Panuchos are a specialty from the Yucatán, comprised of refried tortillas filled with black beans and other yummy ingredients. For this recipe, I went with succulent chicken seasoned in adobo.
I am constantly reminded of my Mexican heritage and all the great cooks that came before me. Someone asked me the other day if we eat our meals with tortillas everyday? There was a time, when I lived at home, that I would have said yes. My brother Ismael tells the story of how we didn't even use forks until we were teenagers, ha, ha, ha. It's true! It was either tortillas or bread to scoop up our food. NO FORKS ALLOWED!
There are many variations on this adobo chicken panuchos recipe, such as gorditas, migadas and sopes. The ingredients are very much the same, but just prepared slightly differently.
I, like my parents before me, am very proud to be Mexican, to be Hispanic, and to share with you my family’s legacy!
For a slight variation, after you fill the panuchos with the beans, you could lightly fry them on each side before adding chicken. If you don't have a tortilla press, you could use the bottom of a flat plate.
In a bowl, add the masa harina, salt, garlic powder and baking soda. Gradually add in the warm water until the dough forms.
Make 8 dough balls, transfer to a plate, cover with plastic wrap and set aside.
For the Adobo Chicken Panuchos
Remove the stems and seeds from the chile guajillo and chile ancho and tear the chiles into smaller pieces. Transfer them to a glass bowl and add the onion. Cover with water and cook in the microwave for 5 to 7 minutes or until the peppers become soft. Remove from microwave and let steep for 20 minutes.
Drain the peppers/onion mixture and transfer to the blender. Add the garlic, chipotle in adobo, cumin, oregano, 1/2 cup vegetable broth and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Blend on high until smooth, set aside. Warm up the beans over low heat.
Heat 1½ tablespoons of olive oil in a pan to medium heat. Add the adobo sauce from the blender, shredded chicken and remaining cup of broth. Stir well to combine and taste for salt. Cover and continue cooking at a low simmer until the sauce reduces and becomes thick. Keep warm.
Preheat a large nonstick skillet or comal to medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes. Line a tortilla press with wax paper. Press the masa balls until they are about 3½ to 4 inches wide and about 1/4-inch thick. Cook for 2 minutes per side. Cover the panuchos with a lid if possible. The steam created helps them cook up light and fluffy inside. Transfer to a plate and let cool slightly.
Carefully slice an opening in each panucho and add some refried beans onto the inside. Serve and top with lettuce, adobo chicken, and garnish with your favorite toppings.
I like to make extra panuchos; this way I can enjoy them the next day for breakfast or lunch. Fill with beans, cheese or eggs and lightly crisp up in some olive oil, and you're done!