When I try a new dish in a restaurant and love it I can't wait to replicate it myself at home. It's one of the reasons why I love eating out so much. Restaurants introduce you to new ingredients, recipes, dishes, cuisines and more. There is also a certain euphoria that comes with making something delicious. Whether you've followed a recipe or not, having the end product in your mouth and it taste pretty damn amazing is... well... it's a pretty damn amazing.
I adore Mexican food. I love ALL the flavours. I love the spice. I don't know anyone who doesn't like Mexican food.
I like chicken. It's versatile. It's readily available. It can become a bit boring.
This chicken dish is not boring.
I've taken the best cooking technique and applied it to chicken. Slow cooking.
It was my first time slow cooking chicken. I was scared. I was apprehensive. I didn't want a poached chicken breast that reminded me of something my grandma would cook in some horrible cloudy broth. I did a good hour's worth of research beforehand.
Clearly, because I am blogging about it there was nothing to fear.
Here is my recipe for slow cooked pulled chicken tostadas.
Feeds 3-4 (dependent on how hungry you are)
Preparation time = 10 minutes
Cooking time = 2 hours (or just under)
1 White onion (roughly chopped)
3 Garlic cloves (crushed)
1/2 tsp Dark brown sugar
1 tbsp Smoked chilli paste*
1 Can of chopped tomatoes
1/2 tbsp Smoked paprika
1/2 tbsp Oregano
1 tbsp Tomato puree
3 Chicken Breasts
1 Avocado (sliced)
Mini tortillas (wheat or corn)
Serve with tortilla chips and dips, or salad if you're being good.
How to cook:
1. Drizzle some olive oil in to the base of a cast iron pot, or a deep pan with a lid, and heat. Add the chopped onion and fry on a medium to high heat until soft and starting to brown, then add your garlic for around 1 minute stirring it in with the onions.
2. Next tip in your sugar, chilli paste, paprika, oregano, tomato puree, and tomatoes. Fill half of the tomato can with water swilling it around to capture the tomato elements still left in the can and pour in to the pan. Stir.
3. Turn the heat down real low. Slowly place your chicken breasts (whole) in to the pan and let the mixture cover them. Place the lid on the pan and leave it alone for 90 minutes.
4. After 90 minutes have passed check on your chicken, by now it should be starting to break apart easily, just a stab of your fork should leave it crumbling beneath the prongs. If it isn't leave it just a little bit longer, if it's rock hard you didn't turn your heat down like I told you to did you?
5. Remove the chicken from the pot and using two forks start to gently pull them apart. Once it's all shredded (or pulled) place it back in the pot and turn it up to a medium heat. Keep stirring. Gently, you don't want a chicken soup.
6. Whilst your stew is thickening (about 10-15 minutes should do it) chop your avocado into strips and grate some cheese. Place on the table ready for serving.
7. Heat a frying pan and drizzle a small amount of olive oil in to the pan. Lightly toast each side of your mini tortilla breads, set them to one side keeping them warm with tinfoil until you're ready to serve.
8. Once your sauce has come together and no longer watery (if it's still a bit watery
add some more tomato puree) serve the chicken straight from the pan at the table (making full use of the oven to tableware) this will keep it warm and allow you to make one tostada at a time, keeping them fresh and letting you experiment with the different variations. My favourite variation was tostada - cheese - sour cream - avocado.
*the chilli paste I used was the one below from M&S (although I suspect you may find it else where too), you can also swap it for chipotle paste which I have now found you can buy in Sainsbury's and Morrison's or on Amazon .