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I am not a a fan of brunch. Sure, I like eggs, pancakes and booze in the morning as much as the next guy, but here in New York City, I just can't get behind the long waits, slow service and sticker shock once the bill arrives. Not to mention trying to calculate how much money I owe when I'm tipsy.
But brunch at home is another matter: I love hosting this mid-morning meal. The night before, I assemble a not-too-difficult casserole; the next day, all I have to do is pop it in the oven, stir together a pitcher of Bloody Marys and maybe cut up some fruit. Then I get to spend the rest of the day eating, drinking and lazing about with my friends.
This casserole came about expressly for that purpose. I can't get enough of spicy Mexican potato-based dishes like papas con rajas, essentially fiery home fries with chiles, and chorizo con papas, spuds mixed with highly-seasoned pork sausage. Each of these recipes is great for brunch, but neither of them can be made the night before, so I created a layered casserole of thinly-sliced potatoes, softened kale and just a little bit of shredded chicken. The layers are moistened with a chipotle-heavy tomato sauce and bound with oozy queso Oaxaca, making a filling main dish with lots of flavors and textures going on. It's an ideal base for soaking up brunchtime beverages, but of course would make a lovely lunch or dinner, as well.