A delicious jumble of tortilla chips, chile sauce and fresh Mexican toppings, chilaquiles can be served while the chips are still crisp or after they’ve softened to an enchilada-like texture. This recipe puts them nicely in between, with both crunchy and soft bits.
6 dried guajillo or New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded (TIP: Cut or tear off the stems then shake or squeeze
out the seeds. Guajillo chiles can be found in the ethnic section of your supermarket and at Latin markets.)
12 6-inch corn tortillas
2 tbsp neutral-flavored cooking oil (such as safflower or grape seed)
1 28-oz BPA-free can whole tomatoes, drained
4 cloves garlic
1 jalapeño chile pepper, halved lengthwise, stemmed and seeded
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 white onion, cut into 8 chunks, divided
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
1/2 avocado, diced or sliced
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco (NOTE: If you can't find queso fresco, substitute with crumbled goat or feta cheese)
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Meanwhile, heat a large ovenproof skillet on medium. Add chiles and cook, pressing into skillet, until darkened, 30 to 60 seconds per side. Transfer chiles to a medium bowl and cover with 2 cups boiling water, or more as necessary to cover. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, brush tortillas on both sides with oil, then cut into quarters. Arrange in even layers on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and bake until crisp and lightly browned, 13 to 15 minutes, switching positions of baking sheets halfway through. Set chips aside and reduce oven to 250°F.
Drain chiles, reserving soaking liquid. In a blender, combine chiles, tomatoes, garlic, jalapeño, cumin, oregano, salt, 7 chunks onion and 1 cup soaking liquid and process to purée. Return skillet to high heat, add chile mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes.
Add chips and chicken to skillet, gently stirring to coat chips with sauce. Return to a simmer, then remove from heat. Cover loosely with foil, transfer to oven and bake until chips have some crisp parts and some soft ones, about 15 minutes. (NOTE: Skip baking if you prefer the chips crunchy, or bake longer if you want the chips entirely soft.)
Carefully remove skillet from oven. Slice remaining 1 chunk onion and sprinkle on top of chilaquiles, along with avocado, queso fresco and cilantro. Serve hot.
To create a clean twist on a classic enchilada, we've used sweet, soft butternut squash as a filling mixed with a savory and mild homemade enchilada sauce. A great option for vegetarians, this dish is still hearty enough for meat-lovers!