My husband loves Mexican food but for some reason, he's not crazy about tostadas. I, on the other hand, enjoy them frequently. Normally I have them with ceviche but in an attempt to convert the husband, I decided to go another route. These braised chile chicken tostadas are loaded with flavorful tender chicken, lime-marinated kale, pickled onions, avocado, and cotija. It's like a taco but on a tostada shell and you really can't go wrong with that, right?
Chile Chicken Tostadas
- 3 lb chicken thighs skinless, boneless
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 4 garlic cloves thinly sliced
- 12 ounces amber beer or IPA
- 14 ounces canned fire roasted tomatoes
- 4 ounces canned diced green peppers
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 canned chipotle plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauces
- 1 teaspoon oregano dried
- 6 tostada shells
- 2 cups shredded kale
- juice of ½ lime
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt and pepper
- pickled onions
- 2 avocados sliced
- ¼ cup cotija
- Prepare the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Coat both sides with flour, shaking off the excess.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a Dutch oven or braising pot over medium heat. Sear the chicken until browned on both sides. Remove the chicken and set aside.
- In the same pot, add the sliced onion and garlic and saute until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add back the chicken along with the beer, canned tomatoes, canned diced green peppers, brown sugar, chili powder, paprika, cumin, chipotle and adobo sauces, and oregano. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is done.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and increase the heat to medium-high. Continue to simmer the braising liquid for 10-15 minutes or until reduced by half.
- Shred the chicken and throw it back into the reduced braising liquid. Season once more with salt and pepper and keep warm.
- Meanwhile, prepare the toppings. Toss the shredded kale with juice of ½ a lime, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Pile the shredded chicken on the tostadas and top with shredded kale, pickled onions, sliced avocado, and cotija. Serve immediately.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
What's great about braising chicken is that, unlike red meat, it's ready in a pinch. That means that you can make these chile chicken tostadas for dinner without slaving away. You can even make the chicken the night before and just throw everything together the night of.
To make the chicken, first season it with salt and pepper. I used chicken thigh because chicken breast can easily become dry even when braised. You can use bone-in chicken, just make sure to adjust the cooking time as necessary.
Dredge the chicken in flour and brown it in a braising pot. We're going to finish cooking the chicken later so right now it's just to get some color.
Remove the browned chicken and in the same pot, saute the onion and garlic until softened. Then, add back the chicken along with the remaining ingredients. If you're not a fan of beer, substitute with chicken stock.
Cover the pot and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue to simmer the chicken until tender, about 20 minutes. You want the heat to barely be bubbling to slowly cook the chicken.
When the chicken is done, remove it from the sauce and shred the meat. Increase the heat for the braising liquid and keep simmering the juices until it's reduced by half. We want to concentrate those delicious flavors in the braising liquid to add back to the chicken.
While the chicken is cooking, prepare the toppings. For a quick pickled onion recipe, check out this roasted potato salad.
Shred the kale and toss it with salt, pepper, olive oil, and lime juice. Slice the avocadoes, crumble the cotija and you're ready to assemble the chile chicken tostadas.
Spoon some of that delicious reduced braising liquid on top of the shredded chicken, tossing to coat. Then, pile that chicken on top of tostada shells followed by the kale, avocado, pickled onions, and a sprinkle of cotija.
I was a little worried if my husband was going to enjoy these chile chicken tostadas but thankfully he did! I mean, who am I kidding? There's no reason not to like these!
For more Mexican food inspiration check out this beef birria tacos with au jus!