If I could do one thing right now it would be to crawl inside these cheesy layers and take a nap.
Really it’s just because last night (at midnight) we decided to wash our new sheets and make our new bed that finally came in because OMG it’s king-sized and truly a miracle that we have not killed each other in our sleep in the last six years. So much so that we literally could not go ONE MORE NIGHT without sleeping in this new space that is large enough to stretch every limb and maybe, just maybe, because if we spent one more night – or heck, one more minute – sleeping in the now-guest bed, we just wouldn’t survive. Convinced that marriage happiness is directly proportional to how large your bed is. Euphoria = king sized.
So yeah, nap needed, but also – the softest layers of juicy chicken, melty cheese and soft tortillas. I’m just gonna close my eyes for sec.
It’s been FOR-EV-ER (sandlot style) since I shared a chicken recipe. Like really. Forever and ever. Or, precisely one and a half months. And another whole month before that. Let’s not sugar coat things: chicken has been the last thing I’ve wanted to eat. I’ve picked pork or beef over chicken lately – not to mention having some ahmayzing dishes made of those two glorious meats – and have done everything humanly possible to ignore my husband’s favorite main dish. Have completely lost count of how many rotisserie chickens we’ve bought over the last six months as it’s been my easy way out. I’m like… oh let me just toss some of this chicken (after I certainly refuse to shred it off the bone!) with pasta and sauce and here’s your dinner! That’s been my motto.
But. I think I’ve turned a corner, or at least this chicken here made me turn the corner. Hallelujah for corners.
I’m nuts over this recipe, if only for the chicken. Which is crazy, since tacos are my life. But the chicken is marinated and then roasted with a ton of flavors and beer and peppers, then shredded. And it stays moist (nope, I cannot use another word) and tender when shredded. It can be used in ANYTHING.
I chose to put it in these tacos stacks. And no, I can’t really call them enchilada stacks or an enchilada bake (um hello, remember this old school version? Please don’t even look back that far again.) because I feel that using those words warrants some actual enchilada sauce. Which is not here. You can add it if you like, but I totally love dipping these perfect white corn tortillas in a hearty salsa verde. It gives them a bit of flavor and then you just pour the rest of the green stuff over top.
And the chicken has lots of cheese in it too.
And the topping is just a rip-off of my favorite easy taco topping – like you know those super juicy pork or short rib tacos you get from the best food truck in your area and they just have a sprinkle of diced sweet onion and cilantro and crumbled quesa fresco? Yeah that. Simply perfect!
I love that topping.
It almost doesn’t mesh with the chipotle chicken – I mean, it definitely does but at first you may not think so. It does though, it does I say. Complete flavor explosion.
Aren’t these also fun to eat? I think so. You could use 8-inch tortillas and make one large one, cutting it into triangles to serve. Or you can slice these tinier ones in half. Or you can eat them whole like the gluttonous fools that we are! So worth it.
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 chipotle peppers, chopped
3 tablespoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lime, juiced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
8 ounces beer, ginger ale or chicken stock
8 (4-inch) corn tortillas
1 cup salsa verde
6 ounces monterey jack cheese, freshly grated
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, sliced
1/3 cup freshly torn cilantro
1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese
In a baking dish or ziplock bag, combine the chicken, salt, pepper, paprika, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, olive oil, lime juice and garlic. Marinate for 2 to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
When ready to cook, heat and oven-safe skillet (I like my cast iron) over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet and sear on both sides until golden brown, about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Pour in the beer (or other liquid and add the sliced bell peppers on top. Cover the skillet and place in the oven, roasted the chicken and peppers for 1 hour. After an hour, remove the skillet cover, letting the chicken cool slightly. Shred the chicken with the peppers (I like to do this in my kitchen mixer) and place it in a bowl.
Add 1/2 cup of the salsa verde on a plate. Spray a baking dish with nonstick spray and dip a tortilla into the salsa verde, just so it covers both sides, letting excess run off. Place the tortilla on one side of the baking dish and repeat with another tortilla - placing it next to the first. This begins your two stacks! Cover the first two tortillas with the chicken mixture, add a bit of monterey jack on top. Repeat with another tortilla, dipped in salsa, on both stacks. Add more chicken and cheese - repeating two more times. You want four tortillas stacked, with 3 layers of chicken and cheese. Bake for 25 minutes.
Remove the baking dish and pour the remaining salsa over the stacks. Cover with the onions, cilantro, jalapeños and cotija cheese. Serve immediately!
say yes to cheesy stacks.