Tortilla Chicken Stack (Tlayuda) MEXICO

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Tortilla Chicken Stack (Tlayuda) MEXICOContinuing along the theme of Howie didn’t know Mexican food for half of his life, I used to “run for the border,” and go to this fast food taco place to get their “Mexican pizza.” What can I say? I was a sad, confused man of 20 years. As it turns out, there is indeed a “Mexican pizza,” if you will, from Oaxaca called tlayuda—a griddled crispy tortilla topped with all the good stuff, served in wedges or rolled up like a burrito. Here, we adapt it and stack it like a lasagna because it serves a crowd, it adds a variety of textures, and it’s delicious.

  • Yield: 6 to 8 Servings
  • Total Time: 1 Hour


  • 1 lb chicken breast halves, boneless, skinless
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp ancho or other chile powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed, drained
  • ¼ cup vegetable or chicken broth
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 3 large flour tortillas
  • 1½ cups mozzarella or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup lettuce, shredded
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
How to Make It
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Arrange a rack on the lower third of the oven.
  2. Coat the chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and 1 teaspoon of salt. Massage the chicken to spread both evenly. Transfer the chicken to a roasting pan and into the oven for 25 minutes.
  3. While the chicken cooks, place a skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the onion and sauté for 6-8 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown. Add the garlic powder, chile powder, cumin, remaining salt, and pepper, and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Transfer the onion mixture and the drained beans to a blender or food processor and wipe out the skillet. Add broth to the blender or food processor and purée. Set the bean purée aside.
  4. In a mixing bowl combine the sour cream and milk; set aside. Remove the chicken from the oven, and either dice with a knife, or shred with two forks or in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment.
  5. Using a pastry brush or paper towel, coat the bottom and sides of the skillet with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place 1 tortilla at the bottom of the skillet. Spread half of the bean purée across the top of the tortilla. Scatter half of the chicken atop the bean purée, followed by ½ cup of your cheese.
  6. Place another tortilla atop the cheese. Repeat the layers above, remaining half of the purée, remaining half of the chicken, and ½ cup of the mozzarella. Place the last tortilla on top, then the final ½ cup of the mozzarella. Transfer the skillet to the lower third of the oven and roast for 15–20 minutes, until the cheese is melted, the top is golden brown, and the top edges are slightly crispy.
  7. Remove the skillet from the oven. Allow the tlayuda to rest for 5 minutes. Top with lettuce, tomato, and drizzle the sour cream mixture to finish it off. Serve wedges directly from the skillet.

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