Tuesday, March 01, 2011

black bean and chicken chilaquiles

It’s no secret that up here in the land of lobster and chowder, I miss Tex-Mex food. A lot.

I’m perpetually on the look-out for opportunities to indulge in some spicy goodness, whether it be out at a restaurant, or home in La Cocina de Farrell.

Tonight I made chilaquiles that fall into the Tex-Mex slot, and are definitely worth a repeat performance. Traditionally a Mexican breakfast favorite, chilaquiles is a sauté of day-old tortilla strips, fresh tomato sauce, cream, and cheese. My version however, was dinner. And I lightened things up in the calorie and fat department.

The recipe, as is, is a great base, but needs some added freshness to suit my taste. Next time, I’m tweaking things a bit. A squeeze of some fresh lime juice on top would be perfect. Topping individual servings with wedges of avocado and chopped tomato would definitely be another tasty, fresh (and bright) addition. And cilantro is a must – throughout the actual dish, as well as for garnish on top.

One more tip: make sure to use the El Pato salsa de fresco. If you can’t find it at one grocery store, keep looking. It makes the recipe.

But for a first-time try, this was a winner. And the fact that it’s a tremendously light dish makes it that much more delicioso. At under 300 calories per serving, you can't beat it ... for breakfast or dinner!

Yield: 6 servings


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast (I poached mine in chicken broth, then shredded with a fork then seasoned with chile powder, cumin, and garlic powder)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 7 3/4-ounce can salsa de chile fresco (such as El Pato)
  • 15 6-inch corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 2 cups shredded queso blanco (about 4 ounces); substitute Monterrey Jack, if needed
  • fat-free or light sour cream (for garnish)


Preheat oven to 450°.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add chicken; cook 30 seconds. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl; stir in beans. Add broth and salsa to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Place half of tortilla strips in bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Layer half of chicken mixture and half of cheese over tortillas; top with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture. Pour broth mixture evenly over chicken mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until tortillas are lightly browned and cheese is melted.

Serve with a generous dollop of [fat-free or light] sour cream.

1 comment:

Beverly said...

You need a cilantro plant. And I'll bet it'll thrive up there.

Looks awesome. Wish I had some leftovers for lunch today.