Chilaquiles [chee-la-key-less] have always been one of my favorite Mexican breakfast dishes. This particular recipe is one that I made alongside chef and restaurateur, Oscar Carrizosa, who teaches hands-on cooking classes at Casa Crespo in Oaxaca.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit this area of Mexico, I highly recommend that you take one of the many cooking classes taught by Oaxaca’s local chefs and home cooks. You will most definitely be pleased with the variety of new dishes you bring home to share in your own kitchen. Until then, I hope that you enjoy this recipe that hails from over 2,000 miles away!
Recipe by Oscar Carrizosa
1 whole chicken breast
3 cups water (or enough to cover chicken)
2 cloves garlic
7 sprigs parsley
Ingredients (salsa for chilaquiles):
3 chiles serranos (or to taste)
3 garlic cloves
1½ lbs. tomatillos, husks removed
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon oil
1 small sprig epazote
16 corn tortillas, preferably day-old
½ cup oil for frying
1 cup crema Mexicana or crème fraîche
½ cup crumbled queso fresco or queso añejo (or feta cheese)
- Place the chicken in a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Add 2 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, ½ onion and parsley. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until chicken is tender.
- Remove from heat and shred chicken when cool enough to handle. Reserve 2 cups of the chicken broth.
- Place the chiles, 3 garlic cloves, and tomatillos in boiling water and cook until tender. Transfer the chiles, garlic and tomatillos to a blender. Add onion, then purée.
- Add 1 teaspoon salt, cilantro, and 1 cup of the reserved chicken stock, and blend briefly. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet, add the salsa and sauté for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust for salt.
- Lower heat, cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. If the mixture is too thick, dilute with more chicken stock. It should be easy to pour.
- Cut tortillas into triangles by cutting each tortilla in half, then cutting each half into three pieces.
- Heat oil in a large skillet. When it is very hot, coat pan with one layer of tortilla pieces and fry, stirring constantly, until they are golden and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel and drain. Repeat until all the tortillas are fried, adding more oil when necessary.
Before serving, heat the sauce and add epazote. Add in the tortillas and stir carefully to avoid breaking them. Top with shredded chicken, Mexican cream, and cheese. Cook for 2-3 minutes more or until the cheese melts.