Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit is the home of Punta Mita, a posh 1,500-acre resort with residential developments, two luxury hotels and a handful of restaurants. Many A-listers call this a second home, and if you happen to see a Kardashian or two next door, no one will blink an eye.
Now chef David Vidales, from the Pacifico Beach Club on the northern side of Punta Mita, is sharing the secrets to one of his most popular breakfast dishes, chilaquiles. He bulks this regional classic up a bit with chicken. Just be careful, he says, to avoid overcooking it.
“I recommend opening the breast in half, so it will cook faster and avoid drying,” he says, adding that the “secret of flavor will always be in the small details,” like using fresh, high-quality ingredients for the toppings and being extra careful when charring the pasilla pepper. Cook it “for only two minutes per side, that will prevent the sauce from becoming bitter.”
Here’s how it’s done:
Chicken Chilaquiles with Pasilla Sauce
- 2 medium tomatoes
- ½ medium yellow onion
- 1 large garlic clove
- 1 whole medium dried pasilla chile pepper
- 8 ounces tortilla chips
- 3 ounces sour cream
- 1-ounce Cotija cheese
- 6-ounce piece cooked chicken breast, sliced
- ½ avocado, cubed
- 1-ounce red onion, chopped
- Jalapeno pepper, sliced
- Fresh cilantro leaves
Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the tomato, onion, garlic and chile and cook until charred, turning vegetables often to brown evenly.
Transfer ingredients to a blender or food processor. Puree until well incorporated and smooth, adding a small amount of water, if needed, to reach a sauce consistency. Pour the sauce back into the pan and keep warm over low heat.
Place tortilla chips in a mixing bowl and pour the hot sauce evenly over the chips, tossing to coat. Distribute the saucy tortilla chips between two large bowls. Add dollops of sour cream and a sprinkling of cotija cheese to each bowl. Top with sliced chicken, avocado cubes, chopped red onion, sliced jalapeno and cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.
— Courtesy chef David Vidales, Pacifico Beach Club, Punta Mita
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