Chilaquiles Verdes

By • March 17, 2013 • 24 Comments

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Author Notes: My undying love for chilaquiles verdes began when I was a culinary student in Manhattan. On my first weekend in town my good friend Christie treated me to a dish at La Esquina, and I fell hard. When I moved to St. Louis I couldn't find them, so on a recent trip to Mexico City, I binged, and then resolved to take a stab at my own when I got home. I think my little newyorkina Christie would be proud!lisina

Food52 Review: This is a delicious, easy, comfort-foody recipe. I love how the tortillas thicken it and how the flavors meld together, though you can still detect each ingredient. Putting the veggies under the broiler gives it a wonderful smoky taste, though I do recommend removing the jalapeño seeds (and then adding them back in if you like) so you can better control the spice level! I loved this and will definitely make it again – and it's great for lunch the next day. LucyS

Serves 6

  • 3 pounds tomatillos in the husk
  • 1 large red onion cut in 1/2-inch slices
  • 2 jalapeños
  • 8 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
  • 1 handful of cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime
  • 1 heaping spoonful of crema or sour cream
  • 1 quart chicken stock (preferably homemade)
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 cup (or more if you like) queso fresco in large crumbles (1/2- to 1-inch pieces), or shredded monterrey jack
  • 1/2 cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • Cilantro leaves, for garnish
  • Salt and olive oil, as needed
  1. Lay tomatillos, onions, jalapeños, and garlic on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  2. Place the baking sheet under the broiler, until the veggies are wilted and blistered, about 10 minutes (time will vary based on the heat of your broiler). Remove the veggies and let them cool until you are able to handle them.
  3. Remove the husks from the tomatillos, squeeze the garlic from the cloves, and remove the stem from the jalapeños. Throw the roasted veggies into a blender, along with any juices that accumulated on the baking tray. Add the cilantro leaves, the juice of the lime, and the crema. Purée until the mixture is very smooth. Taste and make any needed adjustments (more salt, acid, etc).
  4. While the veggies are still in the oven, bring the chicken broth to a gentle simmer in a dutch oven. Add the chicken breasts and allow them to simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Move the chicken to a cutting board and use two forks to shred it. Return the chicken and any juices to the pot.
  5. Add the tomatillo purée to the chicken broth, taste for seasoning (note the sauce should be tangy, almost sour, so add another squeeze of lime if necessary), and bring to a simmer. Cover and let the mixture simmer for about 20 minutes.
  6. Cut the tortillas into quarters. If your tortillas are fresh, dry them out in the oven or toaster oven. If they're stale and dried out, add them right to the pot. Stir the mixture and let simmer for another 10 minutes. The tortillas will cause the sauce to thicken.
  7. Uncover and stir in the queso fresco or sprinkle with the monterrey jack. Cover the pot again, allowing the cheese to melt. Uncover, sprinkle with cotija and cilantro, and serve.
  8. Note: The chilaquiles are just as good -- maybe better -- the next day. A fried egg on top wouldn't hurt either!
Jump to Comments (24)

Comments (24) Questions (0)

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15 days ago bottomsupranch

This was FANTASTIC! The only change I made was to wash the tomatillos and take the husks off, they had a bit of dirt on them. Had a small bowl of it this morning with a fried egg on top. This goes down as one of my favorites.

Stringio

16 days ago Greatfallsdeb

Oh yeah. These were great! I did the recipe as stated except cut in half. I could have eaten the whole pan. Thought
I might garnish with some avocado slices, but it was not meant to be as my one and only avocado was brown mush.

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20 days ago grammypeg

Confused re comment below versus recipe directions. Below says "chilaquilles shouldn't be kept past 5 minutes" - recipes says "The chilaquiles are just as good -- maybe better -- the next day." Would lisina please comment?
Thanks!

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19 days ago lisina

grammypeg, please see my response to intelatin below. as with any recipe, i think it's up to you to enjoy them as you like. the tortillas will maintain their integrity better if you eat them right way, and dish will definitely have a more uniform consistency the second day. if you like a more dry or "seco" preparation, let the chicken stock reduce for a while. if you would like the tortillas to be more toothsome, don't let them simmer in the sauce for 10 minutes--watch them and take them off the stove when they arrive at the texture you like. i hope this helps!

Gil

20 days ago Intelatin

Hina asks if this is a soup or a stew and lisina says, yes. Chilaquiles is a dry breakfast dish made with tortilla strips. In Mexico, the degree to which they swim in salsa is dependent on the person preparing the dish but the tortillas should never be soggy. A frequent eater can ask for their chilaquiles secos (dry) which doesnt mean that they dont have salsa. The salsa should soften the tortilla slightly but never to the point where it loses its crunch. Also, as with all things de tortilla, chilaquiles shouldnt keep past 5 minutes so you shouldnt be able to eat them next day. If you can, you might be venturing into "Budin" territory which would be more similar to a lasagna than chilaquiles. In California, some Texmex restaurants, claiming to be authentic, will serve rice with chilaquiles. This is ghastly.

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19 days ago lisina

intelatin, this particular recipe has the consistency of a thick stew, and the tortillas should have a bit of tooth to them. as i mentioned in the recipe description, this was my best approximation based on the chilaquiles i had while visiting mexico city, and i think they are pretty close to what i was served there both at market stalls and restaurants. they were not crunchy at all and did have a stew-like consistency. as you pointed out, the tortillas should not dissolve into the sauce. having said that, in NO way do i claim to be an expert on mexican cuisine. if you have a more authentic recipe, i would absolutely love to have it. personally, i like to make a big batch and think they're great the next day too. but i also like to eat leftover pasta, which my italian-born mother finds tantamount to sacrilege. so...

Gil

4 days ago Intelatin

Chilaquiles, as you might understand, similar to Gnocchi in Italian cuisine, is a dramatic dish because it has such a potential to be life changing. Everybody makes it in a different way and unfortunately for me on Food 52, the Mexican folks that I deal with do not use recipes. In my version, the sauce is tantamount but simple: Tomatoes, Chile Serrano, Onions. Toasted on the comal and then salted and liquified in a blender. The chips that I use are very crunchy and come from a local tortilleria in my neighborhood. I place the chips in a hot pan and then pour very minor amounts of the salsa on top of the chips. No more than 3 minutes in the hot pan. Then, I garnish with shaved onion, queso fresco and sliced avocado. The reference to Gnocchi is important because I might argue, along with your mother that 99.9% of Gnocchi you eat in the US should be considered a cultural atrocity if you ever have Gnocchi that is expertly prepared in Italy. Likewise, while all foodies have their tastes and preferences, Chilaquiles have a special place in Mexican cuisine and thus are treated with a certain level of passion when passed on.

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12 months ago Hina Khokhar

Is this to be eaten as a stew/soup of sorts?

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12 months ago lisina

yup!

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12 months ago sdschorr

Can you use canned tomatillos? What would the equivalency be?

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12 months ago lisina

i've never used canned tomatillos, so i'm not sure how they will measure up flavor-wise. you won't be able to roast them. but if you can't find fresh, i suppose it's worth a try! in terms of volume, a 32 oz can should do the trick.

Open-uri.27485

about 1 year ago katiestemp

These turned out perfectly! I cut the recipe down as I only had a pound of tomatillos. Made enough for four for brunch with added egg on top. Roasting tomatillos in husks were messy. Not sure if removing huskes before roasting would taste change much?

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12 months ago lisina

i don't think it would change it much to remove the husks first. i find they slip out easier once they're roasted, but either way should work fine!

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6 months ago lisina

katiestemp, i tried it yesterday removing the husks first, and it worked great. i still prefer roasting them in the husks (the stickiness of the raw husks drives me crazy), but the results are the same either way.

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about 1 year ago lisina

thanks everyone, i hope you enjoy them!

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about 1 year ago foxeslovelemons

Wow, this looks fantastic! Sounds like your best culinary lesson came outside of culinary school ;) Congrats on the CP!

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about 1 year ago lisina

one of them, definitely! ;)

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about 1 year ago lisina

and congratulations to you on being a finalist! i can't wait to try your meatballs. i'm a detroit girl myself--i hope you bring home the win!

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about 1 year ago foxeslovelemons

Oh yay, thank you! Where in the area are you from? Detroit, or a suburb?

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about 1 year ago lisina

we lived in the city till i started school, then moved to bloomfield hills where my parents still live. any new restaurants i should check out when i'm home next?

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about 1 year ago foxeslovelemons

Oh, cool! I'm in Ferndale. My two newer favs are The Root (it's way out in White Lake, but worth the drive), and Imperial here in Ferndale (food-truck style tacos and lots of Mexican delights. I think chilaquiles for weekend brunch, too!)

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about 1 year ago lisina

YUM, i will definitely check out the imperial when i'm in town next! thanks for the reccommendations!

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about 1 year ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

This looks marvelous!!!

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about 1 year ago Loves Food Loves to Eat

Yum! I love chilaquiles, can't wait to try this!