In Mexico, every family has their own Christmas traditions. Here in Mextrade, Oscar’s family, always make a Pastel Azteca. Pastel Azteca or Aztec Cake is this delicious dish made with shredded chicken, chipotle in Adobo chillies, cheese and cream. It is like a Mexican lasagne, but instead of pasta sheets, fried tortillas are used. It is such a comforting dish, that we totally get why Oscar’s mum makes it. Her recipe is usually with green salsa, but we wanted to make our own version, so we used chipotles. We just hope it makes justice to the one she makes.
To cook the chicken
2 chicken breasts
4 cups of water
4 small tomatoes
1 small onion, chopped or sliced
1 peeled garlic clove
1 tsp salt
To make the Pastel Azteca
8 corn tortillas
1/2 cup of frozen sweetcorn
½ medium white onion cut in thin strips
2 cups mix mozzarella and cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup double cream
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
Start by cooking the chicken breasts. Place them in a saucepan together with the tomatoes, onion, garlic clove and salt for 30 minutes to medium heat. Cool down, shred them down and set aside. Then remove the tomatoes, onion and garlic and place them in a blender together with 2 La Costeña chipotle in adobo chillies. Add some of the leftover chicken broth and blend until smooth.
To make the chicken filling for the pastel Azteca. Heat 2 tbsp vegetable oil on a frying pan to medium heat, add the sliced onion and fry for 3 minutes, then add the chipotle in adobo sauce and cook for 5 minutes, after add the shredded chicken and the sweetcorn and cook for further 10 minutes
Preheat the oven to 180 ℃, 350 ℉, gas mark 4. In a small frying pan, heat up the rest of the vegetable oil and fry the tortillas on both sides until golden brown, this will help the tortillas not to go soggy soon.
In an oven proof dish, start by spreading some of the sauce, then a layer of the fried tortillas, then pour a bit of the double cream, then top it with some grated cheese. Repeat these steps until the dish is full. The last layer has to be cheese and a bit of cream. Cover with aluminium foil and place in the middle of the preheat oven for 15 minutes, then remove the aluminium foil and bake for 10 more minutes. Enjoy with some refried beans and rice.