May 18, 2011

Chicken Chilaquiles

       30 minutes. When I see a recipe that says Prep Time: 30 minutes, Total Time: 30 minutes. I have a desire to try it. Even on busy weeknights I frequently have 30 minutes to put a healthy and homemade meal on the table. I tried this recipe a few years ago and it has become a go-to dinner. 
       This meal has also become comfort food. When it rains (which is often in the northeast) or is dark and chilly I crave something warm, flavorful and filling...this dish satisfies all of my cravings. It  is also an 'oven-free' meal, which means I can actually imagine making it during the muggy months of summer.
       Chicken Chilaquiles is a little spicy, but not too hot for Bean (as long as the seeds are removed from the chipotle chilies.)  By using rotisserie chicken  I save prep and cleanup time. It really needs the cilantro to finish the flavor, so be generous. I also top it with queso fresco, a mild, white cheese. You can add a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream, but I usually exclude it and eat it with queso fresco and a sliver of avocado.

Chicken Chilaquiles
adapted from Martha Stewart, Everyday Food

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, in puree
1 heaping tablespoon chipotle chilies in adobo, seeded and finely chopped (approximately 2 small chilies)
1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from same can)
Coarse salt
1 small cooked rotisserie chicken, skinned and shredded (about 4 cups), carcass discarded
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, chopped, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
4 cups  tortilla chips
¼ cup or to taste, queso fresco cheese
plain yogurt (optional)

 Combine oil and garlic in a large (3-to-4-quart) saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and sizzling, 1 to 2 minutes.
 Add tomatoes with their puree (breaking tomatoes up), chipotles and adobo, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil; season with salt. If your tortilla chips have salt, taste the mixture using a chip. You don't want it too salty before the chips and cheese. Reduce heat and simmer rapidly until lightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add chicken and cook, stirring, until hot, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in chopped cilantro.
Divide chips among four shallow bowls; top with chicken mixture and sauce. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, queso fresco and yogurt. Serve.

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