Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles

 

This dish is like a Mexican or Tex-Mex lasagna.  The great thing about is that it feeds and pleases a crowd and reheats well.  You can serve it at a dinner party with a green salad and it you’re done (except of course for a great dessert!)  Feel free to add or omit ingredients to your taste.

 If you want to make it vegetarian, use drained and rinsed, canned organic black beans instead of the chicken, and add frozen corn kernels in addition to the diced red bell pepper and diced tomatoes. 

 1 box of Organic Chicken Broth, Imagine, Whole Foods, or Wolfgang Puck are great

 Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless, about 3 or 4

 Corn tortillas, torn into pieces (Mission is a good national brand) (1 bag of 12 tortillas—you will probably not use all of them in one recipe.)

 3 small cans/jars or one large can/jar of enchilada sauce Or, if you can find it, 2 jars of El Pinto Green Chile Sauce, pureed. (If you use “El Pinto” Green Chile Sauce, I recommend using 1 jar of “Medium” and 1 jar of “Mild”.

 1 package of Shredded Cheese (Trader Joe’s or Kraft Mexican 4-cheese blend) is great (otherwise, you can use a mixture of freshly grated Monterey Jack and Cheddar Cheese—I really like Tillamook Monterey Jack and White Cheddar)

 Cotija Queso Seco, crumbled

 1 red or yellow bell pepper or one of each, cut into small dice

 2 or 3 fresh tomatoes, cut into small dice

Pour the broth into the saucepan, and put the chicken breasts into it.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer and gently poach the chicken breasts until done.  Remove from broth and let cool.  Shred the chicken and set aside.  You can do this ahead of time or even the day before.  Or, you can buy a rotisserie chicken at the grocery store and save even more time!

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

 In a rectangular casserole dish, start by putting an even layer of tortilla pieces at the bottom of the pan.  Then pour a layer of sauce over them.  Then put a layer of shredded chicken.  Then put a layer of diced bell peppers and a layer of diced tomatoes.  Then add a layer of cheese.  Then add a layer of tortilla pieces and then sauce, then chicken, then cheese, then another layer of tortilla pieces ending with a layer of cheese.  (You can play with this as long as you end with the top two layers being tortillas and cheese (cheese at the very top.)

Bake at 375 degrees F. for about 45 minutes to an hour until golden and bubbly. Make sure it is bubbling in the middle. 

Serve with sour cream and either your favorite guacamole, or mashed avocado with lots of fresh lime or lemon juice and kosher salt.

 Use your favorite brand of enchilada sauce, medium or mild, to your taste.  Some good brands are:  “Old El Paso” “Hatch Green Chile Sauce”, “El Pinto Green Chile Sauce it comes in a jar”—If you use “El Pinto, it is a good idea to puree it in a blender or food processor until smooth because it is very chunky, but it is all natural and really delicious” (www.elpinto.com).  Sometimes I mix one medium and one mild can/jar of sauce.

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