Chilaquiles are a favorite Tex-Mex breakfast casserole that goes well with huevos rancheros. This chicken and tortilla dish has a reputation for being a "morning-after" cure, which is why this recipe appeared in an article about New Year's Eve hangover cures. However, this Chilaquiles casserole is so good and satisfying, it should not be limited to the tipsy. It makes an excellent breakfast, brunch or supper dish.
When we first made it, we felt like we were making a variation of King Ranch Chicken.
Put the chicken breasts in a medium pot and fill with water, covering them with 1-inch of the water. Add the garlic and the 3/4 of the white onion (cut in chunks) and bring to a boil until chicken is fully cooked, about 20 minutes. Remove chicken, onion and garlic, and retain 1/2 cup of the broth. Set chicken aside to cool on a cutting board.
Place the onion, garlic, jalapeño, tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper in a blender and purée. Pour the puréed sauce into a skillet and cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. While sauce is cooking, begin to shred chicken by holding the breast with a fork and shredding thin strips off with another fork. Place chicken into the sauce for the last 5 minutes of cooking. Remove sauce from heat and set aside.
Oil a 1.5-quart (6-cup) pan or casserole dish and begin to layer fried tortilla strips over the bottom, then spoon sauce over the top, cover with shredded cheese and repeat until all ingredients are used and topped with cheese. Cover dish with foil and bake in a 350°F preheated oven for about 20 minutes.
Chilaquiles can be topped with the reserved chopped onion and/or sour cream. Serve with creamy refried beans and guacamole. If you're making this for breakfast, dish it up with fried or scrambled eggs on the side. Makes 6 to 10 servings.
Prep time: 40 minutes; Cooking time: 20 minutes; Total time: 1 hour
Recipe editor Patricia Mitchell
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