Chilaquiles

Chilaquiles

A delicious jumble of tortilla chips, chile sauce, and fresh Mexican toppings, chilaquiles can be served while the chips are still crisp or after they’ve softened to an enchilada-like texture. This recipe puts them nicely in between, with both crunchy bits and soft ones. (See the notes below for more sauce and topping ideas.)

Serves 4 to 6

  • Twelve 6-in corn tortillas
  • 2 tbsp neutral-flavored cooking oil, for example sunflower, safflower, or grapeseed
  • Salt
  • 4 1/2 cups red or green enchilada sauce, homemade or store bought
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken
  • 1/8 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco (see notes)
  • 3/4 avocado, diced or sliced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Brush the tortillas on both sides with the oil, then cut them into quarters. Arrange the tortillas in even layers on 2 large rimmed baking sheets and bake until crisp and lightly browned, 13 to 15 minutes, switching positions of the baking sheets halfway through. Sprinkle the chips with salt and set aside. Reduce the oven to 250°F.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, bring the enchilada sauce to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and add the chips and chicken, gently stirring to coat the chips with the sauce. Return to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Cover loosely with foil, transfer to the oven, and bake until the chips have some crisp parts and some soft ones, about 15 minutes (omit the baking if you prefer the chips crunchy, or bake longer if you want the chips entirely soft).

Carefully remove the skillet from the oven. Scatter the onion, queso fresco, avocado, and cilantro on top and serve.

NOTES Look for queso fresco in the specialty or Latin cheese section of your supermarket and at Latin markets, or substitute crumbled goat or feta cheese.

To vary the sauce, try red or green salsa, mole sauce, or cream sauce. To vary the mix-ins and toppings, try scrambled or fried eggs, shredded beef or pork, cooked chorizo, different cheeses, chopped scallions, sliced radishes, corn kernels, sliced olives, or Mexican crema or sour cream.