• Mini Tostadas with Ancho Chile Chicken and Spicy Green Grape Salsa

    Ingredients

    Yield: 20 bites

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Corn tortillas, 8-inch
      1 pkg.
    • Ancho chicken
      1 lb.

    Sour cream topping

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Sour cream
      1 cup
    • Serrano, stemmed, seeded, minced
      1 Tbsp.
    • Garlic, finely minced
      1 tsp.
    • Kosher salt
      ½ tsp.

    Spicy green grape salsa

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Green grapes, chopped
      ½ cup
    • Serrano, stemmed, seeded, minced
      1 Tbsp.
    • Cilantro, minced
      2 Tbsp.
    • Lime juice
      1 Tbsp.
    • Olive oil
      2 Tbsp.
    • Red bell pepper, brunoise
      3 Tbsp.
    • Salt
      to taste
    • Mint, for garnish
      as needed
    • Green grapes, sliced, for garnish
      as needed

    Ancho Chicken Carnitas

    Yield: 2 cups mole, 20 portions for tostadas

    • Ingredients
      Amount
    • Ancho chiles, medium, dried, stemmed and seeded
      2 ea.
    • Vegetable or olive oil
      4 Tbsp.
    • White onion, small, sliced
      ½ ea.
    • Garlic cloves, peeled
      2 ea.
    • Tomatoes, plum
      2 ea.
    • Peanuts, dry roasted, plus a few Tbsp. chopped for garnish
      ½ cup
    • Bread, white, firm, or 1/2 dry Mexican bolillo roll, torn into pieces
      2 slices
    • Chipotle chiles en adobo, canned, seeded
      1 ea.
    • Allspice, preferably freshly ground
      1/8 tsp.
    • Cinnamon, preferably freshly ground
      ¼ tsp.
    • Chicken broth
      3 cup
    • Bay leaves
      2 ea.
    • Red wine, fruity
      ½ cup
    • Cider vinegar
      2 Tbsp.
    • Salt, depending on the saltiness of the broth
      1 1/2 tsp.
    • Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
      2 lb.
    • Salt and pepper

    Method

    1. For the tortillas: Using a 2-inch ring mold, punch out little tortillas from the 8-inch ones and set aside. Fry in a 350° fryer until golden brown; drain on paper towels.
    2. For the sour cream: In a small bowl, mix the sour cream, serrano pepper, garlic, and salt until blended. Set aside.
    3. For the salsa: Combine all the ingredients in medium bowl and toss to incorporate; set aside for 15 minutes to marry the flavors.
    4. To serve: Place a small dollop of the sour cream on three tortillas, then top with about 2 tsp. of the warm chicken carnitas. Top with 1 tsp. of the grape salsa, then garnish with the sliced grapes and a few mint leaves. Serve immediately.

    Ancho Chicken Carnitas

    1. The peanut mole: Tear the ancho chiles into flat pieces, then toast a few at a time on an ungreased griddle or skillet over medium heat: press flat with a metal spatula for a few seconds, until they crackle and change color slightly, then flip, and press again (if they give off more than the slightest wisp of smoke, they are burning and will add a bitter element to the sauce.) In a small bowl, cover the chiles with hot water and let rehydrate for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure even soaking. Drain and discard the water.
    2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy, medium-size (4 quart) pot (preferably a Dutch oven) over medium. Add the onion and garlic cloves, and fry, stirring regularly, until well browned, about 10 minutes. Scrape into a blender jar. Set the pan aside.
    3. Roast the tomato on a baking sheet 4 inches below a very hot broiler until blackened, about 25 minutes, then flip it and roast the other side; cook, then peel, collecting all the juices with the tomato. Add the tomato to the blender, along with the peanuts, bread, chipotles, drained anchos, allspice and cinnamon. Add 2 cups of the broth and blend until smooth, stirring and scraping down the sides of the blender jar, and adding a little more liquid if needed to keep everything moving through the blades. Remove from blender into a bowl.
    4.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in the pot over medium-high. When hot enough to make a drop of the purée sizzle sharply, add the chicken thighs and sear for about 2-3 minutes. Flip the other side and cook until they color. Remove from the heat and add 1 cup of the mole, the red wine, and the bay leaves. Stir and partially cover and let gently simmer over medium-low heat for roughly 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly for the flavors to harmonize. If necessary, thin the sauce with a little more broth to keep it the consistency of a cream soup. Taste and season with salt if needed.
    5. Remove from the heat and shred the chicken with a fork. Add the sugar and apple cider vinegar and mix. Set aside and keep warm.
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