chicken tostadas

Chicken Tostadas

Mexican cooking is a blend of the Old and New Worlds. Tostadas blend both of these worlds with the combination of European chicken and cheese with Mexican corn, tomatoes, avocados and beans.

When combined with corn, beans provided the necessary protein to the diet of the Americas. The conquistadors embraced beans, immediately equating them with Old World lentils and garbanzos.

24 corn tortillas
refried black beans
2 breasts chicken, shredded
2 cups Romaine lettuce, shredded
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 avocados, thinly sliced, sprinkled with lime and salt
1 1/2 cups queso fresco, crumbled
pickled jalapeños

To bake the tostadas:
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Brush avocado oil on both sides of the corn tortillas, spread them out in a single layer on two baking sheets and sprinkle with salt. Bake until golden brown and crispy, about 12 to 15 minutes. (If you want to skip this step you can buy store-bought tostadas. Don’t worry, I won’t judge you.)

To make the beans:
1 pound black beans
2 ½ quarts water
½ yellow onion
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons avocado oil
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
handful fresh parsley or cilantro

Rinse beans well to remove any stones or debris. Pour into a heavy pot, add water and all other ingredients and bring to a roaring boil. Reduce heat and simmer. Partially cover pot and cook until beans are tender (1 ½ to 2 hours). Stir the beans every 15 minutes or so to make sure that none are sticking to the bottom of the pot and that the water still covers the beans, allowing them to more or less float freely. Add additional water if necessary.

To refry place beans and broth in a blender and puree. Heat the oil in a sauté pan, add the beans and cook until thickened to the consistency of soft mashed potatoes, stirring constantly. Taste and add additional salt if necessary. (Makes about 8 cups whole frothy beans or 5 cups refried beans, serving 6 to 8)

To poach the chicken:
3 breasts chicken
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 celery stick, roughly chopped

Bring the chicken with enough water to cover to a boil in a large pot, skimming froth, then reduce heat to a simmer. Add onion, carrot and celery. Partially cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the meat is tender. Remove the meat from the broth, let cool, shred and set aside.

To assemble the tostadas:
Spread the tostadas evenly with about two teaspoons of refried beans. Top with shredded chicken, lettuce, tomato, avocado slices and the crumbled cheese and serve with pickled jalapeño peppers and lime.

Serves 6

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