Chilaquiles are tortillas cut into strips, fried, and cooked in either a red or green sauce. Literally meaning “poor man’s food,” chilaquiles were undoubtedly invented as a way of using up leftover tortillas. They have evolved into a very versatile dish, with some rather sophisticated variations. The following version uses a red sauce; however a green sauce, such as the one given for Huevos al Albañil, below, is also very good.
- 20 medium-size corn tortillas
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil, or as needed
- 6 ancho chiles, seeded, deveined and soaked in hot water until soft
- 4 roma tomatoes, roasted and peeled
- 2 large cloves garlic, peeled
- 1/2 medium white onion, peeled
- 1/2 – 1 cup chicken broth, or as needed
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Oaxaca, jack, gouda or Chihuahua cheese
- 1 chicken breast, poached and shredded
- thinly sliced onion
- 1 cup Mexican crema, creme fraiche or sour cream ( crema acida)
Cut the tortillas into strips or wedges. In a large saucepan or cazuela, heat the oil, add the tortilla strips, and fry until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels.
Place the softened chiles, tomatoes, garlic and onion in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the mixture into the same saucepan used to fry the tortillas, bring to a boil, lower heat, and cook for about 15 minutes. Add salt to taste.
Place the tortilla strips in the hot sauce, add the chicken broth and cook until most of the sauce has been absorbed.
Distribute the shredded cheese and chicken over the chilaquiles. Garnish with onion rings and serve with crema.
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