I had chilaquiles (chee-la-key-lays) for the first time at Tila’s an adorable restaurant in Montrose near our old apartment in Houston. I am pretty sure I only ate inside once, as they had a fabulous patio like so many Houston restaurants. See, in Houston, June-August is really, really awful and hot, but September through May is absolutely gorgeous. You basically transition from summer to the rainy season (hurricane), then it’s lovely weather for 6 months before it gets dreadful and those 6 months were ideal for margarita sipping on patios. This was back before we had kids and actually ate at restaurants other than Taco Bell. Chilaquiles are basically a nacho casserole – and from my understanding you can pretty much put anything you want on them.
I love the pickled onions and avocados on these, it makes the dish really summery. You can throw this together in a matter of minutes, depending on what you have on hand. I made my own salsa verde, but you could certainly use jarred salsa as well.
1 red onion
1 bag tortilla chips (Calidad are my favorite)
2-3 cups cooked chicken (I used 2 grilled chicken breasts)
3 cups green salsa
1 cup queso fresco
1. Finely dice the jalapeno and slice the onion into strips. Place both in a small bowl and juice the limes into the bowl. Allow the mixture to sit at least an hour, but you could let it sit in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Preheat the oven to 350. Cube the chicken, grate the cheese. In a large casserole dish, arrange half of the bag of chips along the bottom of the pan and spread the chicken over the top. Pour the green salsa over the top and sprinkle the cheese over the whole dish. Bake for 10-12 minutes. While it’s baking, slice the avocados and chop the cilantro.
3. Top the hot chilaquiles with the pickled onions from before and the sliced avocado. Serve with the cilantro and sour cream on the side.