Many of my friends aren’t familiar with Chilaquiles. Just know if you aren’t, you’re not alone. I try to remedy that every chance I get! So whether you and Chilaquiles are new friends or old, this Chicken Chilaquiles Verde is not to be missed! It’s quick and easy enough for any old weekend and absolutely fabulous for a special occasion brunch!
I know Chilaquilels might seem odd to some of you. First of all there’s that name! What a tongue twister. It’s pronounced chee-lah-Kee-lehs and you can hear it on this little YouTube video.
About Chicken Chilaquiles Verde:
Beyond that, the idea of the dish is kinda strange to some. Old tortillas are broken up, fried, and then tossed in a sauce (in this case, a green sauce) and then served. It might help to think of it as reverse Nachos. First the sauce and then the cheese?
I cannot tell ya how amazing Chicken Chilaquiles Verde is, though! Some of the chips remain a little crunchy, some are tender and chewy. The mix of textures is super appealing. If you wish, you can toss the tortillas on individual servings and let everyone add sauce as they wish. The Chilaquiles will be crisper that way.
Beyond all that, there’s all the toppings and accouterment. I like to top it with a crumbled queso fresco (or feta if you can’t find the Mexican cheese) or sometimes, although I didn’t do it today, something a little melty like a Jack cheese. For some reason with a green sauce, I think white cheese goes best. And then top it all with a little Mexican crema or dollops of sour cream. And cilantro. And lime. Don’t forget the lime!!
What to Serve with Chilaques Verde:
First of all, an egg is a classic! I generally see a sunny side up with most Chilaquiles, but you do you! You can’t miss with avocado or guac if you’re going wild. Maybe add something a little fresh, like a simple tomato salad or a little fruit.
Red or white onions, thinly sliced are great. And of course, salsa or hot sauce if you wish. And for me? Not shown here, Refried Beans are a must! Try my Canned Refried Beans Restaurant Style for an easy option.
Making Chicken Chilaquiles Verde:
I’m not a morning person and certainly not one to make recipes with multiple parts early in the a.m. (that would be anytime b/4 noon) if I can help it. I am shameless, I know.
The chips, the tomatillo sauce, and the chicken breast can all be made ahead to be combined in the morning and that just takes minutes to heat through. That leaves plenty of time to cook up an egg or two and heat up some refried beans and prepare the garnishes for an unbelievable spread for Mother’s Day or any old weekend.
A couple of time savers:
- You can use store-bought chips but the dish is better with homemade. If you leave the tortillas out overnight to dry, frying or baking them just takes minutes.
- And as long as I’m poaching chicken, I always make extra for a casserole or chicken salad later in the week.
Storing and Reheating Chicken Chilaquiles Verde:
The individual items that do into this dish can all be stored for several days. The sauce and chicken of course in the fridge, and the tortilla chips in an airtight bag on the counter.
Once combined with the sauce, the dish does not keep well. It’s got a short shelf life and needs to be served immediately.
Saving Money on Chicken Chilaquiles Verde:
- That Chilaquiles is an easy dish and frugal, too, earns bonus points in my book. The recipe is said to be used in Mexico as a way to use up stale tortillas. I always have a few strays. Just let them accumulate in the fridge until you have enough to make Chilaquiles!
- Chicken hits rock bottom about once a quarter; know your high prices and best buy sale prices. Stock up at a low and divide into portions your family will use and freeze.
- Grocery Store Cheese is a great item to pick up at rock-bottom prices and will likely be a great budget item compared to queso fresco or Feta. Buy on sale and keep on hand. It keeps for weeks, unopened, and can be frozen. After freezing, it will be a little crumbly but still great for casseroles and cooking.
chicken chilaquiles verde
- Total Time: about an hour
- Yield: 4 servings 1x
- Category: Breakfast or Brunch
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 10 corn tortillas, preferably spread out to dry for several hours or overnight, cut or torn into pieces
- enough oil to come up about 3/4 inch or so in large saute pan
- 1 pound tomatillos, papery skin removed
- 3 jalapenos
- 2 cloves garlic, peel removed
- water to cover
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 or two chicken breasts, cooked and shredded and gently warmed right before serving
- 4 ounces queso fresco Mexican cheese, crumbled or Feta, or another white cheese like Jack
- 1/2 red or white onion, thinly sliced, soaked in water 30 minutes then drained
- 1 or 2 avocados, sliced, optional
- Sour Cream or Crema as desired
- Cilantro for garnish
May be made the evening or a day or two before:
- Chicken Breast:
- Cooked and shredded, may be poached in water, baked, roasted, or leftover.
- Pour oil into a large saute pan over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the tortillas, working in 2 or 3 batches, and cook until lightly browned and nearly crisp. Drain the tortillas on paper towels.
- Tomatillo Sauce:
- In a saucepan just large enough to hold the tomatillos with a bit of extra room, add tomatillos, jalapenos, and garlic. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Cook until tomatillos have softened, lightened in color, and are floating to the top, about 25 minutes.
- Strain, reserving liquid. Remove the stems from the jalapenos, seed if desired. (Removing the seeds makes a milder sauce.) Add solids to blender with about 1/2 to 3/4 cups of the cooking liquid (enough to keep it moving) and blend several minutes.
In a large saucepan over low heat, add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and heat through. Add the blended Tomatillo Sauce and chicken broth. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the tortillas to the simmering sauce, gently turning until slightly softened but still chewy, two to three minutes.
Divide tortillas and sauce between four plates. Layer each serving with the sour cream, shredded chicken, queso fresco, jack cheese, onions, and avocados. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
Serve with eggs any style and refried beans.
- Do try to search out thicker tortillas rather than thinner; they’re much heartier and stand up better to the sauce.
- The tortillas, sauce and chicken may all be prepared ahead.
Nutrition: Calories 532; Total Fat 33 g 50 %; Saturated Fat 12 g 58 %; Monounsaturated Fat 16 g; Polyunsaturated Fat 3 g
Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 82 mg 27 %; Sodium 978 mg 41 %; Potassium 668 mg 19 %; Total Carbohydrate 33 g 11 %; Dietary Fiber 6 g 23 %; Sugars 8 g; Protein 27 g 54 %; Vitamin A 10 %; Vitamin C 34 %; Calcium 27 %; Iron 10 %
Keywords: Avocado, Bargain Meal of the Week, Breakfast or Brunch Dish, Cheese, Chicken, Chicken Stock, Hot Peppers, jalapenos, leftover Chicken, leftover turkey, Mexican or Southwestern, Queso Fresco, tomatillos, tortillas