Chicken Tacos

Yesterday I produced some rather bland looking chicken. Today, I’m going to show you one way to apply it with a chicken taco recipe from Martha Rose Shulman at the NY Times.

Before I dive in, let me offer up a little hint about storing cilantro. When I first bought cilantro I would simply toss it in the fridge. Big mistake. After a couple of days it looked like hell and was ready for the trash bin. So what do you do to make it last?  Stick it in a Mason jar with enough water to cover the roots.  In addition, cover it with a plastic grocery bag, poofing the bag out so moisture doesn’t get trapped.  With this method I’ve found I can keep cilantro a couple of weeks (works for parsley too).

Okay, back to the recipe:

1/2 small red or white onion, finely chopped
1 ear of corn, steamed for five minutes
1 pound ripe tomatoes, finely chopped
1 to 3 jalapeño or serrano peppers (to taste), seeded if desired and minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Salt to taste
1 boneless, skinless chicken breast, poached and shredded (about 2 cups)
8 corn tortillas
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese

1. Place the chopped onion in a small bowl, and cover with cold water. Let sit for five minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Drain on paper towels. Cut the kernels off the steamed ear of corn.

2. Toss together the tomatoes, minced chiles, cilantro, onion and steamed corn. Season to taste with salt, and add up to 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice. Place the shredded chicken in a bowl, and season with 1 tablespoon lime juice and salt to taste.

3. Heat the tortillas. Wrap in aluminum foil, and heat through in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes; or heat through one at a time in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until flexible. Place one or two on each plate, top with shredded chicken and a generous spoonful of the salsa, and sprinkle some cheese on top. Serve, passing additional salsa if there is any at the table.

Yield: Serves four.

Advance preparation: The poached, shredded chicken will keep for three days in the refrigerator. The salsa can be assembled several hours before serving.

In my version I went with the red onion, because I prefer the taste to white (and they always offer a great color contrast to the presentation). I used two ears of corn in place of one because the ears were small and I’d rather have too much corn than too little. I also went with three serrano peppers, but next time I’ll swap them for the jalapeños just to taste the difference.

The chicken I had already broken up from the previous day. The recipe calls 1 tablespoon of lime juice, but more wouldn’t be out of the question.

As for cooking/heating the shells, I prefer the iron skillet method over the oven method. Its funny. I asked for an iron skillet for my birthday. My dad thought I was going to cook country ham (love to, but not on the diet plan) or cornbread.  Wrong. I simply wanted it to heat taco shells.

All you need to do is lightly coat the inside of the skillet with olive oil (cooking spray is fine) and set the burner to medium. Simply toss the shell into the skillet, wait a few seconds, flip it over, give it a few more seconds and that should be it. When you see the shell start to bubble (poof up), its done.

If you are wondering why my shells are brown its because I go with whole wheat shells (Pepito to be specific).

With the three breasts I had poached and the amount of salsa created here, I ended up with eight tacos.

And if you can’t tell from the photo, that’s feta cheese.

The only mistake I made was not having any Mexican beer on hand for dining. Oh, well.

ADDENDUM:

Forget the soaking the onion step. I talked to Rocky, my cooking expert, and he said its suppose to cut the onions “bite”… but isn’t an onion suppose to have a bite?  I made these again skipping the soaking and the taste was just fine.

In addition, go with jalapeños over serranos.

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~ by Genevieve on 2010.01.17.

One Response to “Chicken Tacos”

  1. […] taco shells, I go with whole wheat Pepito brand. Instructions for heating them were covered in the Chicken Taco […]

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