When Dana came to visit over Thanksgiving, we ordered from the Mexican place down the street (around the corner, really, Taqueria Los Jalapenos), that Alex, Sarah and I love. Everything there is great, the woman who runs it laughs at us because we get so much food for so few people, and it's a good "I don't feel like cooking tonight let's order out" option. They redo their menu every few months, and something was added that we hadn't had before. Chilaquiles. The menu reads: Tortillas en salsa verde con huevo, bistek, o pollo. We called to see if it was corn or flour tortillas, and it's corn. So we ordered, with chicken, and it was delicious. Except for one thing. It was too spicy for us to eat more than a few bites at once. Dana and I both like spicy food (bet you never saw that coming, Ma!) but this burned our mouths. And lips. But it was so good. So we kept eating, alternating with whatever else we got (I don't remember).
But we kept thinking about it. Maybe a month later, Dana emailed me to tell me she made it at home, after looking it up on the web. She said it was so good! And that I should make it ASAP. That ASAP turned into last week. I finally made it. I did it a little different than she did, I baked mine istead of making it on the stovetop, and I used cheddar instead of queso fresco because I didn't have it. And Oh My God it was good. I made it for myself on a day that I didn't think Alex would be home, but he ended up coming home early and eating with me. We licked the pot clean. It was so good. Chilaquiles are a mixture of salsa, chips, and cheese, with meat or other things if you want to add them. The day after I made them I was telling my co-workers about them, because we usually have "What did you have for dinner last night" discussions. Both the people I was talking to about it went home and made it that night, one with soy chicken and the other with ground beef. They both came back the next day raving. My mom made it last night, she said it was too spicy (don't use spicy salsa!!) but that her boyfriend loved it. If I wasn't worried about getting sick of it, I'd make it every night for at least a week.
My recipe is in no way authentic, but it is delicious. Add whatever you want to it, make it without cheese, without meat or use different meat, use a red salsa instead of green. Use stale tortilla chips instead of frying your own. Bake the tortillas in the oven (as my mom did) instead of frying them for a less greasier option. Use your imagination.
1 jar salsa, I love this with Frontera verde, not so much with the 365 Wholefoods pictured at the top, it was too spicy for me, but Alex and Sarah liked it.
1 package (6-12) corn tortillas, or a bag of stale tortilla chips
a few pieces of chicken (or leftover chicken)
your choice of cheese
1/2 to 1 c chicken broth or water
Heat the oven to 350.
Cut the tortillas into strips or triangles. Heat a pan of oil, fry the chips quickly and drain on paper towels. I like to salt them when they're just out of the oil, then eat some while I'm frying the rest.
Heat the salsa and broth in a pan, add chicken. Cook chicken through, cut up into small pieces or shred. Grate the cheese.
In alternating layers, place into a casserole dish: salsa first, then chips, then chicken, then the salsa-stock mix, then cheese. Repeat until you have no more chips left, sprinkle cheese all over the top and dot with sour cream. Bake 20-45 minutes, however long you want to wait. If you don't care that the chips will disintegrate, cook for longer.