This is a great summer chicken salad with a Mexican twist! It can all be prepared ahead of time for an outdoor picnic or light dinner. I love taking a little help from the store and purchase a pre-cooked roasted chicken for some of my favorite recipes!
Not your usual American-style chicken salad: No mayo, only a touch of olive oil, which makes it good for summer picnics and cookouts.
Yields 5 servings, 2 tostadas per person
For Chicken Tostadas:
4 cups, cooked, shredded chicken
1 1/4 cups roasted green chiles (Anaheim peppers), diced
1 cup roasted red peppers, diced
2 pickled jalapeños, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup red onion, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
Juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
10 homemade or store-bought corn tostadas
Lime wedges, sliced radishes and sliced red onions for garnish
For Tomatillo Habanero Salsa:
2 Habanero peppers
6 California chiles or guajillo peppers (dried)
4 cloves garlic, leave skins on
Juice of 1 orange
Juice of 1 lime
Fres, roasted or grilled, tomatillos make the best salsa!
1. I always like to start by making the salsa first. Remove the seeds and stems from the dried chiles California, and tear the peppers into pieces. Transfer to a glass bowl, cover with water and cook in the microwave for 5 minutes. Remove from microwave, stir and set aside.
2. Line a heavy skillet or saute pan with foil paper and preheat to medium heat. While the pan is heating, remove the husks from the tomatillos and wash off. Lay the tomatillos, garlic and Habanero peppers in preheated pan, drizzle with a little canola oil. Cook for the next 15 to 20 minutes, turning as needed. Remove the garlic after 15 minutes, so it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
3. While the tomatillos are roasting, prepare the chicken salad. Combine all ingredients for the chicken salad in a large bowl, adding a pinch of salt and pepper, stir well to combine. If it’s too dry, add a little more olive oil and lime juice. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes. When ready to serve, stir well and taste for salt.
4. Drain the water from the dried chiles, transfer to the blender, along with all remaining ingredients, removing the skins from the garlic and stems from Habanero peppers. Add about 1½ teaspoons of salt, blend until smooth, taste for salt. Serve warm or at room temperature.
5. Add about 1/3 cup chicken salad to each tostada, top with salsa and garnish with radishes, red onions, cilantro and fresh lime. Keep chilled until ready to serve.
Note: This recipe is one that taste better after it has a chance to set. The chicken really picks up all the flavors of the peppers and lime the longer it sets. A great make-ahead recipe! Serve the tostadas with your favorite red and green salsas with a side of rice!