Saturday, January 29, 2011

Chicken Tostadas

Jessie pointed out this recipe on her blog and said we needed to give it a try.  I'd been wanting a new "mexican food" recipe, so we put it to the test last night and it passed with flying colors!  The flavor of the chicken "sauce" was fantastic and gave it an extra edge to make it more than just your normal chicken tostada.  I only used one serrano chile so it wouldn't be too much for the kids to handle, but if I was serving it to guests I would have used two and it would have been just the right amount of spice.

1 medium white onion
1 pound tomatoes, quartered
2 large garlic cloves
1 or 2 fresh serrano chiles, stemmed
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
3 cups shredded lettuce
3 large radishes, halved and sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, divided
1 rotisserie chicken, meat coarsely shredded (4 cups)
6 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 (1-pound) can refried beans, heated
1 avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream (or plain yogurt)
1/4 cup crumbled queso añjo (aged white cheese, also called cotija) or ricotta salata

Accompaniments: sliced serranos; lime wedges

Preheat broiler.  Cut half of onion into 3/4-inch wedges, then chop remainder. Toss onion wedges, tomatoes, garlic, and whole chiles with 2 tablespoons oil in a 4-sided sheet pan, spreading in 1 layer.  Broil about 4 inches from heat until softened and charred, 10 to 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile, toss together lettuce, radishes, chopped onion, and half of cilantro.

Purée tomato mixture in a blender along with one or both roasted serranos (to taste) and 1 teaspoon salt until smooth(use caution when blending hot foods). Transfer purée to a bowl and stir in chicken, remaining cilantro, and salt to taste.

Heat remaining 1/2 cup oil in a heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Fry tortillas, 1 at a time, turning once or twice and pressing with tongs to immerse, until golden brown, 45 to 60 seconds per tortilla. Drain briefly on paper towels, then transfer to plates. (or just buy a small pack of prepared tostada chips!)

Spread tortillas thickly with heated refried beans, then top with chicken mixture. Slice avocado over tostadas and dollop with crema.  Mound lettuce mixture on top and sprinkle with cheese.

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