Chicken Verde Tostadas Fresco
OLE! Sounds like a really fancy name for last night's dinner doesn't it? Why have a hum drum sounding dinner of Chicken Tostadas when you can spice it up a bit and and say, "Tonight, we are having Chicken Verde Tostadas Fresco!" That will bring them running to the table.
A frequent visitor to many families' weekly menu is tacos. They are easy to prepare, can be adapted to the varying tastes of the family members, and are a cost effective meal. Why not change up the typical taco routine and serve Chicken Verde Tostadas Fresco instead? With only one minor change in the taco recipe, you can pretend like your family is spending a night in Mexico.
Ditch the store bought taco shells and pick up some fresh tortillas instead. The tortilla becomes the "plate" for building the tostada on and your eaters will have a grand time creating their masterpieces. The chicken used in this recipe is from an earlier post for Chicken Verde borrowed from Canarygirl's blog. If you don't want to use that recipe, roast up some chicken breasts in the oven, shred, and then simmer in the sauce as directed in the recipe below. Another option is to brown up a couple pounds of ground beef or ground turkey, season with 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder, a few shakes of hot sauce, and salt to taste.
Start the night off with a bowl of tortilla chips (zap them in the microwave for 35 seconds and they taste like homemade - kind of) and salsa fresco with your favorite margarita. Your family will be heaping praise on you for days. Or at least until they are done eating and you then make your kids load the dishwasher.
a big batch of chicken verde - enough for dinner and to freeze for future dinners
For the chicken:
1 whole chicken, about 7 - 8 pounds, rinsed with cold water and giblets removed
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic cloves, chopped
salt and pepper
water to cover
For the sauce:
3 cups of salsa verde or tomatillo sauce - this is the green kind
about 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoon cumin
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
a sprinkling of oregano
hot sauce to taste
salt and pepper to taste
For the tostadas:
soft 6-inch flour tortillas
cheese cheddar or monteray jack, or pepper jack are good choices
avocado, chopped and mixed with a little lime juice
Place the chicken in a large stock pot and cover with water and add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer an hour to an hour and a half, until the chicken falls from the bone.
Remove chicken from broth to a plate and allow to cool enough to handle. Strain broth and reserve. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred and discard all skin and bones.
Put shredded chicken in a medium sized stock pot and add enough of the strained broth to just cover. Refrigerate or freeze any remaining broth for another use. Add the salsa verde or tomatilla sauce, cumin, onion, garlic, oregano, and hot sauce and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer at least 45 minutes to an hour. Adjust seasonings.
Now you are ready to make the tostadas.
Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium high heat. Brush both sides of the tortillas with a little oil. Toast or grill the tortillas one at a time in the heated pan. This should take about a minute or two per side. Watch closely so they do not burn. Magically, you now have tostada shells.
To build your tostada, put a shell on a large plate. Top with any of the above ingredients to suit your taste. For example, spread about 2 tablespoons of the refried beans over each tortilla; next top with the chicken verde. Top with shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, salsa fresco and black beans. Sprinkle with a little cilantro.
about 3 pounds of fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 English cucumber, diced, about 1 cup
1/2 small red onion, diced, about 1/2 cup
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 lime
about 2 tablespoons olive oil
Combine tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste with salt and hot sauce. Serve with warm tortilla chips and on top of the tostadas.