Mexican cuisine is one of the most beloved cuisines around the world. I wanted to discover what Mexicans would eat to celebrate their holiday as Cinco de Mayo was approaching.
Cinco de Mayo
I found out a few interesting things during my research. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day, as I had previously thought. Instead this holiday celebrates the Mexican army’s victory over the French in a battle fought near Puebla City on May 5, 1862, and is mainly celebrated in the Puebla region in Mexico.
Cinco de Mayo Food
Several famous dishes from Pueblo include mole poblano, chiles en nogada, and chalupas poblanas. For this upcoming Cinco de Mayo, I decided on trying out the chalupas poblanas.
Chalupas are an iconic street food in Puebla. They are also sold in the finest restaurants in Puebla as well! They are corn tortillas fried in lard, and then topped simply with salsa, shredded meat, and queso fresco. I decided to also add some cilantro to this version.
The name “chalupa” comes from canoe-like boats that the Aztecs used in their ancient city of Tenochtitlan. As a fun side note, you could say that when the tortillas are fried in the lard, they also float as a boat would. 🙂
Chalupas are delicious and can be super easy to make if using prepared salsas and precooked and shredded meat. This recipe uses store bought salsas, both salsa roja and salsa verde. I have included instructions on cooking and shredding chicken, however you can also use leftover meat from a previous meal, or rotisserie chicken, if you have it available.
These chalupas are fantastic not only for Cinco de Mayo, but they are great anytime! Mix it up by serving these on your taco nights, or when you need a delicious meal that you can put together in a snap.
Bon Appetit in Spanish 🙂
Most of us are familiar with the phrase “bon appetit.” When you serve your chalupas, be sure to wish everyone “buen provecho,” which is “enjoy your meal” in Spanish.
Enjoy these chalupas, and bring a taste of Puebla, Mexico to your dinner table!
- .75-1 lb chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp chicken fajita seasoning I used Fiesta brand
- 12 corn tortillas
- 7 oz salsa roja
- 7 oz salsa verde
- 4 tbsp lard
- 1/2 cup queso fresco use more if you love cheese!
- few sprigs cilantro remove the leaves for use
- Add your chicken breasts to a skillet, cover with water, and bring to the boil (with skillet covered). Lower the heat to med-low to med, and continue to cook for approximately 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Keep the skillet covered while cooking.
- Once chicken is cooked through, remove from the water and place in a large bowl, and shred using two forks. Once shredded, add 1 tbsp of chicken fajita seasoning and mix well. Leave on the side while preparing the tortillas.
- In the meantime, add your lard to a skillet, preferably cast iron. Turn up the heat on your stove to medium to med-high setting to heat up the lard (don’t heat up so that it is smoking). The lard should be around 1/4-1/2 inch in your skillet.
- Once the lard is heated up, add one corn tortilla, or as many as will fit in the pan at a time. Allow each side to cook until the edges turn brown (approximately 30-45 seconds) and then flip over and repeat the other side. Once cooked, drain on paper towels, and cook the remaining corn tortillas in this manner.
- Now comes the fun part – assembling the chalupas! Add either salsa roja or salsa verde on top of each tortilla. Then top with your seasoned shredded chicken, queso fresco, and cilantro.
- Stand back and admire your beautiful creation and enjoy!