Pistachio-Crusted Chicken Tortas

February  6, 2014
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This sandwich is inspired by the torta at Mike & Patty's in Boston. I can honestly say it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. It had pulled chicken, avocado, refried beans, jicama slaw, and goat cheese, all on a chewy torta roll. I ate it perched on a ledge at a nearby park, and realized far too late that I had far too few napkins. I made a huge mess eating this thing, and I didn’t even care. Hands can always be washed, jeans can be scrubbed. But no morsel of this torta could go undevoured. All of the flavors worked in such harmony together, I wanted to cry at their beauty. Okay, I sound insane. I’ll stop now.

This torta is my ode to an adaption of that memorable sandwich. Instead of pulled chicken, I used pistachios to crust a thin piece of chicken breast, and then baked it until golden brown and crunchy. Combined with black beans, pickled jalapeños, lettuce, tomato, and a creamy avocado sauce, this is a full, flavor-packed meal between two pieces of bread. —foxeslovelemons

Test Kitchen Notes

Just as foxesloveslemons says, this is one messy sandwich -- but that should by no means deter you from making one immediately. The flavors and textures all melded together nicely, with the pistachio bits adding a welcome crunch to the softness of the beans and avocado sauce. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • For the chicken
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half lengthwise and pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios, pulsed in a food processor until finely chopped
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • For the avocado sauce and tortas
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and mashed
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 4 hoagie or torta buns
  • one 15-ounce can black beans, liquid included, roughly mashed
  • 1/3 cup pickled jalapeños
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups lettuce, shredded
  1. To prepare the chicken: Preheat oven to 425º F. In small bowl, stir together cumin, salt, paprika, cayenne, and cinnamon. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces with the spice mixture. Place flour in shallow dish. In a second shallow dish, lightly whisk the eggs. In a third shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs and chopped pistachios.
  2. Spray a rimmed baking pan with cooking spray. Working with one piece at a time, dip the chicken into the flour, shaking off any excess, then into the egg and breadcrumb mixtures. Place on a prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes, turning once, or until the pieces are lightly browned and their internal temperature reaches 165º F.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the avocado sauce: In a small bowl, stir together the avocado, lime juice, and sour cream.
  4. To make the tortas: Spread one side of each bun with mashed black beans. Over the beans, place the chicken, jalapeños, tomatoes, lettuce, and avocado sauce. Place hoagie bun tops over the tortas.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • chris
  • EmilyC
  • sonny
  • Margaret

4 Reviews

sonny July 22, 2016
I have made this many times, my finnicky kids like it a lot whether as a sandwich or chicken by themselves, its a great recipe!
chris May 31, 2016
I just made two of these sandwiches for lunch, for my husband and me; we both sat at the counter, making "mmm" noises, the whole time we were eating! They came together much quicker than I imagined; and I had the chicken ready to go before the oven got to 425. I did almost everything as stated, except mashing a can of black beans, which I didn't have. I baked the chicken on a wire rack (over a cookie sheet) so didn't need to turn it. We used homemade toasted brioche buns; I thought that the torta buns I saw in the store might be too much bread, unless you flatten them. My husband pretty much used up all the avocado sauce, so I'll have to double that for four sandwiches. Don't skip the jalapenos, they're key! Great sandwich recipe. Thanks!
Margaret March 28, 2016
Messy or not must make these! Messy sandwiches make the best eats!
EmilyC February 27, 2014
Love the idea of dredging chicken in pistachios. Congrats on the CP!