Monday, May 23, 2011

Chicken Tostadas with Tomatillo Salsa Verde and Spanish Rice

My farmers market trip last week was, more or less, an epic fail. I marched down in my rain gear with an empty backpack, ready to stock up on the first produce of the season. Sadly, there were about 10 tents set up in total, with an assortment of baked goods and planted herbs, but no produce. It could have been because it's still early in the season for most crops, or maybe the rain deterred most vendors from setting up shop, but regardless, I was disappointed. This is not to say that the Copley Square Farmers Market is a bust. In fact, I've only heard phenomenal things about it. I still have one month before I leave Boston for the summer, so I'm crossing my fingers to get some good trips in before then.

Instead of getting down on myself, I walked straight to the grocery store and bought ingredients for my Tex-Mex dinner party. It was a huge success, and probably the least time I've spent in the kitchen compared to dinner parties past. I threw some chicken thighs in my crock pot before heading to work in the morning, so by the time I got home the meat was ready to go. I made the same mango salsa I created for my Chicken and Squash Quesadillas, and also tried my hand at salsa verde with these beautifully roasted tomatillos. My friend Shannon, who had just come back from a trip home to Texas, bought me a beyond delicious raspberry cilantro salsa for my birthday. I'm saving the last bits in the jar so I can attempt to recreate it myself.

Because I have a few vegetarian friends, I added Spanish rice on the tostadas to make them hardier for those forgoing meat. I don't know why rice isn't an ingredient in a traditional tostada - it was delicious! Even though my friends ate enough chips and salsa to make themselves sick, they all managed to happily finish their meals before rolling on the floor in agony. (Overeating, aka "food coma", is a regular occurrence at our dinner parties.) All in all, great last dinner party with all of my girlfriends together in Boston. Next time, we'll have to visit Jess in Texas ourselves. We'll miss you, Jess!

Chicken Tostadas with Salsa Verde and Spanish Rice
Serves: 6  Prep: 2 hour  Total: 10 hours

Tomatillo Salsa Verde:
1 pound tomatillos
5 garlic cloves
1/2 cup cilantro
1/2 yellow onion
1 Serrano pepper

Chicken Tostadas:
6 chicken thighs
1/2 yellow onion
1 cup sour cream
1 package fajita spice mix
1 cup water
6 whole wheat tortillas
1 10-ounce package Spanish rice
1 can black beans
1 package shredded cheddar jack cheese
6 red Mexican peppers
Tomatillo Salsa Verde*

Tomatillo Salsa Verde:
Remove casing from tomatillos and set on a foil-covered baking dish, along with non-peeled garlic cloves. Set the oven to broil and cook for about 7 minutes until tomatillos begin to brown at the top. Remove and cool. Peel garlic and set aside.
Chop up cilantro, onion, and Serrano pepper. Add all ingredients into a blender and puree. Refrigerate until serving.

Chicken Tostadas:
Slice 1/2 yellow onion into rings and lay at the bottom of a crock pot. Place chicken thighs on top. Combine sour cream, water, and fajita mix in a bowl and mix well. Pour over chicken thighs. Cook on low for 8-9 hours. Using two forks, shred meat off the bones and wrap in aluminum foil to keep warm.
Following the directions on the package, cook the Spanish rice in a medium pot. Cook black beans over the stove in a small pot until soft.
In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large pan. Fry whole wheat tortillas 1-2 minutes on each side until lightly browned, and drain on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Dice red Mexican peppers.
When everything is finished, top the tostadas with chicken, Spanish rice, cheese, black beans, red Mexican peppers and salsa verde.


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