Crispy Chicken Torta
Torta de Milanesa de Pollo
4 (about 1 1/4 pounds total) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, butterflied
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
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. 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.