What are Chilaquiles and Why Are They So Good?
Chilaquiles (chee-lah-KEE-lehs) – Sometimes called a poor man’s dish because it was created for using up leftovers.
A while ago I posted a recipe for Coconut Chicken from a good friend Daniela who is from Venezuela. The response was so great that I asked her to send me more. Daniela is from Venezuela and is teaching me some traditional recipes.
Here is what she told me about this recipe.
Chilaquiles are from Mexico. When I was living in Mexico City at the Embassy of Venezuela, I tried them and loved them.
They are very easy to make and very good. Mexicans make them in different ways and cut the tortillas a little different but you decide how you want to cut them. I learned to make them this way and all my friends love them. Also you can call them Chilaquiles Elegantes which means Luxury Chilaquiles.
Mexican Chilaquiles Recipe
For the Tomato Sauce
- sour cream diluted with a small amount of water
- ½ pound Manchego cheese
- ½ pound mozzarella cheese
- Quarter the onions and finely chop.
- Prep the tomatoes.
- Mince the cilantro.
- Slice the cheeses into thin slices.
- Cut the tortillas into strips, but not too wide.
- Cook chicken with a little water, pinch of salt, the quartered onion and 2 cloves of garlic. Cover and slowly cook over medium heat. You are basically steaming the meat.
- Cook until the chicken is cooked through and tender. Put chicken on a plate and let it cool for a while until you can shred it in very small pieces with your hands or a fork.
- Throw out the garlic and onion. They were only used to add additional flavor.
- Make a tomato sauce or buy your favorite prepared tomato sauce if you are in a hurry.
- To make a quick homemade tomato sauce, saute the chopped onion and garlic in a little olive oil. When the onion is translucent, add the tomatoes, cilantro and optional tobasco sauce. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes.
- Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Add the shredded chicken back to the sauce, lower heat and cook for a few minutes so the shredded chicken can absorb some of the flavors from the tomato sauce. Don't let the sauce cook to long. You don't want the chicken to dry out.
Fry the Corn Tortillas
- Deep fry corn tortillas. When they are crisp, remove and place them on sheets of paper towels to remove excess oil .
Assemble the Chilaquiles Like a Lasagna
- Use a big lasagna pan and layer the following:A layer of tortillas. A layer of chicken in sauce. A few spots of sour cream diluted in water. Cheese on top
- Repeat by doing the same for next layer and finish with cheese and some sour cream.
- Cook in the oven approximately 45 minutes at 335° F.
- Serve with a salad or some refried beans and save some chips to serve with the Chilaquiles.