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Pastel azteca is translated to aztec cake. It sort of resembles enchiladas and casserole. It's composed of layers of shredded chicken, tortilla, creamy poblano sauce and cheese. Like most Mexican dishes, they're are countless variations. This recipe was passed down from my aunt and it's how my mother taught me.

The star of this recipe is poblano. We have poblano peppers growing in the garden which makes this recipe even better. Picking from the garden to cook is so rewarding to me. I can't even keep house plants alive.

First things first; measurements do not exist in my family. Recipes are passed down as lists of ingredients followed by "about this much". I do my best to gage amounts to provide some type of measurement. I like to think most of us non professionals cook this way. When cooking with peppers, it's important to note size. My garden poblanos are micro mini compared to store bought peppers. I have to use about 3-4 of these mini ones to equate to one store bought pepper.



18 Corn Tortillas (will depend on casserole size and amount of layers)

2 to 3 cups Monterrey Jack Cheese (shredded)

Oil of choice - olive oil, vegetable, etc.

Shredded Chicken

2 lbs Chicken Breast

1/2 onion

2 garlic gloves

Salt & Pepper to taste

Creamy Salsa

6 Poblano or Pasilla Peppers (roasted/peeled)

4 Anaheim Peppers (roasted/peeled)

1 - 16 oz container of Sour Cream

1 1/2 tsp Chicken Bouillon

Salt & Pepper to taste



For reference; I am using a traditional glass casserole dish - approximately 13 x 9 x 2 Pryex.


In a large stock pot over medium high heat, add chicken breast and cover with water. Add knorr, onion, garlic, salt and pepper. In my opinion, be generous with salt and pepper but not too crazy. Knorr is salty too.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Simmer until chicken is cooked and easily shreds with a fork. Reserve a cup of broth when chicken is done. Add about a tablespoon of broth to shredded chicken. This helps retain moisture.

Creamy Salsa

Wash, dry and roast peppers. I got an air fryer for Christmas and use it for roasting peppers more than anything. You can also roast peppers on a grill, oven or stove top comal style. I roast peppers in batches of 3-4 peppers at 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes and flipping sides half way through. When done, place peppers in a zip lock bag or storage container with a lid.

Seal and let peppers cool before peeling the skins off. Use gloves if necessary. It can get messy and spicy. Slice peppers and remove seeds as well.

Place peppers in a blender with the entire container of sour cream and Knorr. Blend well. You should end up with a thick and creamy sauce. Taste for salt or add a little extra Knorr.

Check out the video below for consistency.

Once salsa is complete preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large skillet heat a couple of tablespoons of oil over medium high heat. Dip tortillas in oil one at a time and flip sides for an even coat. Here's a photo for reference. Aim for a light crisp texture - about 10 to 15 seconds each side.

Begin the first layer with tortillas. My dish fits 6 Romero's tortillas fairly well.

Continue with a layer of shredded chicken, followed by a layer of creamy salsa sauce and cheese. Be generous with the sauce.

For the second layer; tortilla, sauce, chicken, cheese, and sauce again.

Add one more layer of tortillas, followed by the rest of the sauce and cheese. This is the final layer, add as much cheese as you like.

Bake in the oven uncovered at 375 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes and done! Listo. Serve alone or pair with rice. I grew up eating this with a buttered white rice mixed with corn. I have a non butter version I'll post soon. In the meantime, check out my simple chicken falvored white rice here. If you have left over salsa, simply ladle some salsa on a plate and add a piece of casserole on top. Garnish with cilantro to be extra.

Prep might seem a little lengthy and the sauce may look a bit questionable, but I promise it's my favorite. Let me know if you try it. Enjoy!

Xx Dee

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