Monday, May 23, 2016

Crazy Good Flavors


So yesterday I did a lot of prep cooking for dinners throughout the week.  I'm really excited about some of them, so stay tuned to see how they turned out.  One of the dishes actually has homemade Parmesan broth!  Exciting, huh!

While I was prep cooking, I also prepped dinner for these crazy good Baja Chicken Tostadas.  I know, the ingredient list is a little long, but it was so worth the effort.  You could take some shortcuts like buying bottled BBQ sauce or frozen french fries (yes, there are fries on a tostada!) or even buying the salsa.  But, if you have the time, these are fantastic! There is a spicy and citrusy BBQ sauce that the chicken is marinated and cooked in.  There is a fire-roasted pineapple salsa, guacamole, and some super spicy crispy fries on top. There were absolutely no leftovers, as my son devoured all of the remaining chicken.  I hope you enjoy these as much as we did!

BAJA CHICKEN TOSTADAS
FOR THE CHICKEN:
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into small pieces
1 C BBQ sauce (click for my recipe...it's pretty fantastic!)
Juice of half an orange
Juice of 1 lime
2 T tequila
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
Drizzle of olive oil

FOR THE SALSA:
One 14.5 ounce jar fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
Half of a 15.25 ounce can chunk pineapple, drained and rough chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
1/4 C chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of half an orange
Salt & pepper, to taste

FOR THE SPICY FRIES:
2 russet potatoes, cut into long thin slices
Chipotle powder, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Salt & pepper, to taste
Olive oil

FOR THE GUACAMOLE:
2 avocados
1 T chopped fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1 lime
Salt & pepper, to taste
2 T chopped red onion

FOR THE TOSTADAS:
6 tostada shells
Cotija cheese
Crema Mexicana (or sour cream)
Fresh cilantro sprigs

NOTES:  You could use boneless skinless chicken breasts in place of the thighs.  Also, read the paragraphs above the ingredients list if you want to use shortcuts.  Also, the seasonings and spices on the fries are a guesstimate on my part.  Our fries were quite spicy and I'm sure I used more than I suggested since I really didn't measure.  So use your best guess on how spicy or not spicy you want them. Another shortcut would be to use crushed pineapple, drained, in place of the chunk pineapple so that you don't have to chop it.

Mix the "chicken" ingredients together with the chicken and marinate the chicken for at least an hour.  Mix the salsa ingredients together and put it in the fridge until you're ready to use it.  Mash the avocados and stir in the remaining ingredients for the guacamole.  Put it in the fridge until you're ready to use it.

For the spicy crispy fries, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spread the fries out on a sheet pan.  Drizzle them with some olive oil and sprinkle on the seasonings and spices.  Toss with your hands to coat.  Bake them for 20 minutes, then flip them over, and turn the pan around and back into the oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until they're crispy.

Halfway into the fries cooking time, drizzle a little olive oil into a skillet.  Preheat the skillet to medium high heat.  Dump the chicken and all of the marinade ingredients into the skillet. Cook the chicken for about 8-10 minutes or until it's done. Keep the chicken warm until you're ready to eat.

Heat the tostada shells as directed or over an open flame on a gas stove.  To assemble the tostadas, spread some guacamole on the tostada shell.  Top the guacamole with the chicken, crema Mexicana, Cotija cheese, and fresh cilantro.

Adapted from Half Baked Harvest