Chilaquiles Rojas con Pollo


(Chilaquiles in red sauce with chicken)

For the sauce: (makes 4 cups)
5 dried guajillo chiles
2 dried costeño chiles
(chiles available at Mexican groceries)
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo
141⁄2 ounces canned diced tomatoes
141⁄2 ounces chicken stock
In a cast-iron skillet over high heat, toast the dried chiles until fragrant, turning several times. Turn off the heat and cover with water; cover and let soak for 30 minutes. Remove the seeds and stems and puree with the chipotle chiles, tomatoes and chicken stock. Add salt to taste.

For the chilaquiles:
8 stale corn tortillas (blue, white or yellow) cut into quarters
Canola oil, for frying
2 cups shredded chicken, white or dark meat
1⁄4 teaspoon dried epazote (available at Mexican groceries)
1⁄4 teaspoon oregano, preferably Mexican
2 cups of red sauce, from above
Salt and pepper to taste

To garnish:
Fresh cilantro
Lime wedges
Queso fresco or mild feta cheese, crumbled
Jalapeno, sliced into thin coins
Optional (but recommended): A fried egg per serving

Fry the tortilla quarters in batches in a cast-iron skillet in 1 inch of canola oil heated to 350 degrees until crispy. Remove to drain on paper towels. In a deep saucepan or sautoir, heat 2 cups of the red sauce over medium heat until simmering. Add the tortillas, chicken and seasonings and stir gently until heated through. Top with the garnishes and, if desired, a sunny side up fried egg and serve immediately. Serves 2 to 4.

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