Once upon a time, there was an exhuberant girl who was traveling to the country of Mexico.  On the airplane flight over there she noticed a really handsome blue eyed boy across the aisle from her.  She struck up a conversation with said boy and they talked to each other the entire flight. They realized they had mutual friends in common and the three hour flight flew by as if it were a mere 5 minutes!

When the plane landed in Mexico, the boy and girl went their separate ways (no phone numbers exchanged). The girl was disappointed that the boy didn’t ask for her phone number!  She often thought of the dreamy blue eyed boy while on her trip in Mexico.  She was trying to figure out a way that she could see him again.

5 days later, the girl was sitting in the Mexico City airport waiting for her flight home and the boy appeared next to her. Her heart skipped a beat. They began to talk and realized they had the same flight home!  They talked the entire 3 hours home and then parted and went their separate ways…

But that was not “The End”, it was merely “The Beginning”!

The above story is the abridged version of how I met the hubs (to read the super long drawn out detailed version: go here). Hello cheese ball! Okay Okay, so what does this have to do with the Chicken Tortilla Stack?! Well, my friends this recipe goes all the way back to my very first date with the hubs.

It was mere minutes (we literally hadn’t even left the airport yet! haha) after the aforementioned flight home from Mexico that I contacted our mutual friend.  I informed him that he would be throwing a dinner party that Thursday and he would invite me and Mike (and whoever else… but that wasn’t important!). He obliged and it was at that dinner party that Mike FINALLY asked me out (enter: Halleluja Chorus)! We were actually both traveling to Orlando that weekend to visit family.  So we had our very first date in Orlando.

The hubs took me to a restaurant called Dexter’s (great restaurant by the way!) where we ate and then grabbed a coffee and walked around Lake Eola. Perfection. Anyhow, Mike’s favorite thing to get at Dexter’s is the Tortilla stack! He ate it on that first date, and he orders it every time we go back!

This was my at-home recreation of our first date dinner. I of course added a little extra spice b/c that’s how we roll in our house! It was PHENOMINAL! You have GOT to try this!

You will WOW your guests, I promise!

 

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Chicken Tortilla Stack

Makes 4 stacks (& 4 hearty servings)!
Note: This recipe is not for the dieter! Go big or go home! 😉

Ingredients:

For the Chicken:
2.4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast (4-5 chicken breasts)
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
14.5 ounce can stewed tomatoes
1 cup diced onion (about 1 medium onion)
2 tablespoons adobo sauce*
1 tablespoons garlic powder
1 tablespoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

*I bought a can of chilis in adobo sauce, and just used the adobo sauce in recipe (You could certainly add some of the chilis -finely diced- for some extra heat!)

Other:<br />
Canola Oil, for frying (enough for 1 inch in the bottom of your pan)
12 small flour tortillas (about 5-6" in diameter)
12 slices provolone cheese
sliced jalapenos (about 10 per stack)
sour cream
grated parmesan cheese
cilantro, chopped (garnish)
green onions, chopped (garnish)

Directions:

Place all chicken ingredients into a large Crockpot and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours. While chicken is cooking, add 1 inch of canola oil to a deep pan. Heat to 375°, checking with a thermometer. Add tortillas one at a time and fry to golden brown (flipping half way through). It takeds roughly 20 seconds per side.

Note: Cooking times vary (you may have to adjust temperature between medium and medium high to keep the temperature).

Place golden brown tortilla on a paper towel lined tray to allow excess oil to fall off. Promptly sprinkle with salt. Repeat fry, drain, salt procedure with remaining tortillas. Set fried tortillas aside until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 350°. Remove chicken from crockpot (leaving the sauce in the pot). Cube into bite sized pieces and slightly shred with 2 forks. Add 3 cups of the sauce and mix together. Reserve remaining sauce for serving (keep warm).

To assemble: Place one tortilla on a baking sheet and top with 1/2 cup chicken mixture. Top with 4-5 jalapenos (optional) and a slice of provolone cheese. Next add another tortilla and 1/2 cup chicken mixture, 4-5 jalapenos, and another slice of provolone cheese. Lastly, top with another tortilla and one last slice of provolone cheese. Repeat to make 4 Tortilla stacks.

Bake at 350° for 5-8 minutes (just to melt the cheese). Remove from oven. Spoon a bit of the reserved sauce (2-3 tablespoons) on each plate. Place Tortilla stacks on top of sauce and garnish with a dallop of sour cream, 1-2 tablespoons of sauce, some chopped cilantro & green onion, and a dash grated parmesan cheese.

Be prepared to impress your guests!