You’ll find all sorts of great ideas for hosting a fun and celebratory ideas for this commemorative day, and we’ll share a few recipes here with you as well, but we also thought it would be fun to share a few facts with you about this special day. For instance, did you know the actual origin of Cinco de Mayo (or the 5th of May)? Most people think that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day, however Mexico actually celebrates their Independence Day on September 16th.
Cinco de Mayo really goes back to the battle of Puebla on May 5th 1862, fifty years after Mexico had won its Independence, when a small common-man army of Mexican civilians rose up to take on the French Army who invaded Mexico with the goal of making Mexico a French Territory after, then, Mexican President Benito Juarez had declared Mexico too poor to repay its debts to foreign nations. The French had succeeded in taking over Mexico City and removing Juarez, but, when the French Armies reached the outskirts of Puebla, that small Mexican troop defeated the larger French Army even though they were outnumbered 2-to-1.
This defeat became a symbolism of Mexican resistance against French Imperialism. And, with support from the United States, the Mexicans were eventually able to push out the French from Mexico for good, and restored Juarez to power.
Soon after that victory, Americans of Mexican heritage looked at the French defeat as inspiration in the union struggle in the Civil War, and as began to celebrate this inspiration with parades and parties honoring Mexican heritage in music, dance, and of course, food.
Today, Cinco de Mayo is actually celebrated more in the United States than it is in Mexico (other than Puebla), especially in those communities that are heavily populated with those of Mexican descent.
How do you celebrate Cinco de Mayo?
Slow-Cooked Chicken Tostadas
Light, and tasty Mexican meal with limited prep-time. Perfect for families on the go, Cinco de Mayo celebration, or quick and easy for gluten-free options.
- 1/2 Cup chopped Jalapeno
- 2 Tbsp minced garlic
- 1.5-2 Tbsp Chili powder
- 2 Tbsp canola oil (or vegetable oil)
- 2 Tsp sea salt
- 2 Lbs chicken thighs (skinless, boneless) - use chicken breasts for a Fit-for-You option
- 2 Cups shredded lettuce
- 1-1.5 Cups shredded pepper jack cheese
- 3/4 cups chuncky salsa (brand of your choice)
- 1/2 Cup sour cream
- 1 Package of corn tostadas shells (approx 10-12 per package)
- 2 Avacados (freshly peeled, de-pitted, and sliced)
- 2 Fresh Limes
- 1/2 Cup diced Cilantro
methodThoroughly wash chicken, cut into 4ths, and add to preheated slow cooker (medium heat in a 3-4 quart cooker).
Next, mix your minced jalapeno peppers, garlic, chili powder, canola oil, lime juice and salt together, and then pour over chicken. Stir chicken around with a wooden spoon until thoroughly coated with the seasoned oil mixture.
Cover and cook for 3 to 4 hours on medium heat, and another 1-3 hours on low heat... until you reach desired tenderness, and chicken easily pulls apart.
Remove chicken from cooker and place on clean cutting board. You should be able to pull/shred the chicken using just two forks.
Once all chicken is shredded, added it back to the crockpot (slow cooker), and stir around in the juices.
Once thoroughly re-coated in spices, use a slotted spoon or tongs to place 1/2 cup shredded chicken on a tostada shell, and then top with shredded lettuce, cheese, salsa and sour cream.
Finish with optional garnish: sprinkle of cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime and top with 1-2 slices of fresh avocado.