What You Will Need
There are as many recipes for chilaquiles as there are cooks who make them. This version is served, throughout the day, at the Grand Hotel in Tijuana.
Yield: serves 6
- 2 cups corn oil
- 24 (6") day-old corn tortillas, cut into sixths
- 1 1⁄2 lb. (about 3 large) ripe tomatoes
- 4 jalapeños
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 medium white onion, peeled and chopped
- Leaves of 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
- 2 Tbsp. Knorr chicken broth powder, optional
- 2 1⁄2 cups shredded boiled chicken, optional
- 3⁄4 cup crema or crème fraîche
- 6 oz. cotija cheese, crumbled
- Heat 1 cup of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, fry tortilla segments until crisp, about 2 minutes per batch, letting them drain on paper towels as they are done. Discard oil, then wipe out skillet and set aside.
- Put tomatoes, jalapeños, and garlic into a medium pot. Set aside 1⁄4 cup of the onions for garnish, then add half the remaining onions to pot. Fill pot with water and boil over medium-high heat until tomatoes are very soft, about 20 minutes. Add half the cilantro and cook for 1 minute more. Drain tomato mixture in a colander. Peel and core tomatoes and stem jalapeños (for a milder sauce, remove and discard seeds), then put into a blender. Add cooked garlic, onions, and cilantro and purée until sauce is smooth.
- Heat remaining oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add all but the reserved 1⁄4 cup of onions and cook for about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato–jalapeño sauce and, if using, chicken broth powder, increase heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil. Add tortillas and, if using, chicken, stirring and turning in sauce until well coated. Simmer until tortillas are tender and chewy, about 3 minutes.
- Chop remaining cilantro and set aside. Transfer chilaquiles to a warm serving platter, top with crema and cotija cheese, and garnish with cilantro and reserved onions. Serve hot.