Dinner: Chilaquiles

Let me just preface this by saying that this recipe is not “hard.” It’s not sophisticated (save for maybe the fried egg, which seems to be sort of a foodie thing these days) and it’s not difficult, especially if you use pre-cooked chicken. Also, I’m not entirely sure that eating glorified nachos for dinner is exactly, er, healthy….but I do know that this recipe makes a damn good meal. Even my boyfriend, who is notoriously picky and would much prefer a Sonic hamburger to any sort of pinkies-up, Top Chef-inspired meal, gobbled his up.

So let’s do this thang, shall we?

You don’t need a whole lot of ingredients to make chilaquiles – which, in addition to being delicious, is really fun to say (chil-a-kee-lehs.) You don’t actually need meat (a soy substitute or even some beans would probably suffice) but, if you’re like me, you live with someone who is a self-professed “meat lover” and couldn’t bear the thought of ever being away from meat for even one meal. Those rotisserie chickens you can buy at the grocery store are a life saver for meals like these.

Don’t be afraid to play around with this. I added radish because a.) it is one of the prettiest vegetables around and b.) it somehow wound up in my refrigerator and I’m not entirely sure what else to do with it. But if you don’t like radish, feel free to omit it. Like it spicy? Add some pickled jalapeños (also very fun to say.) Hot sauce (Cholula if you’re smart), sour cream and salsa are also no-brainers.

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, in puree
2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo, finely chopped (about 1 heaping tablespoon), plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from same can)
Coarse salt
1 small cooked rotisserie chicken (about 1 3/4 pounds), skinned and shredded (about 4 cups), carcass discarded
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, chopped, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
4 cups (about 3 ounces) tortilla chips
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 3/4 ounces feta or queso fresco cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
sliced radish
fried egg

1. Combine oil and garlic in a large (3-to-4-quart) saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and sizzling, 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Add tomatoes with their puree (breaking tomatoes up), chipotles and adobo, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil; season with salt. Reduce heat and simmer rapidly until lightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.
3. Add chicken and cook, stirring, until hot, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in chopped cilantro.
4. Divide chips among four shallow bowls; top with chicken mixture and sauce. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, sour cream, and feta. Serve.

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