We concluded our week of Rick Bayless recipes with the recipe that first introduced us to the genius of Rick Bayless: chipotle chilaquiles. I didn’t even know what chilaquiles were until we went to dinner with our friends, Christina and Adam, about a year ago. They made served us this spectacular green stuff unlike anything that I had ever had before that I just loved: chilaquiles. I begged for the recipe and Christina replied that it was ridiculously easy. You basically take a jar of salsa (they had used salsa verde) and cook it with some tortilla chips. It couldn’t be any easier and it was so tasty!
I googled chilaquiles when we got home and we decided that we could try making the sauce ourselves. We were already aware of and really liked Rick Bayless from Top Chef Masters and when I saw his recipe on foodandwine.com, I figured, hey why not? Little did I know the impact it would have. We loved it so much that we began to make it nearly weekly. Then we bought his cookbook, Everyday Mexican, and began cooking our way through it.
Believe me, I understand how weird it sounds. Who likes soggy tortilla chips? Yuck. I mean, I don’t like to eat cereal because I hate how soggy the milk makes it. And when I brought my leftovers into work I got lots of skeptical looks. But everyone who gave it a try groaned and said to the next person, “No really, give it a try. It’s so good!” And really, it is. Think of it as a stew or something. The chicken, raw onions, and cilantro on top give the dish a variety of textures and it’s warm and spicy and immensely comforting. Soggy chips and all, this is one of my very favorite dishes.
Adapted from Rick Bayless via Food and Wine
This dish is a great way to use up any stale tortilla chips you have lying around.
One 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained and 1/2 cup liquid reserved
2 chipotles in adobo
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large white onion, thinly sliced, divided
3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
9 ounces tortilla chips
1 1/2 cups shredded chicken
1/4 cup queso fresco, queso añejo, or freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
Blend the tomatoes with their reserved 1/2 cup of liquid and the chipotles in a blender until almost smooth.
In a very large, deep skillet, heat the oil. Add two-thirds of the onion and cook over moderately high heat until they are browned around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Pour in the tomato puree over the onions and simmer, stirring, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the stock and boil over moderately high heat until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and remove from the heat.
Gently stir the tortilla chips into the sauce, making sure they are well coated. Top with the remaining onion, the shredded chicken and the cheese. Dollop the sour cream over the chilaquiles, sprinkle with the cilantro and serve immediately.