Wednesday, March 5, 2008

chicken tacos

whenever i'm starving and in need of something that i can have ready to go in less than 30 minutes, i make tacos. they're quick, easy, and satisfying. i can't think of a better combination especially when you're getting home later than you planned on and your stomach's yelling at you because you were supposed to have fed it all ready. shame on you. now, time to silence those thunderous groans and get cooking. You can set out any sides you may like to have with your tacos- I tend to set out some sour cream,diced tomatoes, prepared salsa, and shredded lettuce.
  • 4 tortillas or hard taco shells( if preparing a dinner for 2 or if you're especially hungry)
  • 1 lb chicken breasts/thighs/tenders- diced, stripped or ground. whatever your preference. In this recipe, i went with chicken tenders ground at home in the food processor.
  • 2 tsp oil - corn, vegetable or olive. doesn't matter here.
  • 1/2 red pepper and 1/2 green pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1/4 tsp each of coriander, cumin, and chipotle chile powder - this will be for the peppers.
  • 1 tsp of sazon - this is a spice blend found in the ethnic aisles of your local grocery store. you can use it to add color and a little exta flavor to just about any dish including rice, chicken,soups and stews. i use it when im making chicken stew and the traditional "arroz con pollo."
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Start by heating a large skillet over medium heat. Add the peppers and onions into a medium bowl and season with the cumin,coriander,sazon and chile powder plus a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to distribute the seasoning evenly.
  2. Add the seasoned trio to the skillet plus the minced garlic, being sure it' spread in an even layer. Allow to cook untouched for about 4 minutes then stir to allow the other side to brown. I like to have a little fun at this point by getting an oven mitt and grabbing the skillet handle and pulling the mix towards me. It's like the peppers and onions are doing a somersault off the skillet.

  3. While you're waiting for the peppers to brown, season the chicken using the same amounts of the cumin,coriander, and chile powder that you used to season the peppers as well as salt and pepper. Also, if you'e having tortillas you can go ahead and set either a large skillet or griddle pan to heat over medium heat.

  4. Once the vegetables have done their first somersault, go ahead and add the chicken. After about 3 minutes, time for another somersault. It will also be time to deglaze the pan with a little bit of water to scrape up some of those bits that may have stuck. Allow this to cook for about 6-10 minutes depending on what kind of meat you chose to use.\

  5. Heating the torillas: Add either some olive oil or butter to your skillet and place the tortilla inside. Once the tortilla starts to inflate, it's ready to be flipped. Let the second side cook for about 1 minute to a minute and a half more.


When it comes to assembly, I say to each his own. I like to spread some of the filling down the middle of my tortilla then add the shredded cheese so that it melts followd by some lettuce, sour cream, salsa and the diced tomatoes. Wrap it up and take a HUGE bite.

If you want a little something more than plain,diced tomatoes here's a quick recipe for a spicy Pico De Gallo:

  • 1 roma tomato, diced
  • 2 tbs diced red onion
  • 1 Jalapeno, Minced.
  • 1.5 tbs Jose Cuervo Tequila
  • Chopped Cilantro

Combine first 4 ingredients. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and top off with chopped cilantro. Not spicy enough? Add some crushed red pepper flakes for extra heat.

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