Melinda’s Salbutes

Melinda’s Salbutes

A Salbutes is a crispy fried corn tortilla with stewed chicken and a tangy slaw on top. The corn tortilla is assisted with baking powder so it puffs up while it fries. It is simply delicious and irresistibly addictive.
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Created by: Chef Fig


Stew Chicken ingredients

  • 8-12 boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 4 cups chicken stock or broth
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 stalk of celery diced
  • 5 garlic cloves minced
  • ¼ cup cilantro finely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Achiote/Recado powder
  • 1 tbsp Melinda’s Fire Roasted Garlic and Habanero Pepper Sauce
  • 1 tbsp Achiote paste
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp cumin ground
  • ½ tsp clove ground
  • ½ tsp allspice ground
  • ½ tsp coriander ground
  • 1 tsp black pepper ground
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire
  • ½ tsp ginger powder
  • ½ tsp tumeric powder
  • 1 whole habanero pepper
  • ½ tsp thyme fresh or dried
  • ½ tsp oregano fresh or dried
  • 1 tbsp Pickapeppa
  • olive oil
  • ¼ cup flour
  • salt to taste

Ingredients for Slaw and toppings

  • ½ head of cabbage shredded
  • 1 tbsp cilantro chopped
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • 2 limes juiced
  • salt to taste
  • 2 roma tomatoes diced
  • shredded queso fresco cheese (optionsl)
  • 2 chopped boiled eggs (optional)

Puffed tostada ingredients (makes 10-12 tostadas)

  • 2 cups masa harina (I love the organic King Arthur Masa)
  • 1 tbsp aciote paste
  • cup water
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • vegetable oil for frying peanut is best


Stew Chicken Instructions

  • Season chicken with salt, black pepper and achiote/recado powder on both sides. Sear chicken pieces in a large dutch oven for 2 mins on each side. Work in batches, do not overcrowd the pan. You want to brown them well for color. Reserve chicken pieces.
  • Add the celery, onion, red bell pepper and garlic to the pan with a tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté for a few minutes. Add the flour and stir, then add the chicken stock, stir and scrape all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. The flour will thicken or tighten the liquids. Add all the seasonings, herbs and bay leaves, except the achiote paste. 
  • Dissolve the achiote paste in a measuring cup with some of the hot liquid from the pot. Add it back to the pot once dissolved.  Alternatively, you can disolve the achiote paste by scaping it through a sieve in the pot liquids as seen below. Taste for salt and add accordingly.
  • Add in the chicken back to the pot, cover and simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours. You can also place it oven at 350 degrees (better way).
  • Remove the habanero pepper and bay leaves. Shred the chicken.

Instructions for slaw

  • In a bowl, mix the cabbage, cilantro, scallion, salt and lime juice together well. 

Puffed tostada instructions

  • Heat the water and Dissolve the achiote paste, reserve. in a large mixing bowl, add the masa harina, baking powder, salt, oil and dissolved achiote paste, mix together and knead for a few minutes. Roll into a dough ball. Now make small, golf ball size balls with the dough. Place them between parchment paper and use a tortilla press or heavy pan to flatten into tortillas. Arrange the pressed tortilla dough on towels.
  • In a wide shallow frying pan, add about 1 inch of oil. Heat oil to 325 degrees. 
  • Fry the tortillas for 45-60 seconds per side, remove from oil and drain on a rack or paper towel.

Assemble your salbutes

  • Place some shredded stewed chicken on the tostada, put some slaw and tomatoes on top. Optional, Add queso fresco and chopped egg (best way).
  • Serve with hot sauce , eat and repeat. Enjoy!