Although it’s a dish with humble beginnings, chilaquiles are now found in many varieties all throughout Mexico. Many (including myself) believe that this dish was created from some leftover tortillas and the creativity of home cooks. The Nahuatl words closest to the name “chilaquiles” are “chilli” and “quilitl”, which mean “dipped in chile sauce” or greens-herbs in chili broth . This is not confirmed and still up for discussion though, according to Nahuatl language experts.
The types of Chilaquiles you will find in Mexico are very diverse, since nowadays cooks will add any sauce that they like to use. Of course, the most common Chilaquiles are the ones with red or green sauce. In central Mexico, people are more familiar with the green chilaquiles, which are often served as a side dish for breakfast next to scrambled or fried eggs, beef steak or grilled chorizo, and some refried beans.
If you have some salsa left over in your fridge, whether it be green salsa, guajillo salsa, even poblano salsa, you can use it to make chilaquiles. The process is the same, and you can enjoy your own chilaquiles creation!
- 12 tortillas cut into six or 8 triangles (preferably dry tortillas left out on the counter the night before)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 cup of chicken breast, cooked and shredded
- Green salsa, recipe bellow
- 1/2 cup of Mexican cream
- 1/2 cup of fresh Mexican cheese crumble
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro to garnish
- 2 slices of an onion separate the rings
- Salt to season
- When you let the tortillas dry over night, they keep their shape longer when cooking them.
- Sometimes I use leftover rotisserie style chicken for the chilaquiles.
FOR THE GREEN SALSA:
- Cook 1 pound tomatillos, 2 or 3 serrano peppers and 1 garlic clove in a saucepan covered with water. Simmer for about 12 to 15 minutes until soft and tender.
- Drain the water, reserving 1/4 of the cooking liquid.
- In a blender, puree the peppers, tomatoes, garlic, add the reserved liquid if needed to get a saucier texture. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet and start frying the tortillas until golden and crisp in batches. You might need to do 2 or 3 batches to avoid overcrowding the skillet. Drain the tortillas on paper towels. Repeat the process with the rest of the tortillas.
- Clean the skillet with a paper towel, turn the heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon of oil.
- Add the sauce and let it cook for 5 minutes. Season the sauce with salt.
- Carefully stir in the tortillas to avoid breaking them. Add the chicken (if using) and coat it with the salsa. Cook for 2 more minutes.
- Serve garnished with crumble cheese, cilantro, onion and topped with the cream. Serve with "Refried beans". Avocado is also a good addition to the plate!
How do you like your chilaquiles?
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