Spicy Chicken Gorditas

Cookbook author Dotty Griffith returns to Good Day to make spicy chicken gorditas. It's a recipe from her book, "The Ultimate Tortilla Press Cookbook."

Spicy Chicken Gorditas  

2 cups masa harina (instant corn flour)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder (omit for sopes)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup lard or vegetable shortening or 1/3 cup vegetable oil or solid coconut oil
Vegetable oil for frying sopes

Preheat a comal or griddle over low heat to 350 F or according to manufacturer's instructions if using an electric press/toaster. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the masa, salt, and baking powder (if using for gorditas), whisking or stirring to blend well. 

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the water and lard or oil. Heat to melt the lard. Set aside off the heat to cool to lukewarm before combining with the dry ingredients. 

Add the lukewarm liquid to the dry ingredients and knead for about 5 minutes. Dough should be the consistency of Play-Doh, malleable and smooth but with enough elasticity to hold a shape. 

Divide the dough into 12 golf ballsize rounds. 

Step 6 for Gorditas:  By hand, or using a press, shape the balls into 1/2-inch-thick patties or gorditas, about 4 inches in diameter. Cover with a damp towel to prevent drying.

Do not press as thin as for tortillas. 

Lightly oil the preheated comal or griddle. 

Toast the gorditas over low heat for a total of 10 to 12 minutes, turning as needed to prevent overbrowning. They should puff while cooking. Gorditas should cook slowly so the inside isn't too doughy. The outside should have light brown spots.

Serve plain or split with a knife (as you would pita).  For fillings and assembly, see Chapter 9. 
Makes 12 gorditas. 


Gorditas are the Mexican equivalent of pita pockets and they are a huge breakfast tradition, particularly in South Texas, where they are sold in restaurants, supermarket delis, and convenience stores. 

These are for eating out of hand but feel free to use a knife and fork. Also a red or green salsa makes a great finishing touch. Gorditas are made from corn masa. Instead of being pressed as flat as a tortilla, gorditas are thicker and, after baking, split like a pita for filling. Often, gorditas may contain a combination of fillings, such as scrambled eggs and potatoes or chorizo and refried beans. 

12 Gorditas (p. x), warm
2 cups filling, such as Spicy Chicken, p. x; Braised Pork, p. x; Carnitas, p. x; Chorizo p. x; Mexican Beef Stew p. x; Mexican Pork Stew, p. x; Refried Beans p. x; Scrambled Eggs p. x; Breakfast Potatoes p. x or a combination of fillings
2 cups shredded queso fresco or cotija also see What a Friend We Have in Cheeses p. x. 
1 cup Red Salsa, p. x, or Green Salsa, p. x

Split a gordita as you would pita, leaving a closed bottom seam. Do not cut all the way through. 

Fill with 2 tablespoons of the desired filling(s). Top with 2 tablespoons of desired cheese. Keep warm and serve immediately. 

Pass salsa for garnishing, about 1 tablespoon per gordita.

Makes 4 servings. 

Spicy Chicken and Broth

Shredded chicken should be moist and flavorful. This recipe delivers in that department. For maximum juiciness, use white as well as dark meat. Or use only chicken breast. Whichever you choose, please use skin-on, bone-in chicken for rich flavor and texture. The broth can be used for soups. 

2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts and thighs
1 quart water or chicken stock
1 cup thinly sliced onion
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
½ cup chopped tomato or ¼ cup tomato sauce

In a large saucepan over high heat, combine chicken, water or stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes. 

Remove the chicken from the saucepan and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. Reserve the broth in the saucepan off the heat.

To the broth in the saucepan, add onion, salt, cumin, black pepper, bay leaves, and chopped tomato or tomato sauce.  Stir to combine.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and discard. Using fingers, pull meat from the bones into thin shards or chop into bite-size pieces. 

Over low heat, add the chicken to the broth mixture. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until soft. 

Set aside off the heat for about 15 minutes to cool. Using a slotted spoon, transfer seasoned chicken meat to a clean container, draining most of the liquid. Reserve liquid for stock. 

Strain cooking liquid through a fine strainer and reserve reserve for other uses. 
Makes about 4 cups shredded chicken and 4 cups broth. 

Shortcut Spicy Shredded Chicken or Beef

Start with deli rotisserie chicken or pot roast. Let cool enough to handle. 

For chicken, remove the skin and discard. Shred by using your fingers to pull the white meat with the grain into thin shards. Finely chop the dark meat. 

For beef, trim any excess fat. Shred by using yor fingers to pull the meat with the grain into thin shards. 

Place shredded chicken or beef in medium saucepan over low heat. Stir in 1 tablespoon chili powder, stirring to coat meat evenly. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add enough water or stock to barely cover meat. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.  

LINK: www.quartoknows.com/books/9780760354889/The-Ultimate-Tortilla-Press-Cookbook.html

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