for 20 minutes or until bubbly.

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8 thoughts on “Chicken Chilaquiles

  1. Carrie, I made this dish a couple of weeks ago. It stinks that I can’t upload a picture! I’m from the US yet currently study in Spain and had quite the time looking for these Mexican ingredients. Mexican food is…my third lung. I had to make a LOT of substitutions (but the dish came out great, less spicy but GREAT). I had to eliminate tomatillos altogether- I was led through two grocery stores to ‘small tomatoes’ because of the ‘illo’, very cute. I bought a regular red tomato and squeezed some lime juice over it. Couldn’t find a can of green chiles either so substituted regular. ‘Mexican 4-blend’ cheese instead of pepperjack as well. I poached the chicken in chicken broth with an onion and shredded it instead. Although it didn’t smell great once blended, the green sauce was SO good.

    Five housemates easily devoured this dish (with even a bit leftover!) and it was accompanied by a side of delicious Mexican rice. Again: It. Was. So. Good! I love all of your recipes and intend to make many more. I’ve loved cooking my whole life and finally have the opportunity to cook for myself; on my budget I stick to finding recipes online instead of purchasing cookbooks I may not love. That said, your blog is favorited. Kudos to you and Brandon.

    • Thanks so much for the kind note! I’m really glad that you enjoyed the recipe….I always love to hear when something turned out well for someone.

      One of my favorite things about cooking is how you can always adapt a recipe to suit your own tastes. I very rarely follow a recipe exactly…..I just can’t do it! But it’s always really cool to me to see how different people change the same recipe to suit their tastes/what regional ingredients are available/etc. So interesting! And I love your story about the “small tomatoes” – too funny!

      I also tend to use the internet as my recipe source instead of online. While I have several great cookbooks that I do love, I tend to find it easier and more convenient to search for what I’m looking for online and go from there. I’m so glad that you’ve found some stuff here that you like – and I hope that you like any other recipes if you try them out!

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