Friday Night Fiesta! Chicken Chilaquiles


It was a stormy afternoon and evening in the Berkshires so I thought some Mexican food would bring a little brightness to the day!  Last time we were in Mexico, the hotel we stayed at had delicious chilaquiles that they served for breakfast (apparently that is when they are traditionally served).  Since Tim and I both loved them, I figured I’d try making them myself!

A bit about chilaquiles from Wikipedia:

Chilaquiles are a traditional Mexican dish.  Typically, corn tortilla cut in quarters and fried are the basis of the dish. Green or red salsa or mole, is poured over the crispy tortilla triangles, called “totopos.” The mixture is simmered until the tortilla starts softening. Eggs (scrambled or fried) and pulled chicken are sometimes added to the mix. The dish is topped with cheese (typically queso fresco) and/or sour cream (crema), and it is served with refried beans.

I didn’t change anything in the recipe and it turned out really well.

The sauce starts off with a roux to which you added garlic, lots of spices, and chicken broth.  I was surprised there was not tomato paste or crushed tomatoes added because the chilaquiles we had in Mexico definitely had tomato in them.  If you want to cut the heat a bit, try adding some tomato puree or paste.

Rather than frying corn tortillas, this recipe calls for tortilla chips.  I used Restaurant Style Tostitos because that’s what my local Price Chopper had.

I just cooked the chicken breasts in a frying pan and sliced/shredded them once they cooled a bit.

As the recipe calls for, I served the chilaquiles with feta, red onion, cilantro, and sour cream.  I also added some green Tabasco to my plate.

We both definitely needed some cold drinks after eating this dish but we both loved it!

Chicken Chilaquiles
Food & Wine

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
  • 1 1/3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 in all)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pound tortilla chips
  • 1/4 pound feta, crumbled (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves

In a small bowl, combine the paprika, chili powder, cayenne, cumin, sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt.

In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately low heat. Add the flour and cook, whisking, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic; cook for 30 seconds. Add the paprika and chili powder mixture and then add the broth slowly, whisking, until smooth. Bring to a simmer. Simmer, covered, until thick enough to coat a spoon, about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil over moderate heat. Season the chicken with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper and cook until browned and just done, about 5 minutes per side. Remove the chicken from the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes. Cut crosswise into slices.

Add the tortilla chips to the chile sauce and cook, stirring, until the chips are soft but not falling apart, about 2 minutes. Put the sauce on plates and top with the feta, sour cream, onion, cilantro, and chicken.

Serves 4.

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