Friday, July 20, 2012

Crispy Chicken Torta

I made this crispy chicken torta because I had all the ingredients on hand.  I expected the torta to be good, but I didn't know it would be such a hit.  Don't y'all love it when that happens?

My Mom declared this one her favorite things to eat ever.  She even asked if I would make her this torta for her birthday, which really tickled me because her birthday isn't for another 10 months.  Of course, my Mom might be a little biased.  The woman loves a good sandwich.

Any way you slice it, we all loved this torta.  There are so many wonderful things going on here. The top of the bread is all soft and fluffy while the bottoms are all toasted and golden.  The torta begins with a slathering of smooth, creamy, and delicious smashed black beans, then comes the perfectly- golden-fried-to-perfection chicken cutlet in all it's panko coated glory, next up is a layer of melty Monterey Jack cheese, followed by a few slices of pickled jalapeno peppers and cool, creamy, buttery, slices of avocado.  Finish it off with a really good sprinkling of hot sauce and it's one delicious mouthful!  (Be prepared to make a big mess and do a lot of dishes though.  Don't say I didn't warn you.)
Crispy Chicken Torta
Adapted from
Makes 4 tortas

4 thin boneless skinless chicken breast cutlets 
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
2 cups panko bread crumbs
4 1/2  tablespoons vegetable or olive oil, plus 1/2  cup for frying (divided use)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 telera or bolillo rolls
6 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded 
Pickled jalapeno slices
1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/4-inch slices
Optional:  hot sauce (we like Cholula chili garlic hot sauce)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 

Set up a 3 part breading station.  In the first dish, combine the flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.  In the second dish, beat 2 eggs with 1 tablespoon oil,  1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.  In the third dish, pour in 2 cups of panko crumbs and mix with 1 1/2  teaspoons salt. 

Sprinkle salt over both sides of chicken and dredge each breast in the flour, shaking off the excess.  Then, dip into the egg mixture, making sure that they are totally coated.  Finally, place the chicken in the panko crumbs, pressing the crumbs into both the top and bottom surfaces.  Move the coated breast to a wire rack to allow the crumbs to dry. 

Set a large (10-inch) skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon oil.  When the oil is hot, stir in the garlic.  Once the garlic is golden brown, add the beans with their liquid.  As the beans come to a simmer, mash them to a smooth paste.  Cook, stirring nearly constantly, until you’ve reached the consistency of very soft mashed potatoes, about 8 minutes. Taste and season with salt.  Keep warm over the lowest heat, covered, so that the beans stay soft and moist.

Place a very large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Slice the rolls open lengthwise.  Scrape out some of the soft bread in the center of each piece, making a small hollow (I didn't follow this step.  I like having the whole roll and I also think it toasts much better if you don't hollow out the bread).  Using the remaining 2 1/2  tablespoons oil, brush the insides of the rolls, then lay them cut-side down on a griddle or skillet to crisp to a rich golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove and set aside. 

Add 1/2 the frying oil to the skillet and raise the heat to medium-high. Once the oil is hot, place two of the breasts into the pan and cook until both sides are golden brown about 5 to 6 minutes total.  Remove to a warm plate lined with paper towels.  Add the remaining frying oil and saute the last two breasts.

Smear a layer of warm beans over the bottom half each roll.  Lay the warm chicken breast on top of the beans.  Top with shredded cheese, pickled jalapenos and the avocado.  Set the top of each roll in place.  Place the finished tortas on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Theme: Potluck!


  1. YUM! If mom approves, it got to be good :)

  2. Definitely sounds delicious!!!


  3. Tortas con Milanesa de Pollo are mine and my husband FAVORITES. Yours definitely look amazing - wish I could reach in and grab it for lunch!

  4. I love your recipes. They are easy and accessible even all the way over here in Jamaica! Will most definitely try this one. It's avocado season here on the island :)

  5. Errr... I'm on a diet right now and as soon as I saw this my mouth literally started watering. Another great recipe! I'm definietly going to make this on my next splurge!

  6. I wonder if I can convince someone to have these ready when I come home from work tomorrow? Love the pictures, Kim.

    I don't know if the email you saw was old or new. I can't seem to keep up with anything these days!

  7. Wow - what a sammie! I just stocked up on chicken breasts for the freezer too - this is definitely on the horizon for us!

  8. This has been bookmarked! It sounds amazing!

  9. I love it when sleeper recipes end up being surprisingly delicious. I can definitely see why you guys all loved these!

  10. That is the cutest thing ever that your mom asked if you'd make this for her Birthday! I love her. It's beyond adorable. This actually looks so good. I mean, really good.

  11. I think I'd like this for my birthday too!! These are awesome looking sandwiches, and I'm definitely giving this a try.

  12. This does look like a crispy and delicious sandwich and who can argue with all of those tasty "fixin's" on it. ;-) Great potluck pick.

  13. This is totally my kind of food. Bookmarking for sure!!

  14. Definitively a compliment and a great choice for a birthday meal - go Mom!!

  15. These look crazy delicious! I love a good, messy sandwich like this! Rick Bayless rocks.

  16. I love Tortas! Especially with the smear of beans. I find I am so disappointed when there are not bean on my Torta. It just pulls all the flavors together!

    Cute story about your mom, made me smile :)

  17. Absolutely, I do love it when I try a recipe and it becomes an instant hit. Best feeling in the world to please mom.

  18. Wow, Kim! Panko is my #1 favorite bread crumb coating on anything. I love the crunch. I found a second torta that gives me an excuse to make my easy homemade bolillo rolls. I can see why your mom wants these again. I would, too! Pinning this one, cuz I know we'll love it, too.

  19. Mmmm, I can see why it was such a surprising hit! I love it when that happens too!

  20. Carlos Caro

    Carlos caro.
    Tienes un gusto y unas manos de maravilla por lo que leo y veo, tus recetas deben estar riquisimas (aún no he tenido tiempo de elaborar ninguna, espero Espero me inluyas em tu circulo de amigos blogueros.

    Como puedo conseguir mas publicidad para mi blogs?

    Un abrazo

    Málaga - España


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