Thursday, July 26, 2007

Recipe to use up those extra tortillas you may have around!

When I was sifting through the freezer to figure out what we needed from the market, I came across a bag of corn tortillas that I had forgotten about. When I was menu planning for the week, I made sure to keep an eye out for any recipes that would have used a good amount of them. I came across a few that used maybe 4 or 6, but then I found a recipe that called for 12 - Chicken Chilaquiles!

I was excited to try this recipe as I wanted to see how it compared to the version I had out at Border Grill when we took a trip to Vegas this past April. One of the ingredients called for is a can of tomatillos - I actually had a fairly hard time finding these at one of our markets. I finally came across them at a local Latin market since we came up empty at the grocery stores. If you can find them, great... if you can't and would still like to make the recipe, I am sure you could use salsa verde instead - you will probably need roughly a cup and quarters worth.

This lighter take on chilaquiles has a filling made from a mixture of tender shredded chicken, green onions, zesty Monterey Jack cheese flecked with jalapeƱos, Parmesan cheese and chili powder for a bit of a smoky background. The sauce to coat the tortillas is a pureed mixture of tomatillos, milk, cilantro and mild green chiles. This dish is not very spicy - so if you want to punch up the heat a bit, you may want to add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground red pepper to the sauce mixture. Once the layers are complete, a scattering of Monterey Jack is the finishing touch before the pan goes into the oven for a quick bake. I actually think that I like this version a bit better than the one we had in Vegas. This version seemed to be less "wet" and the flavor we thought was much cleaner and not as busy. If we made this again, I may think about adding a bit of cumin to the filling just to reinforce the smoky aspect coming from the chili powder.

Chicken Chilaquiles Picture


  1. I saw chilaquiles featured on "Daisy Cooks!" before with a Mexican tomatillo sauce. I had to fight back the saliva drooling from my mouth, to say the very least.

    Can't wait till the neighborhood burrito stores sell these.

  2. I love a recipe that uses lots of items I keep in my pantry. Will definitely try this one, as I know there's a package of corn tortillas floating around in my freezer somewhere....

  3. yum! Looks great. I stumbled upon your blog and was delighted, looking forward to reading more of your culinary exploits.

  4. It seems that the lite version is already too spicy for me. jalapeƱo and chili powder :S

  5. This is a great recipe to have around - it seems like I get a million corn tortillas even in the smallest packages I can find!!

  6. ahhh... to actually HAVE corn tortillas.

    I actually just had a can of tomatillos recently but I had to go to a gourmet food specialty shop to get them. I don't know if there is even a Latino store in the Vancouver, Canada area. I certainly wouldn't get them in my lonely neck of the woods.
    I'd try this recipe even though I'm sure I'd try it alone since the Frog is iffy about Mexican food for some reason. Certainly isn't the spices...

  7. I like your idea of sneaking in some cumin. And I always forget about canned tomatillo! This looks good, easy and variable. Thanks.

  8. HC - I'll have to look for her recipe, I've tried other ones from here that turned out well!

    Lydia - Me too, pantry recipes are the best!

    Katie - Thanks for checking us out!

    Cherry - actually they are fairly mild as the chili does not bring much heat!

    Deb - I know! I finally found a package of just 12 the other day, but normally there are a ton in them!

    Nerissa - I betting that this will freeze well, so that may be an option if it is just you!

    Callipygia - Thank you!

  9. Hi Joe, just found your site. I love to cook and my husband loves to try new recipes--we're excited about all of the great ideas on your site!

    Quick question about the chicken--about how many chicken breasts did you use to make 2 cups shredded chicken?

  10. To brighten up the tortillas you can quickly fry them in canola oil first. It softens them and gets ride of the freezer taste.

  11. Allison - I probably ended up using about 4 chicken breasts.

    Mooncrazy - Great idea! However, that would certainly take away the "light" attraction to the recipe... hee hee!

  12. Thanks for the wonderful recipes. I made this dish on Sat eve for the daughter of a friend of mine and she went back for seconds which is rare for her. I also cooked the chicken with lots of garlic. Keep up the great eating!

  13. Bulloney - Excellent - glad it turned out well!