Many of my friends aren’t familiar with Chilaquiles so if you aren’t you’re not alone! It’s a bit of a shame though and now’s your chance to remedy that. But whether you and Chiliquiles are old friends or new, this Chicken Chilaquiles Verde is something that shouldn’t be missed!
I know that Chiliquiles sounds odd, and well, first there’s that name. That in itself is a tongue twister (Pronounced chee-lah-Kee-lehs) and you can hear it pronounced on this little YouTube video. Then there’s the recipe. At it’s most basic it’s old tortillas broken into pieces, fried and then simmered in a sauce, But don’t worry, this is a classic recipe but it’s anything but basic. One bite is all it’s going to take to figure out this is a world-class dish and it’s about time it got it’s due.
About Chicken Chilaquiles Verde:
As some of you might have noticed, I have a bit of a passion for Mexican cuisine (and many of the Southwestern and Tex Mex dishes of the States, too). With Cinco de Mayo coming up (I have a collection of Mexican & Southwestern recipes for that) & Mother’s Day right behind (guess what, I have a collection for Mother’s day, too) Chilaquiles Verde seems the perfect dish! It’s a brunch dish and it’s Mexican and it’s truly a showstopper. There are some who say that Chilaquiles are the perfect hangover dish; I could see that! But I haven’t tested it, lol!
The tortillas take on a life of their own in this Chicken Chilaquiles Verde; they take on some of the bright, tangy Verde (Green) Tomatillo Sauce and have the most gorgeous texture, slightly softened with just a bit of chew; cooked right they’re simply sublime. I’m kinda stressing that coz I know if you’ve never had Chiliquiles, tortilla chips soaked in sauce sounds a bit odd. If you’ve had it, you know they’re amazing!
Then there’s the sauce. I’m a sucker for any green sauce and this one, with the soft, shredded chicken (and it’s just as good with turkey) is bright and just a little creamy. It’s really a perfect counterpoint to everything else on the plate. And speaking of everything else, you’ll want to serve this with refried beans (there’s a lot going on in the dish, so I usually just use my recipe for Doctoring up a Can of Refried Beans) and cheese, avocado, sour cream and a sprinkling of cilantro. And don’t forge the poached or fried egg if you lean that way.
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. I do have an excuse but that’s for another time. When I get to know you better, lol. At any rate I like to break this recipe down into parts and do what I can the night before.
The chips, the tomatillo sauce, and 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.
I save myself some steps and some time by not just poaching the chicken breast for this dish alone, although it’s easy enough to poach one or two up; instead, I save a few minutes and make something up earlier in the week and make enough to generate a few leftovers for this dish. The chicken, itself, doesn’t have to be highly flavored, here, and it’s probably best if it isn’t so it doesn’t compete with the bright sauce. A little flavor, though, doesn’t hurt. And if I’m not cooking chicken early in the week, I can make extra when I poach this and use the excess for something else later; maybe a chicken salad.
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 don’t know about you but it seems I hardly ever go through a pack of corn tortillas (and yes, this has to be corn) when I use them and always have a few strays. Just leave them in the fridge because once they accumulate (and this works even better if they are starting to dry out) you can now make Chilaquiles!
I make so many chicken recipes on my site, if you follow me, I’m sure you already know I tell you to know the high and low sale prices for chicken, especially chicken breasts which are a bit pricier than the other parts. Generally, chicken will drop to a low once a quarter and that low is usually the difference between a good sales price that might happen more often and a rock bottom price. When it hits that rock bottom price, stock up. And stock up in enough quantity to last to the next great sales price. Those sales are often larger family packs, so divide them up in packages to suit your family size and freeze.
Cheese is regularly on sale, and so is sour cream, so get in the habit of picking items like this up before you need them, when you see them on sale, if you use them regularly. As far as the tortillas, I rarely see them on sale. Look for them in endcaps, in the refrigerator section, and in the Mexican food aisle and compare the prices.
Tomatillos are more widely available then they used to be. Just like the tomato, they produce well during the last two months before the frost and I do tend to find the best pricing in late summer, early autumn. It’s an item you might wish to weigh out at the store. They’re small, but heavy so you might not need as many as you’d guess to make a pound. Tomatillos are not often looking “pretty” at the store; choose ones that are sound with no insect damage. It’s likely that most of them, unless you’re in an area that produces them, will have browned, crispy husks. Just peek underneath and make sure the skin of the tomatillo is shiny and green.Print
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 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 1 or two chicken breasts, cooked and shredded and gently warmed right before serving
- 4 ounces queso fresco Mexican cheese, crumbled
- 2 ounces Jack cheese, shredded
- 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced, soaked in water 30 minutes
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Sour Cream or Crema as desired
- Cilantro for garnish
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.
May be made the evening before.
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, Hot Peppers, leftover Chicken, leftover turkey, Mexican or Southwestern, Queso Fresco, tomatillos, tortillas