chilaquiles verdes

June 4, 2015 § 77 Comments

IMG_2436 I encountered some lovely organic tomatillo’s at the market a few weeks ago and brought home more than enough to make this delightful chilaquiles verdes recipe.  Turns out I ended up making two batches because it is so good!  The first time around I followed a recipe I had tucked away from Food52, which involved oven roasting tomatillo’s, red onion, jalapeño and garlic until golden brown, then whizzing in a blender.  The chicken was simmered in chicken stock just long enough to cook through and then shredded into tender moist bite size pieces.  All of this was placed back into the dutch oven to simmer with the chicken stock and a generous amount of lime.  It was perfectly flavored with queso fresco, cotija, cilantro and finished with a fried egg on top. DSCN3493 The second time preparing chilaquiles verdes our temperatures soared to 82°F (24°C) and I couldn’t imagine the oven adding heat to the already hot kitchen.  At this point, I decided to grill the vegetables and chicken and after whizzing the vegetables in the blender add it the pot of chicken stock along with the shredded grilled chicken and generous amount of lime. IMG_2913 Turned out to be an interesting comparison of oven roasted vs. grilled vegetables.  The fire roasted flavor from the grilled vegetables was quite nice, however, when I prepare this again rather than grill the chicken I will simmer it in the chicken stock to achieve the tender moist texture that makes chilaquiles so wonderful. IMG_2431 The recipe below is the oven roasted vegetable version.  If you are interested in the fire roasted version, grill your olive oiled vegetables for 15 minutes turning often and make sure to follow the same recipe below for the chicken. Recipe adapted from Food52 by lisina.

  • 3 pounds tomatillos in the husk
  • large red onion cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • jalapeños (I used one)
  • cloves of garlic, unpeeled (I used 4)
  • handful of cilantro leaves
  • lime
  • heaping spoonful of crema or sour cream (I used yogurt)
  • quart chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • cup (or more if you like) queso fresco in large crumbles (1/2- to 1-inch pieces), or shredded monterey jack
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Salt and olive oil, as needed

Lay tomatillos, onions, jalapeños, and garlic on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Place the baking sheet under the broiler, until the veggies are wilted and blistered, about 10 minutes (time will vary based on the heat of your broiler). Remove the veggies and let them cool until you are able to handle them. Remove the husks from the tomatillos, squeeze the garlic from the cloves, and remove the stem from the jalapeños. Throw the roasted veggies into a blender, along with any juices that accumulated on the baking tray. Add the cilantro leaves, the juice of the lime, and the crema. Purée until the mixture is very smooth. Taste and make any needed adjustments (more salt, acid, etc). While the veggies are still in the oven, bring the chicken broth to a gentle simmer in a dutch oven. Add the chicken breasts and allow them to simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Move the chicken to a cutting board and use two forks to shred it. Return the chicken and any juices to the pot. Add the tomatillo purée to the chicken broth, taste for seasoning (note the sauce should be tangy, almost sour, so add another squeeze of lime if necessary), and bring to a simmer. Cover and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes. Cut the tortillas into quarters. If your tortillas are fresh, dry them out in the oven or toaster oven. If they’re stale and dried out, add them right to the pot. Stir the mixture and let simmer for another 10 minutes. The tortillas will cause the sauce to thicken. Uncover and stir in the queso fresco or sprinkle with the monterey jack. Cover the pot again, allowing the cheese to melt. Uncover, sprinkle with cotija and cilantro, and serve.

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