Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Pulled Chicken Tinga Tostadas and #TheHotBreadKitchenCookbook


Chicken Tinga Tostadas are not the recipe I'd expect to find in a book about bread. And even though I did find it in a book about bread, it is not one I expected to like so much. But I did, and that is why I'm posting two Mexican recipes in a row. You don't mind, do you? Well, Manservant didn't either!

I received the book, "Hot Bread Kitchen " from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. The cover of the book may have caught your eye if you like looking at spectacular photos of bread. Winter is the perfect time to bake-especially bread-as my kitchen has no air conditioning- and baking bread requires a warm spot. Not only that, but this book by Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez of Hot Bread Kitchen fame in East Harlem, leaves a warm spot in my heart. Jessamyn is the bright mind behind the social enterprise that provides a life-changing education for low income minority women. Bakery trainees are taught skills that allow them to get management track positions in the food industry or even start their own businesses. How cool is that? Each loaf of bread sold helps pay for this mission.

The bread that is baked every day is inspired by the women that are trained there, and the book reflects this. Chapters such as unleavened flatbreads and then leavened flatbreads, leads to tortillas and challah, and filled breads and sweet breads, and quick breads and what to do with leftover bread. Yes, that's a lot of bread. And the fun part is that there are breads in this book that I've never heard of. Breads such as M'smen  and Nan-E-Barbari and Momos all make an appearance. Though I don't consider this a book for novice bakers, it certainly is one to peruse for numerous ideas in bread baking. Additionally, it includes recipes besides bread, that this group of international women cook for their families.


 Hence the chicken tingas, that is perfect with Hot Bread Kitchen tortillas and the chopped liver that works well with the recipe for matzoh. Yes, there are definitely recipes in here that may show up on my Passover table. I had the opportunity to try several of their creations and though I didn't feel all were perfect, I did pick up a few new tricks.

 Jessamyn's challah is a bit salty for my taste but her recipe made a gorgeous loaf. Jessamyn employs a technique using pate fermentee  which is a pre-ferment dough, like levain, but it doesn't impart a sour flavor to the final recipe. It also allows one to use less yeast in the dough and helps extend the shelf life of the final product. I have made many challahs, but none that used this technique. It does require an added step, which means planning 8-24 hours ahead, so that the pate fermentee can later be mixed into the challah bread dough.  Did it extend the life of the challah?  I do believe it did, but this loaf also had a lot of salt and that may have helped, too. Jessamyn also brushes her challah with an egg wash during the second rising and then again before it goes into the oven. What emerges is truly a spectacular bread. Her braiding instructions were too tough for me to follow, so I relied on my tried and true method. I'll do a post about challah soon, I promise.


Banana bread was also on my radar screen, as the low and slow method of baking intrigued me. Can't say I was overly impressed by the flavor, but maybe my bananas were lacking. The amount of nuts and chips added in were also on the low side, if you want to taste them in each bite. Currently I'm working on her bialy recipe, as she uses Mimi Sheraton's recipe, which I have also interpreted. They seem to be pretty good, but I haven't tried toasting them yet! All in all, this book is a joy to read and though the recipes may need to be tweaked for a home baker, I am not adverse to trying more. The photos are drool worthy and I love reading the notes and stories behind each recipe. This is a book meant to be read and lingered over and I am glad it is now part of my collection.

So the chicken tingas? A hit in our house. Really a home run. No I didn't make the tortillas. I did fry them myself, though. Does that count? Making the chicken is easy as pie-or should I say bread? The tingas are classic Mexican street food where the chicken is braised in a chipotle, tomato sauce. Manservant was glad there were leftovers. We used the leftovers on a quesadilla but they would have also been great in a bowl with rice, beans, and avocado. Dry it out a bit and they are the perfect taco! One of the issues I have with this book is in the measurements. This recipe calls for 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts. I have no idea what size chicken is called for, but I used about 1 1/2 lbs of chicken breasts. I also switched out fresh tomatoes for a can of diced, because it is hard to find good tomatoes this time of year. This is a superb recipe and I know you will enjoy it!


Pulled Chicken Tinga Tostadas
Slightly Adapted From: Hot Bread Kitchen
Serves 4-5
Time to Make: About 60 minutes total
Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves
1 large yellow onion, halved
4 garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
Kosher salt
1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 chipotle peppers in adaobo sauce, chopped
3 T olive oil
4 sprigs fresh thyme
Directions:
Place the chicken breasts in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add one of the onion halves, 2 garlic cloves and 1 t kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, skimming and discarding the foam that rises to the top. Reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Remove chicken from broth and set aside to cool.Do not throw the broth way! Once chicken is cool, shred the meat with your hands and discard the skin and bones.

While chicken is simmering, place tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, chipotles and 1/2 t salt in a blender and blend until smooth. Slice the remaining onion half into thin half moons. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat and add the onion, thyme and a large pinch of salt. Cook, until the onion just begins to soften, stirring occasionally.

Add the shredded chicken and the tomato mixture to the skillet along with 1 c of the reserved broth. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is very tender and the flavors have developed, about 20 minutes. Keep warm until ready to assemble tostadas.

Refried Beans
(Adapted from my friend Karen)
Ingredients:
2 strips of bacon
1-2 garlic cloves
1/2 c minced onion
1 15 oz can of pintos
1/4 t oregano
1 pinch cumin
Chicken broth
Directions:
Fry bacon. When bacon is crisp, remove from pan, but leave the bacon drippings. You can garnish the beans with the crisp bacon or you can eat it as is! Add garlic and onion and cook until soft. Add beans and cook until warmed. Using a potato masher or a fork, mash the beans. I prefer them to have some texture, but that is up to you. You may want to thin the mixture with some chicken broth, depending on how thick you like your refrieds! Season with oregano and cumin and add salt as desired.

Tostadas
Ingredients:
12 6" corn tortillas, home made or store bought
Canola oil
Directions:
In a skillet that can hold the tortillas, heat about 1" of oil over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the tortillas in one layer. (I usually do one at a time, but you can do s many as your skillet will hold.) Press each tortilla sown with tongs or a spatula to keep them flat. Cook until browned and crisp, about 1 minute per side. I do not like them totally crisp because then the don't break as easy when you add your toppings. As they are cooked, transfer to a paper towel lined plate and blot each side. Set aside until ready to use.

Tostada Toppings:
Refried Beans
Iceberg Lettuce Shredded
1 Tomato diced
1/2 c Mexican Crema or sour cream
1 /2 c crumbled cotija cheese or feta
Chopped Cilantro

To assemble:
Spread tostada with about 2 T of refried beans. Top with a large drained spoonful of chicken tinga, a bit of lettuce, some diced tomato, some crema and a bit of cheese. Garnish with cilantro.

Past March Recipes:
Pasta with Roasted Cauliflower, Pine Nuts and Raisins
Guinness Irish Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Bacon
Pickpeppa Shrimp
Hamantaschen

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47 comments:

  1. They look droolworthy, Abbe. I love that you use the refried beans on those tostadas.

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    1. Refrieds make a great base for tostadas! And help keep them from getting soggy! These were fab, Angie!

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  2. Oh these look amazing..what a lot of heart you pit into them..my son-in-law is great at meals such as these..he would love these..me too though..too bad about the banana bread..I made beautiful hamburger buns for our BBQ burgers last night..and meeehhhhh....
    sometimes things are lovely to look at and taste ..well not great and the reverse is rue..so in this case..a home run;)

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    1. This was a home run and I think I will be making it quite often! Chicken like this can be used in so many things!

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  3. I adore chicken tinga, and with those fabulous beans, well, it sounds like perfection!

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    1. If it wasn't for you Karen, I never would have liked refried beans. Thanks goodness you turned me around!

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  4. It's hard to have too many Mexican dishes. Plus, who doesn't want to say Pulled Chicken Tinga Tostada? With the emphasis on the tinga? Probably just me, but such a fun thing to say! Fun dish. Good post. Home run. :-)

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    1. You are right, John! Tinga is a fun word. Kind of makes you want to sing!

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  5. I love chicken Tinga. Yours looks gorgeous and tasty with refried beans. I should make chicken tinga more often.

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  6. Beautiful! Chicken tinga is divine and this recipe (not to mention the photos) has me jonesing for this. Impressive.

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    1. Now you make me wish I'd doubled the recipe!

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  7. Between the bread descriptions and the tostada photos, I'm ready for another meal! Looking forward to your challah tutorial :)

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    1. You have no idea how many challahs I've made over the years and I'm always trying to improve it! But these tingas need no improvement!

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  8. Your tingas sound terrific!

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  9. I am very interested to read more about the pate fermentee as I have never heard of it before for challah. And the braiding instructions :)

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    1. Basically it is dough that is made 24 hours ahead and then added to the batch of bread you are making. Will pot about it soon!

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  10. I made chicken tinga a little while ago and was only thinking about it earlier! These tostadas sound delicious, something different to try!

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    1. Too funny! So many good textures in this. Not too mention the favors!

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  11. I am soooo on board with these! I might top grilled eggplant with the chicken mixture! :D

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  12. I've never made chicken tinga but I think that's about to change! These look wonderful!

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    1. It's a great dish Chris and oh, so easy!

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  13. This looks like one amazing meal that everyone in my family would love!

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  14. I have never heard of chicken tinga before though I love all types of street foods. And both your recipes look mighty tasty!

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  15. You must know that tostadas are one of those foods that I get a craving for about once a month. I can't say that many other foods. I love the mix of textures and flavors you can have on a tostada and these are no exception. Love these! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Until I made my own, I was never a big fan of tostadas. Now I'm a HUGE fan!

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  16. Your descriptions and photos are making me hungry. I have never heard of Chicken tinga before but I am on board now and ready to try a couple of these right now.

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  17. These delicious looking tostadas are making me drool, Abbe. So love the mix of textures and flavors here. I bet they tasted divine.

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  18. The tostadas look amazing... and would not last long if I was there. :) The hot bread book sounds phenomenal as well. I just wish I was so lazy to make breads -- although are among my fave things to eat.

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    1. Great book for bead makers!Love baking bread when I have the time!

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  19. This is such a great dinner. I love making tacos and taco like dishes. It sounds like you have made a lot bread recipes. Always fun to try new recipes.

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    1. Love making bread-ever since college! This book has a lot of new things in it, that are worthy of trying!

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  20. Oh girl, this food is just too beautiful to be eaten!! Mniam mnia x x :-)

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  21. Hi Abbe, now I'm wishing I would have picked up this book everything looks so delicious. Love the tostados, they sound like they are so full of flavor, a home run.

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    1. Sometimes it is hard to choose! Thanks for turning me on to this! This is a great recipe!

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  22. One of my favorite Mexican restaurants has wonderful chicken tinga but I've never made it at home. I can't wait to try this, Abbe. Thank you!

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    1. Just do it, Susan! So easy and well worth it!

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  23. It doesn't matter where you found the recipe, Abbe, it's definitely a keeper. I'm a big tostada fan but haven't made them at home -- yet. I'm glad that you've also included a recipe for refried beans. I've been looking for one and yours sounds really good. Must be the bacon. :)

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    1. Do this John! Much better than in the restaurant!

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  24. Oh my goodness, these look completely amazing!

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