Chipotle Chicken Tostadas

The food truck scene in San Diego has taken off in the last few years. No, these are NOT the “roach coaches” of yesteryear. Food trucks offer handmade cuisine using local produce and unique flavors that are easily accessible, affordable and most importantly, delicious. And two of the very best food trucks park themselves two office buildings away from where I work two days a week. Green Truck and MIHO consistently rate in the “best of the best”. How stoked am I?

About a year ago, my friend Jessica met me for lunch at MIHO. We both ordered the Chipotle Chicken Tostada and it was awesomely delicious. I mean, we talked about it for weeks. So shortly after that, Jessica announces that she is pregnant (yay!) and a few months later, I’m hosting a baby shower for her. I’m thinking I’d sure love to surprise her and make those MIHO tostadas for the shower. So I walked over to the truck, introduced myself to Chef Sarah, explained what I wanted to do and she said, “sure, email me to remind me…just give me a few days”. And you know what? She actually emailed me back…with the recipe and the comment, “here is the recipe for the chicken tostada (it is kind of a rough on since I didn’t really work off a recipe when I made it)”.

I made them for the shower. Jessica was SO excited and SO appreciative and EVERYone loved them. Now, you’re thinking, “that’s not very cool of Cheryl to share MIHO’s recipe.” Well, a few months after the shower, I saw that they had actually publicized the recipe, for all to see, on their e-newsletter. So I think its cool. Besides, I’ve adapted it some. Just be prepared…you’ll want to start these the day before. The chicken takes 4 hours to cook…but so totally worth it!

MIHO Chipotle Chicken Tostada

INGREDIENTS

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (2 lbs chicken thighs makes enough chicken for about 6-8 tostadas…I’ve actually cooked up to 3 lbs of chicken with the amount of ingredients below)

1 chopped yellow onion

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons paprika

1/4 cup cumin

1 tablespoon cayenne

salt

black pepper

2 28-oz canned crushed tomatoes

1/2 can chipotles in adobo sauce

Tostada shells

Refried black beans

Cotija cheese

Red cabbage

Avocado (if you’re feeling especially creative, try grilling your avo!)

Pickled red onion

Radish

Salsa

Sour cream or salsa crema

Cilantro

Lime wedges

DIRECTIONS

Make dry rub by combining paprika, cumin, cayenne and salt & pepper. Coat chicken thighs with rub.

Heat a few tablespoons vegetable oil in a large frying pan and sear thighs (just a few minutes on each side, to really get the rub adhered to the meat, you’ll probably need to do this in a couple of batches). Okay, to be honest, I’ve skipped the whole searing step and just smothered the chicken with the rub, let it sit in the fridge for a half hour or so, then added the chicken, raw chopped onion, garlic & chipotles to the roasing pan.

Place thighs in large Dutch oven or roasting pan.

Sauté onions and garlic in the same pan you used to sear the thighs. Add sautéed onions and garlic to chicken.

Pour tomatoes and chipotles over the chicken, onions and garlic (the liquid from this should almost cover the chicken).

Cover tightly with lid or foil and place in oven at 250° for about 4 hours. You want the cover to be tight so that the liquid doesn’t evaporate.

While still warm, remove chicken from sauce and shred it.

Don’t throw away the sauce! I always freeze it and then use it again for another batch of chicken! Leftover chicken freezes really well too.

To serve:

Top tostada shell with refried beans, crumbled Cotija cheese, shredded red cabbage, avocado slices, pickled red onion, thinly sliced radish, a dollop of salsa and a dollop of sour cream, a few springs of cilantro and then squeeze some fresh lime juice over.

You’re gonna thank me for this one. (Okay, really, you should thank Sarah and Kevin and Juan…and Jessica for having a baby!)

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