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I am a Tex-Mex junkie. There, it’s officially out in the open. If given a choice as to where we will go and dine on any given day, you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be headed toward a destination serving up chips and salsa. It’s just all so irresistible. The salsas, the fajitas, the enchiladas….oh and let us not forget, the sauces — all the glorious sauces. There’s tomatillo sauce, enchilada gravy, queso, and one of my very most favorites, ranchero. Oh, how I love the Ranchero sauce. I mean, we are basically talking the marinara of Tex-Mex here, people. I couldn’t resist taking a stab at a homemade version, and I was shocked at how simple it was to make. All it took was a few sauteed veggies mixed in with some canned tomatoes and seasoning. Put it all in a blender and give a whirl. Nothing too difficult about that.
I now use my easy Ranchero sauce at home over baked chicken, as a taco topper and even in a super savory, super yummy baked pasta dish. But, let’s not forget what that sauce is most famous for: Huevos Rancheros. And this bad boy is famous for a darn good reason. Think about it: you’ve got a crispy tostada, smoky Ranchero sauce and a fried egg. What’s not to love about that? Typically, this is a dish served in the morning hour, so to make it dinnertime friendly, I threw some shredded chicken in there. This made the overall dish heartier and also, if you don’t mind me saying so, a tidbit tastier as well. Winner, winner chicken dinner.
You can find “Working Mom Quick Tips,” tips on frying an egg, and pairing suggestions for this entree at TheAnthonyKitchen.com.
For the Ranchero Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 of a white onion, diced
3 jalapenos, stemmed, seeded and diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
28 ounces whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzanos
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Add the olive oil to a medium-sized saucepan of medium high heat. Stir in the onion and jalapeño and sauté for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more. Carefully pour in the tomatoes and using the back of a wooden spoon, crush the tomatoes. Stir in the salt, pepper, cumin and paprika. Reduce the heat to medium and allow to simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Transfer the contents of the sauce pan to a blender or food processor. Remove the feed tube (to prevent a build-up of steam and pressure), cover with a dish towel and process until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
For the Huevos Rancheros with Shredded Chicken:
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup + 3 tablespoons Canola oil, separated
2-3 teaspoons Tex-Mex Spice Blend (recipe at TheAnthonyKitchen.com) or Taco Seasoning
2 cups Easy Ranchero Sauce, separated
8 corn tortillas
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 375°
For the Shredded Chicken:
Have ready a rimmed sheet pan topped with an oven-safe baking rack. The rack should fit snugly inside the pan. Pat chicken breasts dry with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture, allowing for the oil to better adhere to the breast. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of Canola oil evenly over chicken and rub in on both sides. Season each side of chicken with a 1/2 teaspoon of Tex-Mex Spice Blend, totaling one teaspoon of seasoning/breast. Evenly massage seasoning onto breasts. Place chicken atop of rack. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until cooked through. Set aside to cool.
Cut the chicken, against the grain, into strips. Shred the chicken, place in a mixing bowl and add 1 cup of Easy Ranchero Sauce. Mix well and set aside until ready to use.
For the Tostadas:
Add 3/4 cup Canola oil to a cast iron skillet or large saute pan over medium-high heat. Fry the tortillas until crisp and golden brown, about 1 minutes on each side. Set aside on a paper towel to drain.
For Over-Easy Eggs:
Add 2 tablespoons of Canola oil to a large, nonstick skillet (with a fitted lid) over medium-high heat and allow to come to temperature. Add butter. As soon as the butter stops foaming, add 2-3 eggs, depending on how many you can fit in the pan without overcrowding. Immediately, place the lid on the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pan and repeat with remaining eggs.
Place about a 1/4 cup of chicken atop the tostada, drizzle chicken with a tablespoon or two more Ranchero sauce and top it with a fried egg.
Serve 1-2 assembled tostadas per person. Serves 4-6.