Casserole of Chicken Tacos and Green Sauce
This absolutely scrumptious recipe was prepared for me by the famous Mexican artist and craftsman the late Feliciano Bejar. It comes from his native Jiquilpan, in the northern part of Michoacan, which is a rich dairy-farming area. It is really a rich casserole (although I hate that word as it has too many sloppy connotations in Mexican-American food) of layered tacos filled with chicken and chorizo/egg filling, with green sauce and cream. It is a meal in itself and is best served with a very lightly dressed salad. While all the component parts can be prepared ahead, the final assembling and baking of the dish have to be done at the last minute, or the tortillas will become soggy and disintegrate.
The size of the baking dish is important: it should be at least 2 inches (5 cm) deep and large enough to accommodate two layers of 10 small tacos-about 9 inches by 9 inches (22.5 by 22.5 cm) is ideal.
The layers of tacos should just be covered with, not drowned in, the sauce and generously but not too thickly topped with cream.
Serves6 to 8
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationgluten-free, peanut free, soy free
Taste and Texturecreamy, herby, meaty, spiced
Type of Dishcasserole
Heat the oven to 375° (190°C). Have ready a tray covered with two layers of paper toweling.
Put a little of the oil into a small frying pan-it should be only about 1/8-inch (3.12 mm) deep-and heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, immerse a tortilla until thoroughly warmed through and softened, about 10 seconds, but do not allow the edge to become crisp. Drain on paper toweling and repeat until all the tortillas have been fried.
Meanwhile, heat the cream and allow to bubble and reduce for about 5 minutes. Immerse one of the tortillas-the cream should lightly coat it. Fill with the chicken, roll, and set onto a warmed dish. The second tortilla may be filled with the chorizo filling. Continue immersing in cream and filling a total of 10 tortillas-alternately with chicken and chorizo-to form the first layer. Spread with 1 cup salsa verde and a little of the remaining cream. Continue with the second layer until all the tortillas have been used up. Top with the remaining sauce and crème fraïche and bake in the top part of the oven until bubbling, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.
1989, 2008 Diana Kennedy