Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Favourite Recipes: Grilled Chicken Tacos Alambres

Grilled Chicken Tacos Alambres

(updated 16/10/07: fixed a few typos, and now you can mouse-over ingredients in the cooking instructions to see the quantities, which is useful if you're reading the recipe off the screen while you're cooking.)

Yields 12 to 16 tacos; serves four to six.

This recipe is from an edition of Fine Cooking magazine (I'm not sure whether you can get Fine Cooking at the newsagents here -- I don't recall seeing it -- but you can get them, as I did, from the Brisbane City Council libraries). Tastes really good.

Note that this is for the small, about 12 cm diameter, soft tortillas. Not the big ones, or the hard taco shells.

I haven't been able to find poblano chillis here, but the jalapeno / capsicum substitute works well, and you can get jalapenos at some supermarkets.

  • For the marinated chicken
    • lime juice, ½ cup (from about 2 limes)
    • ancho chilli powder, 1 tbsp (it'll still be fine with other sorts of chilli powder)
    • garlic, 2 cloves (about 2 tsp) minced
    • salt, 1 ½ tsp
    • dried oregano, 1 tsp
    • black pepper, 1 tsp
    • veg oil, 1 cup
    • boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 600g (1 1/4 pounds)
  • For rest of the filling
    • veg oil, 1 tsp; more if sauteing the chicken
    • bacon, 3 slices, finely chopped
    • fresh poblano chiles, 1 cup, cored, seeded, and finely chopped (about 2 poblanos)
      jalapenos, 2 fresh, and green capsicum, ½, cored, seeded, and finely chopped
    • yellow or white onion, finely chopped, 1 cup
    • fresh corriander, chopped, 1/4 cup
    • juice of 1 lime
    • salt
    • oaxaca cheese OR freshly grated mozzarella, ½ cup (optional)
  • For serving
Note that none of these last three items -- guacamole, pico de gallo, tomatillo salsa -- are essential. And if you can't get tomatillos (so far, I haven't found anywhere that sells them), you could just use a tomato salsa)
  • Marinate the chicken
    • In a medium bowl, mix the lime juice, chilli powder, garlic, salt, oregano, and pepper; whisk in the oil.
    • Add the chicken, cover and, and marinate in the fridge for 1 hr but no longer than 1 ½ hrs.
  • Make the fillings
    • Prepare a medium-hot fire on a gas or charcoal grill or set a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat for 1 ½ minutes.
    • Remove the chicken from the marinade, shaking off any excess.
    • Grill the chicken (or sear it in the skillet with 1 tbsp oil), flipping after 4 mins, until it’s just firm to the touch and cooked through, about 9 mins.
    • Let the chicken cool and then chop it into very small pieces.
    • Heat a skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp oil and the bacon, and cook, stirring frequently, until the bacon just begins to brown, about 6 mins.
    • Turn the heat to medium high, add the chillis and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften, about 4 mins.
    • Add the chopped chicken, corriander, and lime juice and stir constantly until the chicken is hot.
    • Season with salt to taste.
    • Sprinkle the cheese (if using) over the top, take the pan off the heat, and let the cheese melt.
  • To serve
    • Set the skillet with the filling on a trivet on the table next to the hot tortillas, guacamole, pico de gallo, and tomatillo salsa so each person can assemble his or her own tacos.

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