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Cooking 101: El Rey’s Chef Dionicio Jimenez’s Recipe for Chilaquiles and Chicken Enchiladas

PW’s new biweekly column, “Forking Stupid,” sees 25-year-old Nicole Finkbiner persuading professional chefs from Philadelphia’s great restaurants to please teach her, for the love of god, how to cook—one dish at a time. This week, Nicole visits El Rey, where Chef Dionicio Jimenez shares his recipes for three mouth-watering dishes.

(Serves: 2-6)


1 teaspoon of blended or vegetable oil
1 tablespoon of chopped onion
1 pinch of cilantro
4 corn tortillas
2 eggs
1 cup of salsa verde
1 pound of Chihuahua cheese (shredded)
6 oz of queso fresco or ricotta cheese (shredded)
salt to taste


1. Slice tortillas into eight wedges, then fry for five minutes at 350 degrees or boil on high heat for two minutes until golden and crispy. Drain. Add salt to taste.
2. Coat medium-large frying pan with oil. Add onion and cilantro and cook for 1 minute on high heat.
3. Add salsa verde and cook for 1 minute before adding the tortilla chips. Stir and fry for another 2 minutes (Note: Make sure the chips are covered in salsa.)
4. Remove from heat, sprinkle an extra pinch of onion and cilantro on top, then cover with queso fresco and Chihuahua cheese. Add a drizzling of crema.
5. Fry two eggs any style for two minutes and place on top.

    Chicken Enchilada
    (Serves 5-6)


    1 lb of chicken (1 full chicken breast)
    1 onion
    1 carrot
    2 garlic cloves
    1 bunch of cilantro
    1 pack of corn tortillas (10)
    2 tablespoons of salsa verde
    1 red or white onion
    8 oz of Mexican crema
    1 pound of Chihuahua cheese or mozzarella cheese (shredded)
    6 oz of queso fresco or ricotta cheese (shredded)
    1 teaspoon of blended or vegetable oil
    salt to taste

    1. Chop the onion and carrot.
    2. Bring 2 quarts of water to boil.
    3. Cook onion, carrot, garlic and cilantro for five minutes, then add chicken and cook for another 15-20 minutes.
    4. Oil frying pan, and heat tortillas for just about 20 seconds to harden.
    5. Slice chicken. Add to tortillas and roll them.
    6. Add 2 tablespoons of salsa verde on top of tortillas, then cover with shredded Chihuahua cheese and queso fresco.
    7. Microwave tortillas for 30 seconds to melt the cheese.
    8. Drizzle Mexican crema on top and garnish with a few slices of rolled caramelized red onion.

      Salsa Verde
      (1 quart)


      1 onion
      3 cloves of garlic
      2 jalapeño peppers
      1 bunch of cilantro
      2 lbs of tomatillos
      salt to taste


      1. Boil garlic, onions, peppers and tomatillos for 5 minutes. Drain.
      2. Blend garlic, onions, peppers and tomatillos, add cilantro and blend again.  Add 1 cup of water depending on desired consistency.
      (Note: Allow the tomatillos to cool in the freezer for 10 minutes before blending—or blend hot, adding a handful of ice cubes.)

      Nicole Finkbiner | Jan 9 2013 12:53pm | FOOD & DRINK, cooking/baking, Forking Stupid | Comments 2

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      Lidi  says:

      Hi Nicole,
      I just read your article in the print edition of the PW (Flying Solo). I loved how you tried to recreate the chicken enchiladas from El Rey. But I have to share a great tortilla secret. In the Italian Market, there is Tortilleria San Roman, where they make fresh, hot tortillas all day. I’m a Mexican girl from California and I have to say these are some of the best tortillas around, miles ahead of store bought. Definitely pick up a kilo next time you make the enchiladas.
      And I have a request. Could you bug the chef at El Rey to share his recipe for red enchilada sauce? It’s seriously the best I’ve had in any place (Mexico included) and I would kill for that recipe.

      Feb 6 11:00 AM


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