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
Test Kitchen Notes
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
tomatillos in the husk
large red onion cut in 1/2-inch slices
cloves of garlic, unpeeled
of cilantro leaves
heaping spoonful of crema or sour cream
chicken stock (preferably homemade)
boneless, skinless chicken breasts
(or more if you like) queso fresco in large crumbles (1/2- to 1-inch pieces), or shredded monterrey jack
Lay tomatillos, onions, jalapeños, and garlic on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Note: The chilaquiles are just as good -- maybe better -- the next day. A fried egg on top wouldn't hurt either!