Torta Loca de Pollo y Plátano
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breast filets)
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus 3 tablespoons if frying chicken, plus more for plantains
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
4 whole cloves
2 very ripe plantains, peeled and diagonally sliced
1 1/2 cups refried beans, homemade or store bought
6 bolillos, teleras, individual baguettes or large baguettes cut into 4-inch pieces and halved
2 large ripe Mexican avocados, halved, pitted, meat scooped out and sliced
Place the chicken in a container or dish.
In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, oil, cumin, cinnamon, allspice black pepper and salt. With your hands, pulverize the tops of the cloves into the mix and discard the stems. Whisk with a fork or whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture all over the chicken, making sure it is entirely covered. You may marinate it for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator, or cook immediately.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make sure your chicken thighs are not rolled out before you bake them; they should be in their normal shape, as if there were a bone still in them. Place the baking dish with the chicken in the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 500 and roast for 5 more minutes, until the chicken has browned on top and bottom and the meat is thoroughly cooked. Alternatively, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large casserole or frying pan set over medium high heat. Once hot, cook the chicken for about 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before you slice. Once it is cool enough to handle, cut each thigh into 1/2-inch slices across the grain.
Heat about 1/2-inch oil in a large casserole or frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. Once it is hot, test with a plantain slice to see if there are active bubbles all around it (without foaming over). Fry the plantain slices, without crowding the pan (you may need to do it in batches), for about 2 to 3 minutes per side until they are golden brown, a bit caramelized and crisp. Remove and place on a paper towel covered plate.
Heat your refried beans!
To assemble the tortas: If the bread is fresh, just slice it in half, no need to toast. If it isn’t fresh, toast it for a few minutes. Spread about 2 to 3 tablespoons refried beans on the bottom half, top with 4 to 5 cooked plantain slices, then a chicken thigh and then 3 to 4 slices of avocado. Place top half on bread on. Cut in half and eat, or pack and take it to go.
© 2010-2015 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
4 teleras, bolillos, Portuguese buns, petite baguettes or large baguettes, cut into 5- to 6-inch pieces
2 cups refried beans, homemade or store-bought
2 cups shredded Oaxaca, mozzarella, Monterrey Jack or mild cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)
Traditional tomato pico de gallo salsa, or other salsa of your choice
Optional extra toppings: crumbled and fried Mexican-style chorizo, crisp bacon, ham, turkey, sautéed mushrooms or avocado slices
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Slice the bread in half lengthwise. Spread each piece with 3 to 4 tablespoons of refried beans and top with 3 to 4 tablespoons of grated cheese. Arrange the molletes on a baking sheet as you make them. If you want to add more toppings like ham, turkey, bacon or chorizo, sprinkle them on top of the cheese.
When they are all assembled, bake until the cheese has melted and the bread has a nice toasted crust on the bottom and around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Eat while hot. Serve with pico de gallo, or your favorite salsa, on the side.
© 2010-2014 MEXICAN TABLE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
It takes three ingredients, plus any extra topping that you fancy, 8 minutes in the toaster or oven and you get one of the most comforting foods I have eaten since I can remember: Molletes.
One of the most popular Mexican anytime antojitos or cravings, that can be eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch, a hearty afternoon snack or dinner. It used to be a standard option for breakfast or dinner at my house growing up in Mexico City, just as quesadillas were. But I also used to crave Molletes from my school cafeteria.
So yes, even if I had some at home in the morning, I would have more for lunch at school…
Continue reading Molletes with Pico: No Way not to Fall in Love