Cemita Poblana (Chicken Milanesa Sandwich), photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Cemita Poblana (Chicken Milanesa Sandwich)

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 25-30 minutes
Cook Time: 15-17 minutes
Servings: 2-4 servings
A crispy breaded chicken breast sandwich piled high onto a sesame seed roll with avocado and a chipotle kick!

Breaded chicken milanesa piled high onto a sesame seed roll make up this super-delicious Cemita Poblana. Cemita, also called cemita poblana is an overstuffed torta (sandwich), filled with breaded chicken, pork or beef. But you cannot have a complete cemita without the stringy quesillo or Oaxaca string cheese, avocado and smoky chipotles. The name cemita refers to the bead that this hearty torta is served on and is a traditional dish that originated in Puebla, Mexico. If you frequent your local large Mexican panaderĂ­a (bakery), you will often find a sweeter version of a cemita bread. Simply delicious with a fresh cup of coffee! One of the fun characteristics of this cemita poblana is to serve it with the oversized chicken milanesa layered into the sandwich. Then you know you are about to enjoy the real deal!

Ingredients

  • For the Cracker Meal
  • 35 saltine crackers
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon granualted garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • You Will Also Need
  • 2 boneless chicken breasts (1 pound total)
  • 3 large eggs lighlty beaten
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup grapeseed oil or canola oil
  • 2-4 sesame seed rolls, cemitas
  • 1 cup Oaxaca or string cheese shredded
  • 1/3 cup white onion thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup papalo leaves, cilantro or arugula
  • 2 chipotles in adobo minced
  • 1 large avocadoes sliced or mashed
  • olive oil

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Directions

  1. Add the crackers to the food processor, along with the spices listed. Pulse, then process on high until you get a fine cracker meal. Transfer to a shallow dish, set aside.
  2. Pound out the chicken so it is thinner and more even. Season the chicken lightly with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate until ready to use. In another shallow dish, lightly beat the eggs. Prep remaining ingredients, cover until ready to use.
  3. Preheat 1/2 cup of oil to medium heat for 5 minutes. Dip the chicken into the egg to cover, then coat with cracker meal using hands to gently press onto chicken.
  4. Once oil is hot, cook the chicken for about 3 minutes per side or until golden brown. Try not to move it too much or the breading may come off. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil paper to keep warm.
  5. Place the chicken milanesa on bottom half of the cemita roll. Then add cheese, papalo (cilantro or arugula) leaves, avocado, chipotle in adobo and onion. Drizzle on a little olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Chef Notes

Boneless pork steaks or beef milanesa steak can be substituted for the chicken. Breaded milanesa can be baked in a preheated 400-degree oven. Spray breaded uncooked milanesa with oil and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time.

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