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Sticky Chicken Tostadas with Smoky Pepita Spread

Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Servings 2


  • 2 chicken breasts boneless, skinless
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shot tequila
  • 2 limes juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • 3 jalapeños halved and thinly sliced, divided
  • 1/4 cup cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp salt divided
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 batch Smoky Pepita Spread see below
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 avocado peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro coarsely chopped

Smoky Pepita Spread

  • 2 cups unsalted pepitas
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 lime juiced


Smoky Pepita Spread

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Place the pepitas in a medium-sized bowl and pour 1 tbsp of the olive oil over top. Toss to coat and set aside.
  • In a small bowl whisk to combine the chili powder, cumin, sugar, salt, pepper flakes, and coriander. Sprinkle the mixture over the pepitas and toss to coat.
  • Transfer the pepitas to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Disperse the seeds evenly across the baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, about 10-15 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the seeds to a large food processor and add the rest of the oil and lime juice. Blitz until a thick, cohesive spread forms. Transfer the spread to a bowl, cover and chill until ready to use.

For the Tostadas

  • In a medium size bowl whisk to combine the olive oil, lime juice, tequila, jalapeños, garlic and cilantro. Add the chili powder, cumin and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Whisk again. Place the chicken breast into the bowl and toss to coat in the marinade. Cover and chill. Leave the chicken to marinate for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Heat a quarter-sized amount of canola oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Place the chicken breast in the skillet and sear on both sides until golden.
  • Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the marinade and add it to the skillet. Discard the solids. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the chicken cook for 10 minutes, turning once, or until the juices run clear. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and tent with foil. Set aside.
  • Stir the remaining salt and the brown sugar into the chicken's poaching liquid. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • In a small bowl whisk to combine the cornstarch and water. Pour the mixture into the boiling poaching liquid. Cook until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, stirring constantly.
  • Shred the chicken with two forks and pour the sauce over top. Toss to coat. Keep warm until ready to serve.
  • In a cast iron skillet heat the canola oil until shimmering. Add the tortillas and fry until crisp and golden brown. About 2-3 minutes a side. Transfer the fried tortillas to a plate lined with paper towel and let drain.
  • Spread a little of the Smoky Pepita Spread on each tortilla. Top the spread with a large spoonful of the chicken followed by a few slices of avocado, tomato halves, red onion slices and fresh cilantro. Serve immediately with lime wedges and beer.