Ground Chicken Tostadas
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After being lured into the idea of tacos for dinner, thanks to Instagram, I decided to make the healthiest version possible. Except for the taco seasoning, that is. I’d use my homemade mix, but I really prefer the packaged stuff. It’s probably got a ton of chemicals and sodium in it but, hey, I’ll be impossible to live with if I couldn’t indulge once in a while.
So, I’m going to try making Chicken Tostadas with baked tortillas. After I thaw my tenders (and after I remove the tendons), I’ll run them through my Kitchenaid Meat Grinder that I got on Amazon and treat them like ground beef. It probably won’t be as good as ground beef, but it’ll rank a close second.
When I got up this morning, I rinsed off some dried black beans and put them in my smaller of two crock pots on high. By the way, I love my Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker. You can find it here on Amazon. Unlike the ones I’ve had in the past, it has a “warm” setting that keeps food warm without continuing to cook them!
I had bought the large one a while ago, but my sister-in-law offered me her smaller one. Maybe that’s why I have 9 zillion cooking tools. Some are meant for cooking for our huge family (when the kids are all here with spouses, girlfriends and kids – a rare scenario) and one set for just little ol’ Bill and me. It’s kind of like keeping kosher, haha!
We always have shredded Mexican cheese on hand, as well as olives. I purposely did NOT order sour cream from my grocery order, although some may be lurking somewhere in the back of my fridge. I should probably just throw it out.
Got some cherry tomatoes, and both my Red Salsa and my Chili Verde Salsa, that I always keep on hand in the freezer. And the iceberg lettuce I ordered for Bill. Oh, and cilantro! Can’t have Mexican food without cilantro, in my book!
I spent a bit of time testing my corn tortillas in the oven, and had a few failures. 400° completely burned them; 375° got them too brown in spots, while leaving some parts still bendy. 350° nailed it. That being said, these weren’t the soft little white corn tortillas. These are much thicker, tougher, larger yellow corn ones. You’ll have to keep an eye on them.
I put a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet and canola-sprayed both sides of my “grande” yellow corn tortillas on both sides.
The tortillas went into my 350° oven, on the rack, and baked for 7 minutes. Then I turned them with my tongs and cooked them for another 7.
That’s for my oven. So, test them after 5 minutes, both times. My oven is acting pretty wackadoodle these days, but my thermometer said it was holding at 350°.
My black beans ended up taking about 6 hours. I drained and rinsed them and let them sit for a while.
I like my beans on the runny side, the way Mexican places around these parts make them. I also wanted a creamy mouth-feel, so I thought I’d add a dash of extra virgin olive oil and a dash of salt. Then I spied my leftover light coconut milk in the fridge and thought, what the heck? I’ll throw that in my food processor, while I’m at it. They came out so well! The one thing I’ve never liked about black beans is their firmer texture than pinto beans. By pureeing them with salt, olive oil and coconut milk, they became a soft, creamy wonder. I’m sold, from now on out!
A word about my food processor. One time, I was trying to scrape the bowl while processing whatever. Well, my rubber spatulal got caught on the sharp blades and ruined it. Turns out that Cuisinart has a special spatula, just for this purpose. Check out this sweet firm spatula that won’t get caught in your blade on Amazon!
I’ll take the leftover beans (pureed or otherwise) and put them in quart freezer bags (just enough for the two of us) and lie them flat in the freezer. That way, I’ll have them all nice and organized, ready to take out and thaw at a minute’s notice. I’ll know what they are because I’m going to remember to label them and date them with my handy dandy Sharpie! You wouldn’t believe how often I’ve frozen something, only to find myself wondering, 6 months later, what the heck I’m looking at. Or, if I forget to date it, it might be 2 years later! Now, that’s kind of a scary thought.
Here’s the thing about using ground chicken instead of ground beef. It just doesn’t have the fat to withstand the bubbling away that you do when you’re mixing your cooked ground beef with taco seasoning.
So, after you’ve browned your ground chicken in canola oil, remove it to a plate. Then, to the pan, add your water and taco seasoning and reduce.
When it has gotten to the consistency you like, add back in your ground chicken. It will no longer taste like cardboard because you won’t have overcooked it.
Ground Chicken Healthy Baked Tostadas
Corn tortillas, baked
Black or Pinto Beans, pureed
Shredded Mexican Cheese or Queso Fresca
Salsa or Hot Sauce
Icy Cold Mexican Beer with a squeeze of lime! Yes!
These were amazing. You’d never know you were eating ground chicken, rather than beef. This is one recipe I’m keeping!
Cheers – Vicky