Crazy Chicken and Plantain Torta
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- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs or breast filets
- 2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil plus 3 tablespoons if frying chicken, plus more for plantains
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt or to taste
- 4 whole cloves
- 2 very ripe plantains peeled and diagonally sliced
- 1 1/2 cups refried beans homemade or store bought
- 6 bolillos teleras, individual baguettes, or large baguettes cut into 4-inch pieces and halved
- 2 large ripe Mexican avocados halved, pitted, meat scooped out and sliced
- Place the chicken in a container or dish.
- In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, oil, cumin, cinnamon, allspice black pepper and salt. With your hands, pulverize the tops of the cloves into the mix and discard the stems. Whisk with a fork or whisk until thoroughly combined. Pour the mixture all over the chicken, making sure it is entirely covered. You may marinate it for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator, or cook immediately.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Make sure your chicken thighs are not rolled out before you bake them; they should be in their normal shape, as if there were a bone still in them. Place the baking dish with the chicken in the oven and roast for 25 minutes. Raise the oven temperature to 500 and roast for 5 more minutes, until the chicken has browned on top and bottom and the meat is thoroughly cooked. Alternatively, heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large casserole or frying pan set over medium high heat. Once hot, cook the chicken for about 4 to 5 minutes per side.
- Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before you slice. Once it is cool enough to handle, cut each thigh into 1/2-inch slices across the grain.
- Heat about 1/2-inch oil in a large casserole or frying pan over medium to medium-high heat. Once it is hot, test with a plantain slice to see if there are active bubbles all around it (without foaming over). Fry the plantain slices, without crowding the pan (you may need to do it in batches), for about 2 to 3 minutes per side until they are golden brown, a bit caramelized and crisp. Remove and place on a paper towel covered plate.
- Heat your refried beans!
- To assemble the tortas: If the bread is fresh, just slice it in half, no need to toast. If it isn’t fresh, toast it for a few minutes. Spread about 2 to 3 tablespoons refried beans on the bottom half, top with 4 to 5 cooked plantain slices, then a chicken thigh and then 3 to 4 slices of avocado. Place top half on bread on. Cut in half and eat, or pack and take it to go.