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Tostadas con Pollo en Escabeche {"Pickled" Chicken Tostadas}

There's something about tostadas that just equals fun.  I mean, balancing a pile of tasty toppings that are battling you with every bite.  The food tastes so darn good that you can't wait to close your lips around it, yet certain toppings seem to yearn to jump kamikaze to the floor...the table...your plate...your shirt...before they make it to your mouth.  Well, I for one am willing to coax tangy, juicy chicken, spiced black beans, and a warm, crispy shell in the right direction.  I'm even ready to use my already messy fingers to pick up stragglers.  Believe me, it's all worth it.
Pollo En Escabeche
Pickled Chicken
slightly adapted from Fiesta at Rick's by Rick Bayless
serves ~4

6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
¼ c. olive oil
¼ c. apple cider vinegar
⅔ c. chicken broth
pinch ground cloves
pinch granulated sugar
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp. freshly ground canela (Mexican cinnamon)
½ tsp. dried Mexican oregano
~1¼ lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 medium onion, sliced ¼" thick

for serving:
12 tostadas
~2 c. refried black beans
4 hardboiled eggs, sliced
cilantro, chopped

Dry-roast the unpeeled garlic cloves on a skillet over medium heat until soft and blotchy-black in places, ~15 minutes.  Peel and add to blender jar along with oil, vinegar, broth, cloves, sugar,  spices, oregano and ½ tsp. salt.  Puree until smooth.  Pour mixture into a large skillet (~10") and bring to a simmer.  Nestle the chicken inside the simmering broth and cook gently until chicken is cooked, ~18 minutes.  Scoop the sliced onion into a bowl, then pour the hot cooked chicken mixture over it.  Cool, remove chicken and coarsely shred.  Stir back into mixture, then taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.

To serve, heat the beans and spread a layer on top of the tostada shells.  Lay a few slices of hard-boiled egg over the beans, then spoon some of the chicken (hot or at room temp.) on top and sprinkle with cilantro.
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