Sunday, November 18, 2007

Chipotle Chicken Tacos

This might not be the best photo in the world... You're lucky you have a photo at all, actually. I'd piled my toppings on these babies and was headed out the door when the little quiet voice in my head said, "Take a picture, fool!!"... so I tried to push some of the lettuce and cilantro out of the way so you could see the actual filling... O well. Just trust me that there is some tasty chicken, pepper jack cheese and sour cream under all that greenery.

Photo snapped, I proceeded to join the hubs in front of the tv (football was on!!!). I took a bite, looked at him and said, "Dif if dewifuff!!!!" (yes, Mom, my mouth was full.) Seriously dewifuff.

The filling was nice and spicy, but the cool, creamy sour cream cut it so that it was the right amount of hot. (Meaning, it didn't make me cry this time!) Now, I did mess with it a little. (Big surprise.) Rather than add the can of diced tomatoes, I used an already-opened jar of salsa. Same difference, I thought. The salsa was "chipotle" flavored, so I kept to the theme. My suggestion to you would be: Use tomatoes if you have them or if you want milder tacos, but feel free to use whatever salsa you have on hand or like. My other suggestion: Make sure you get quality corn tortillas. Ours split down the middle, leading to rather messy eating.

I cannot fully express my love for these tacos. They were the absolute perfect meal for us last night. It was cold outside and in and I was in one of those Pajama Sunday kind of moods. You cannot go wrong with this recipe.

Chipotle Chicken Tacos
c/o Culinate,vt=top,q=chipotle+chicken+tacos/2188

For the chicken
2 Tbsp. canola or olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
¾ tsp. dried oregano, freshly crumbled
¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1 (14½ oz.) can whole tomatoes, chopped, with juice
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken thighs (or breasts if you prefer)
1 to 2 chipotle peppers canned in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
1 whole piece of star anise
Salt to taste

For the tacos
8 to 12 corn tortillas
1 cup grated jack cheese
1 cup fresh cilantro, washed, dried and destemmed
1 cup romaine lettuce, washed, dried and cut into shreds
Sour cream (optional

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil. Add onion, garlic, oregano, and pepper. Cook until the onion begins to soften and turn brown on the edges; add the stock, the juice from the tomatoes, and the chicken.

Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside to cool.

Add chopped tomatoes, chipotle peppers, cinnamon, and star anise to the pot, and simmer 15-20 minutes, until the liquid is reduced in half, and more saucy than brothy. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the meat into bite-size pieces. Return chicken to the pot and simmer until it is heated through. Remove the whole spices before serving.

To make the tacos, first warm the tortillas. You can fry them in oil if you like, following the package instructions, or wrap half of them in a paper towel and cook them for 40 seconds in the microwave (the tortillas seem to warm better in smaller quantities, plus your second — and third — tacos will be just as hot as the first if you warm them in batches). For each taco, spoon some of the chicken filling into the tortilla, top with grated cheese, cilantro, and shredded lettuce, and sour cream if you wish.


Deborah said...

Yum!! I love any kind of tacos!! My husband is not a fan of the corn tortillas, so we usually just end up with flour tortillas, but these sound like the corn tortillas would really compliment them. I guess that's the beauty of tacos, he can have his flour tortillas and I can have my corn tortillas!!

Pam said...

Oh, I love chicken tacos! I have marked these to try!

Kristen said...

Oh I missed these earlier. These look so yummy! I love anything taco.

Stephanie said...

These look delicious!

Connie said...

Katie! I finally made these tonight and they are amazing! The Mister loved them and he is really hard to please!

I love your blog and look forward to trying more of the recipes you feature here!


Anonymous said...

This was a big hit at the picnic. Instead of standing around grilling a bunch of fatty meats, I made this in advance and reheated on a camping stove. The prep time at the picnic was about a minute and everybody loved it with flour tacos and fixings.