The first time I had chilaquiles was about three years ago, when I was in Atlanta with some of the girls from my cooking board. We went out to have brunch before our day’s excursions, and me and one of the other girls decided to try the chilaquiles. Since I’d never had it before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was divine. So of course when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it for myself at home!
And what better time to try it out and share it with all of you than during #BrunchWeek?? And I knew immediately that of all the delicious Cabot cheese that I had received, the pepper jack is what I would use for the chilaquiles. Because…duh. Even as I’m writing this, I am really sad that I don’t have a casserole dish full of this to eat. It was amazing.
If I’m honest, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you much about the chilaquiles that I had in Atlanta, other than I liked it. I didn’t remember what all was in it, or what it tasted like, specifically. But this one, I couldn’t forget. Not ever. It was well worth the time it took to make, and even that wasn’t very long. I’d say straining the chile sauce was the most time-consuming part, and that took all of…5 minutes. If that.
You could make a big batch of the chile sauce and shredded chicken ahead of time, and throw together a casserole dish (or two) for a girl’s brunch, brunch for your family, or brunch for yourself!
Tortilla chips, shredded chicken, a spicy chile sauce, and creamy pepper jack cheese make up this amazing dish that you will be raving about for weeks, or even months, after you’ve had it.
Mexican Chicken Chilaquiles
As seen on The Wanderlust Kitchen
- 2 dried ancho chiles, stems and seeds removed, torn into pieces
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1 (28 oz) can of whole tomatoes, drained
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 Tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 of a 13 oz bag white corn tortilla chips
- 2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
- 8 oz Cabot pepper jack cheese, shredded
- ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 4 Tbsp Queso Fresco cheese
- 1-2 jalapeno pepper, sliced (optional)
- Add the chile pieces to a large skillet, over medium heat, and toast for a few minutes until fragrant. Fill a medium bowl with hot water, add the chiles and set aside to soften for about 15 minutes.
- Add the softened chiles, garlic, chicken broth and 1/2 cup of the liquid from soaking the chiles to a blender and puree. Add in the drained whole tomatoes and puree again.
- Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer back into the skillet. (This took some time for me…pour a little, use a spatula to help mash it through, and repeat until done.) Stir in the cumin, coriander, sugar, and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook over medium-low for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish with half the tortilla chips and use your hands to press down and break the chips into smaller pieces.
- Distribute half of the shredded chicken on top of the chips, then spoon half of the sauce over that. Sprinkle a little cheese, now. Repeat layering process with remaining chops, chicken and sauce. And then, with all the rest of that glorious cheese.
- Loosely cover the baking dish with foil (you don’t want it too close so that the cheese sticks to it) and bake for about 25 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and return to the oven for another 5 minutes, until the cheese is nice and bubbly.
- Remove from oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes to cool and set. Top with cilantro, tomatoes, green onions, Queso Fresco, and jalapeno slices (if using). Serve warm.