Cinco de Mayo food recipe: Green chicken chilaquiles
Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with chicken chilaquiles.
There are some recipes or food ideas you come across that stick with you, who knows why. Chilaquiles is one of those ideas for me.Skip to next paragraph
The Runaway Spoon
Perre Magness has studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France has broadened her own culinary skill and palate. The kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.
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Over the years, I have come across recipes or food travel articles about Mexico or the Southwest that talk about this dish – one that uses leftover tortillas, sauce and meat. My impression of chilaquiles came to be of a dish that Mexican housewives throw together in the days following a big cooking occasion, to use up the homemade tortillas that had gone stale, the intricately layered sauces and the remaining bits of perfectly roasted meat. This idea appealed to me, and stuck in my mind as something I hoped to try someday.
Then it happened. I came across chilaquiles on the menu of a local Mexican restaurant. This particular place specialized in seafood, and offered shrimp as a chilaquiles option, with red sauce or green sauce. I ordered green shrimp chilaquiles and absolutely devoured the dish, glad to finally have an understanding of what it was all about.
I ordered green chicken chilaquiles in New Mexico some time later, and that convinced me to try to re-create the dish at home. First I considered frying freshly bought tortillas, carefully constructing a sauce with fresh tomatillos, roasted peppers and a raft of ingredients. But it occurred to me that the whole point of chilaquiles is a great dish to throw together when you are not in the mood to spend hours in the kitchen.
So I went the other direction, using ingredients where most of the work had been done for me. I find all these ingredients readily in the Hispanic food aisle of my local chain grocery. Chilaquiles are often served for a late breakfast, but I prefer them as a quick-to-throw-together dinner.
(See next page for Green Chicken Chlaquiles recipe)