HomeAbout UsWine ReviewsArchivesAdvertiseContact Us

THE GRAPEVINE

Wine Columns

Wine Reviews

WineReviewOnline.com on Twitter

Critics Challenge International Wine Competition

Sommelier Challenge International Wine Competition

Winemaker Challenge International Wine Competition


Jan 20, 2015
Printable Version
Email this Article

WINE WITH…Chicken Tortilla Pie

Here’s a tasty and simple all-American variation on chicken potpie. There’s no doubt that a luscious flaky-crusted traditional potpie can be immensely appealing (and is currently uber-trendy), but making a perfect crust isn’t on everyone’s to-do list. Try this easy-going weeknight supper dish instead, accompanied by nothing more than a simple salad or green vegetable (we are partial to Brussels sprouts tossed with a little olive oil, garlic, grated lemon peel and salt, roasted in a hot oven until tender and slightly caramelized).

Chicken Tortilla Pie

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 and 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (canned is fine)
2 chicken breasts (12-16 ounces total), cut in bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, minced
1 small red or green bell pepper
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper (or red pepper flakes to taste)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
salt and pepper
8 6-inch flour tortillas
1 and 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Optional garnish:
Avocado, sliced or chunked
Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 400°

Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan with some of the olive oil. Spread about one cup of tomatoes over the bottom of the pan and set aside. Heat one tablespoon of the oil in a skillet, preferably nonstick, and add the chicken, onion, bell pepper and minced jalapeno. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and seasonings and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so; then add the remaining tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

Line the bottom of the pie pan (on top of the tomatoes), and up the sides of the pan, with 5 or 6 of the tortillas, overlapping as necessary. Add the chicken mixture and top with half of the cheese. Tear or cut the remaining tortillas in strips, arrange them over the top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and drizzle with the rest of the olive oil. Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until the mixture is hot and bubbly and the tortillas are lightly browned (if the tortillas start to get too dark, cover lightly with a piece of foil).

Cut into wedges to serve, garnished with avocado and/or sour cream if desired.

* * *

We found that whites and reds worked equally well with this dish, so long as the whites weren’t too delicate and the reds too tannic or heavy. It’s casual, weeknight fare, and we suggest choosing a wine to accompany it accordingly. Don’t look for nuanced subtlety or layered complexity. Instead, think straightforward juicy flavor.

Selection

Approx. Price

Comments

Apaltagua, Casablanca Valley (Chile) Unoaked Chardonnay Reserva 2013

(Imported by Global Vineyard Importers)

$13

A delightful Chardonnay, fairly bursting with autumn fruit flavors with no cumbersome oak to get in the way. It tastes fresh but at the same time substantial, and made for a very satisfying partner.

Fuente Milano, Castilla y León (Spain) Verdejo/ Viura

(Imported by Grapes of Spain)

$12

Though quite fresh and lively, this wine offers real depth and substance, so never was overwhelmed by the tortilla pie. It tastes of fresh citrus, with hints of melons and other summer fruits.

The Left Bank, Western Cape (South Africa) 2012

(Imported by Vineyard Brands)

$16

An impressive blend of Cabernet Sauvignon (43%), Shiraz (42%) and Merlot (13%) (with a dollop of Cabernet Franc for enhancement), this medium-weight wine gave the dish an added impression of substance and depth. It shows none of the irritating rubbery aromas that mar so many South African reds.

Novas, Valle del Maipo (Chile) Cabernet Sauvignon Gran Reserva 2009

(Imported by Royal Imports)

$20

The most substantial wine we are recommending, this Cabernet was almost too powerful for the dish. Nonetheless, its dark berry fruit flavors and slightly herbal undertone proved so appealing that we kept reading for it and taking another sip.

Souverain, North Coast (California) Merlot 2011

$15

A juicy, fun Merlot, with soft tannins and a smooth inviting texture, this wine married nicely with the tortilla pie, adding depth but in no way distracting attention from the dish.