RECIPE: Chilaquiles made even quicker and simpler



A simple-to-modify Mexican breakfast and brunch dish, chilaquiles also make for a fun and simple 5:30 Challenge dinner recipe. It just requires a couple of tweaks to make the dish as easy and mess-free as possible for a weeknight meal.

Chilaquiles consist of freshly fried day-old tortillas and warm, thinned salsa, tossed together until the tortillas begin to soften, but retain a bit of crisp-chewy texture. Depending on where in Mexico the dish is prepared, the tortillas may be softened more or less, and the salsa could be red, green or tomato-based. Chilaquiles are often topped with a protein of some kind, such as a fried egg or leftover meat. This is a thrifty dish at heart, so it’ll make the most of whatever is sitting around from the night before.

For my 5:30 Challenge version, I skip the tortilla-frying step, as it takes time and requires working with a pot of hot oil. Instead, I use store-bought tortilla chips. These are often not recommended in traditional recipes as they can easily fall apart and turn super soggy in warm salsa. But I’ve found that if you add in the final step of popping the chilaquiles under a broiler for a few minutes right before serving, you can bring back some of that crisp-chewy textural contrast to the chips.

I like to use shredded rotisserie chicken for protein in this recipe, since it requires no additional cooking. You’ll need most of a chicken’s worth to mix in with the chips. And for the salsa, I prefer prepared enchilada sauce to jarred salsa as it brings additional richness and depth of flavor not present in most store-bought salsa. However, feel free to use what you’d like and can easily find at the store.

A simple finishing touch of crumbled cotija cheese and chopped fresh cilantro is my preference, but you can also dress these chilaquiles up a bit more with crema, avocado and/or fried eggs if you have them.

Chicken Chilaquiles

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