Chilaquiles con Pollo y Salsa Verde

A buddy from Texas introduced me to these this weekend and I was immediately hooked.  I had to see what I could come up with as a fairly healthy recipe for them so I did what I usually do and scoured recipes on the internet and then built my own version with suggestions or ideas from all the others I found.   Pronounce chil-a-KEE-less and Spanish for “friggin’ delicious” there are a lot of variations to be found – con pollo, con carne, verde, rojo, etc.  Since the ones I tried were chicken with green salsa that’s what I tried to recreate.

I don’t claim my recipe is anywhere near authentic, but it is good.  If you’re watching your sodium you might want to tweak this one some, there’s a lot of salt in the taco seasoning.  This is awesome for breakfast or brunch, serve them with a sides of beans and you’re set.  You can add a salad and you’ve got a great, healthy dinner.

If you try this recipe please let me know what you think, if you have any suggestions for tweaks or variations please feel free to share those as well.

Chilaquiles con Pollo y Salsa Verde 

Chilaquiles con Pollo y Salsa Verde

SERVES 4

Ingredients

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 packet dry taco seasoning mix
1 cup chicken stock
6-8 small, yellow corn tortillas
½ small sweet onion, chopped fine
4 oz queso fresco (Mexican crumbling cheese)
4 Tbsp Mexican crema (substitute sour cream thinned slightly with milk if you can’t get crema)
4 Tbsp salsa verde (Herdez brand is good)
3 large whole eggs
Liquid egg whites equivalent to 3 whole eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Water

Preparation

Coat chicken breast on both sides with ½ of taco seasoning mix.  Heat a large pan on medium high and spray with non-stick spray.  Add chicken breasts and brown on each side.  Add chicken stock to pan and remainder of taco seasoning and the diced onion.  Turn heat to low and cover pan.  Chicken will need to cook slowly for 2-3 hours, check it frequently and break into pieces as it cooks, when done chicken should shred easily, add more liquid (water will suffice) as needed to keep chicken moist.

When chicken is almost done cut the corn tortillas into 1” wide strips.  Pan fry or bake the strips to crisp them, use a little oil if necessary.  Once tortillas are done add them to the shredded chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes until tortillas become soft but not mushy.  Before adding the tortillas their should be a small amount of liquid to be absorbed, once cooked with the tortillas the mixture should be moist with no visible liquid.

Mix eggs and egg whites in a bowl with about 2 Tbsp of water, salt and pepper.  The combination of eggs and whites gives you the flavor of whole eggs but cuts down on calories and cholesterol, of course you can use all whites if you like.  If possible get fresh eggs from a local farmers’ market as they have a more rich egg flavor.  Thanks to my buddy Stan for this tip.  Scramble eggs in a pan taking care not to overcook them.

Plate ¼ of the chicken mixture and top with ¼ of the scrambled eggs.  Pour 1 Tbsp crema over eggs and crumble 1 oz of the queso fresco over that, top that with 1-2 Tbsp of salsa verde.

Chilaquiles are excellent served with black beans or refried beans.  Great for any meal, especially Sunday brunch.  Add a small side salad for a delicious and healthy dinner.

Tips, tricks and shortcuts

  • You can use tortilla chips in this recipe and save the steps of cutting and cooking the tortillas.  Mission sells tortilla strips that would be perfect for this.
  • Buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken and shred it then add the taco seasoning and stock and cook down.  Get plain rotisserie flavor or mojo if available.
  • As mentioned above you can use sour cream thinned with milk to a heavy but pourable consistency if you can’t find Mexican crema or simply choose not to use it.

BASIC NUTRITION INFO (per serving)

Calories:  404
Carbohydrates:  23 grams
Fat:  11 grams
Protein:  37 grams
Fiber:  3 grams

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Deconstructed Pork Tamales

Delicious Pork “Tamales”

Sometimes recipes just kind of come together.  I wasn’t sure what to cook one night and after rummaging through my fridge and pantry I had a pork roast,  some black beans and a roll of polenta – this is what came of it.  It’s not my lowest calorie meal but at 426 calories per serving still pretty low cal, and a lot better than having a couple “real” tamales.  Serving this with some steamed cauliflower and/or a salad and you’ve got a full meal for about 550 calories.

Although the polenta delivers a good dose of carbs it is a complex carbohydrate and therefore has a low glycemic index, it is also gluten free for those avoiding gluten.  Polenta is high in Vitamins A & C as well as potassium, phosphorous and magnesium and contains small amounts of iron, zinc, thiamin and niacin.  You get a good serving of fiber and protein from the black beans and lots of protein from the pork roast.  One thing I love about this meal is that it feels like it’s cheating, you get to eat spicy/meaty “Mexican” food but not destroy your fat and calories for the day.

DECONSTRUCTED PORK TAMALES

Serves 4

Click here to view/print this recipe from Google Docs.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean pork tenderloin roast, shredded
  • 1 lb prepared polenta cut into 12 slices
  • 2 cups black beans
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • 4 Tbsp low fat sour cream
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and garlic to taste.
  • Hot sauce

Preparation

Trim any visible fat from pork roast and season as desired.  You can marinate it if you choose or use a dry rub of ground cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.  Simply coat the roast with spices and allow to rest in refrigerator overnight.  Roast can be slow smoked, cooked in a crock pot or in the oven.  Cook to an internal temperature of 160F for medium doneness or 170F for well done.  Make sure to cook the roast slowly and keep it moist, you want it to be very tender and easily shredded when done.

When the roast is almost done heat 1 can of black beans and grill the polenta.  Season each side of the polenta with salt and pepper and grill over medium heat (can use grill pan or regular skillet) until heated through.

Arrange three slices of polenta on each plate and top with 4 oz of the shredded pork and ½ cup of black beans.  Top with sour scream, hot sauce, salsa, diced onions and/or jalapenos as you choose.

BASIC NUTRITION INFO (per serving : ¼ recipe)

  • Calories: 426 per serving
  • Carbohydrates: 44 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Protein: 44 grams