braised chicken tostada with refried lentils

Cilantro Lime Braised Chicken Thigh Tostadas with Refried Lentils

Tostadas are a great way to use up stale tortillas. A tostada is a tortilla that it fried until crispy and then typically topped with, but not limited to, similar ingredients as a taco. It is basically a crispy Mexican version of an open-face sandwich or piling ingredients on toast.

This chicken is so tender and makes topping for a crispy tostada. I know I am late to the game but I am a big fan of braises- they are just so easy and pretty hard to mess up. The mushrooms are roasted until they are crispy for an added healthy crunch. You might want to make some more crispy mushrooms than necessary; I kept eating them right out of the oven. Typically refried beans are used for tostadas but in this recipe they are replaced by refried lentils.



For the chicken:

2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 cup dry white wine

small bunch cilantro

2 medium poblano peppers, seeded and sliced

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish


For assembly:

2 cups refried lentils, get the recipe here

4 medium shiitake mushrooms, sliced into ¼”-wide strips

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt

8 small (6-inch) corn tortillas

Vegetable oil, as needed, for frying

¼ cup sour cream

1/3 cup queso fresco, crumbled



For the chicken:

Preheat oven to 350º.

Pat the chicken thighs dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat a 4½-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the onion and sauté until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add the chicken thighs, skin side down, sautéing until golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes each side.

Turn the chicken thighs skin side up and add the wine and cilantro to the pot. Cover tightly and bake for 1 hour, until meat is fork tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the chicken from the pot and let cool. Discard the cilantro. Once the chicken is cool to the touch, shred with your hands or using two forks. Discard the bones or save for stock. Return the shredded chicken to the pot with the braising liquid.

Heat a griddle pan over high heat. Add the poblano peppers and cook until blistered on both sides, about 5 minutes. Remove from the grill pan and chop then add to the chicken mixture. Add the chopped cilantro and stir to combine.


For assembly:

Preheat oven to 350º. Toss the shiitake mushrooms in olive oil and season with salt. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake until the mushrooms are half their size, golden brown and crisp, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

In a small sauté pan over medium heat, add enough vegetable oil to fill 2” of the pan and heat to 350º. Add a tortilla and fry on both sides, until crispy, about 1 minute. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

To serve: To assemble the tostadas, top each crispy tortilla with a scoop of refried lentils, the chicken mixture, and crispy shiitake mushrooms. Drizzle sour cream over the top followed by the queso fresco.


Makes 8 small tostadas. 

chicken tostada
braised chicken tostada with refried lentils


Print Friendly and PDF