Easy Skillet Chilaquiles (Chilaquiles Rojos)
This very simple version of a Mexican classic is made with tortilla chips simmered in a saucy mixture of tomatoes and spices. I added shredded chicken to mine but they can be served with beef, eggs or beans. Chilaquiles or Chee-lah-KEE-less are a traditional Mexican peasant dish commonly made with fried tortillas bathed in green or red salsa (depending on the region) until tender. They fit somewhere between breakfast nachos and deconstructed enchiladas. They are usually served as a breakfast dish with eggs but you can have these for any meal. They can easily be an appetizer too served with extra tortilla chips and all the fixings.
I call these easy skillet chilaquiles for a few reasons. The first being that I use store bought tortilla chips to make them with. Most often these are made using fresh tortillas that are cut into strips and fried or baked until crisp. I love a good cheat so I used Irresistibles Naturalia Original Tortilla Chips. I partnered up with Metro to create a great game day dish that comes together quickly and keeps you going back for more. This is definitely that dish. The second way this version is easy is that I use pretty common and available ingredients in the sauce that are closest to the traditional ones used in chilaquiles rojos. The way the red sauce is made will vary between cooks - its often made using dried chilies like ancho or guajillo chilies. They give the sauce its distinct flavour and smokiness. I used chipotle peppers in adobo because they are quite easy to find at most grocery stores here and add a delicious smokiness to the sauce.
When it comes to the toppings, I used feta instead of cotija or queso fresco cheese and sour cream for the crema. And for the chicken I used leftover chicken breast I had from a roast but you could easily use leftover store bought rotisserie too. As you can see this recipe is quite adaptable and an inventive way to use up stray veggies in the fridge, that half bag of nachos you know you probable have somewhere in the pantry and leftover chicken or beef that can be tossed into the mix as well. I love mine loaded with all the extra toppings. We eat them right out of the skillet. I love how the chips soak up some of the sauce and become a little tender. Make sure to serve them with extra chips to pick up any remaining bits of sauce in the pan.
They are a comforting and quick breakfast-for-dinner option, game night, movie night snack that I promise with be devoured in no time. Here is how to make them:
- The Red Sauce or Enchilada sauce It forms the backbone of flavor in chilaquiles, so you need to use a flavourful one. My red sauce is simple and quick to make and has a nice chili-pepper flavor. I added shredded chicken to mine for added protein to this dish but yo can easily make it without or make it with beef or carnitas. If you want to use your own red enchilada sauce recipe, or a store-bought option that is fine too you will need approx 2-3 cups of it for this recipe.
- The Tortilla chips As I mentioned above traditionalMexican chilaquiles are made with fried tortilla chips. I have made this with fried and with baked tortillas and they are both fabulous. To save loads of time though, I love to use store-bought tortilla chips making this an even easier way of making chilaquiles.
- For the Toppings The more the better is what I say. Sweet, raw onion and peppery shaved radishes added as a garnish contribute some brightness and crunch to every bite. Tangy crumbled cheese, fresh cilantro, and creamy avocado, pickled Jalapeno, diced tomatoes, beans…..are all amazing for adding a nice contrast to the saucy chips. You can also top these with fried eggs or serve the eggs on the side if you want a brekafast brunch version. Instead of stirring the chicken or other meat into the sauce you can serve it on top if you like as well
The chips get folded into the chilaquiles sauce, then are simmered for a few minutes to soften and absorb flavor. I like to leave several chips un-smothered in sauce, so there’s still some texture there and if I’m serving these for dinner or as an appetizer or snack I always serve with extra tortilla chips for dipping into the sauce. They are delicious and the pan usually gets swiped clean. Hope you enjoy this very simplified but tasty version of a Mexican classic
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion peeled and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 small red bell pepper, seeds removed and diced
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ tsp dried oregano
- Pinch of cinnamon
- 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (or 1.5 Tablespoons of chili powder )
- 1½ cups shredded cooked chicken
- 2 cups Irresistibles Naturalia Original Tortilla Chips, plus extra for serving
- ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Chopped red onions
- Sour cream
- Sliced fresh radishes
- ½ cup crumbled queso fresco cheese or feta
- Heat oil in a 9-10-inch cast-iron skillet, over medium heat.
- Add onions, garlic bell pepper, salt, and spices and cook 7 to 9 minutes, stirring, until vegetables are softened.
- Stir in the tomatoes, and chipotles; heat to simmering. Reduce heat; simmer 5-10 minutes until reduced to a thick sauce.
- Stir in the chicken and cook about 2-3 min until warmed through. Stir in tortilla chips; top with whatever toppings you would like.
- Serve immediately right out of the pan with extra tortillas.
- If you wanted to make your own tortilla chips you can cut 10 corn tortillas into triangular wedges. Then arrange them on a baking sheet and lightly spray with oil. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until crisp. You could also fry them in an inch or so of vegetable oil until golden crisp, allowing them to cool on a paper towel lined plate before using in the recipe.
Adapted from tbsp.