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Pastel Azteca With Chicken

This flavorful and nutritious meal is sure to tantalize the taste buds

En español

Yields: 6-8 servings


  • 18 corn tortillas (6” diameter)
  • Cooking spray

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  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 medium Spanish onion, cut into quarters
  • 2 scallions
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 cilantro sprig
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 8 black peppercorns


  • 2 pounds tomatoes, peeled and seeded
  • 1 Spanish onion
  • 4 scallions
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1½ teaspoons chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) of leftover stock from the cooked chicken
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • 2 roasted Poblano peppers, seeds removed, cut into strips
  • 1½ cups (12 ounces) Mexican cream
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) Oaxaca cheese, cut into strips
  • 1 avocado, cut into small dice
  • ½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
Pastel azteca with chicken recipe of Denisse Oller

Photo by Marisa Zanganeh

Fresh ingredients help make pastel azteca with chicken a flavorful dish.


Preheat oven to 350ºF.

1. Place tortillas in three metal trays, spacing them, and bake for 20-25 minutes until toasted. Remove from oven and set aside

2. In a large pot, add chicken, water, onion, scallions, cilantro, garlic, and salt and pepper. Cook partly covered for 30 minutes on medium heat. Remove chicken; let cool and shred. Set aside chicken and the broth in which it was cooked.

3. In a food processor, blend tomato, onion, scallion, garlic, chipotle and one cup of leftover broth.

4. In a large saucepan, heat one tablespoon canola oil at medium-low heat. Add tomato sauce and cook for 8-10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside ½ cup of sauce.

5. Mix the remaining sauce with the chicken.

6. Spray a 13½” x 9½”x 2” glass baking dish with cooking spray. Place 6 tortillas in the dish, next to each other, slightly overlapping.

7. Spread one layer of chicken over the tortillas, followed by a layer of Mexican cream, one layer of Oaxaca cheese strips, and one layer of Poblano chile strips

8. Add a second layer of tortillas and repeat the previous step. Then add the six remaining tortillas, ½ cup of tomato sauce, and cheese. Press slightly with a spatula or any other flat utensil.

9. Bake at 350ºF for 20 minutes.

10. Remove from oven and, right before serving, garnish with the diced avocado and cilantro.

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