Monday, November 8, 2010

Tomatillo Poblano Chilaquiles

This dish was inspired by an episode of Rick Bayless's One Plate at a Time show. I watched it about a year ago, and the tomatillo poblano chilaquiles left me drooling - and running to the market to make my own version. What I discovered is that this traditional Mexican dish is easy to prepare, is a great leftover meal, and tastes oh so good! So grab your apron and your dutch oven, and get into the kitchen!

Here are the ingredients you'll need:
  • 1 lb tomatillos, husk removed
  • 2 yellow onion
  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 2 serrano peppers
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 lime
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 32 oz low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 rotisserie chicken
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 2 cups stale tortilla chips
  • 1 cup cilantro
  • 1/2 cup queso fresco or queso blanca, crumbled
  • 1-1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 avocado

This dish has all the flavors of a slow cooked soup but doesn't require hours of cooking time - in fact, it can be made from scratch in less than 30 minutes. Begin by heating a dutch oven on medium-high with 2 tbsp olive oil. Coarsely chop onions, peppers, tomatillos and garlic. Sauté in the dutch oven until the veggies start to caramelize, about 5-10 minutes.
When the veggies start to turn brown and the bottom of the pot has developed a nice fond (a nice deep golden-brown, but not black!) add chicken stock, stale tortilla chips, and 1/2 cup of light sour cream. Use your spoon (preferably wooden) to scrape all the fond off the bottom of the pan - this step is so important in incorporating the developed flavors into the soup. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup, and don't worry if it is not completely smooth - this dish exemplifies rustic cooking. In the meantime, pull the meat off a rotisserie chicken. Before serving, add the chicken to the soup and cook for about 5 minutes. If you plan to freeze this soup, now is a good time to stop and portion out servings. Plate the soup and garnish with crushed tortilla chips, cilantro, sour cream, queso fresco, avocado, and a wedge of lime. Make plenty extra, as it tastes even better the next day!

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