Chicken Tacos (or Tostadas) with Green Chile Adobo

These tacos are dear to my heart. You could legitimately call them the “dish of Summer ’16” in our house. They are so flavorful and delicious that I look forward to them every time, and they never disappoint. They are relatively easy to make and can be prepared quickly, especially if you have made the adobo ahead of time. David likes his tortillas soft, and I like mine crunchy (I eat these like tostadas) so I make sure to preheat my oven to 400 F before I get started on dinner, then I bake them while the chicken is cooking. If you like your tortillas soft, you can quickly microwave them right before serving. Like many Mexican meals, these are best enjoyed outside with a cold beer and some napkins.

from: Rick Bayless via People Magazine
serves: 4

1/2 head of garlic, separated into cloves (leave skin on)
5 serrano chilies, stems removed
2 cups loosely packed cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish)
2 cups loosely packed flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
kosher salt
12 corn tortillas
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese, queso fresco, or cotija cheese
lime wedges for garnish

To make the adobo, place a large, dry skillet over medium heat. Add garlic cloves (with skin on) and chilies, and roast, turning often, until soft and browned in spots, about 10 minutes for the chilies and 15 for the garlic. Your kitchen will smell amazing at this point. Transfer onto a cutting board and let cool. Remove and discard skins from the garlic cloves and roughly chop along with the chilies. Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the chopped cilantro, parsley, 1 cup oil and 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons salt (you can add more later, if needed). Process, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary until nearly smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove 1/3 cup of mixture, stir in 2 tablespoons of water and set aside. (Cover the remaining adobo and store in the fridge for up to 3 days or the freezer for up to a month.

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Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with a generous sprinkling of salt. In a large heavy-bottom skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high. Place the chicken in a single layer, and add the onions into the open spots. As the chicken cooks, nestle in the onions, turning as they brown. Cook chicken about 5 to 6 minutes on both sides until browned (leave it slightly underdone- it will finish cooking in the sauce). Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside. Continue cooking onions, stirring often, for 5 to 6 more minutes, until caramelized.

chicken

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and cut into 1/4 ” slices. Add the chicken back to the pan with the onions and stir in the reserved 1/3 cup green chile adobo. Cook stirring often, until chicken is fully cooked through, about 2-3 more minutes. Season to taste with salt, if needed.

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Meanwhile, wrap the tortillas in parchment paper, and microwave about 30 seconds or until warmed and more pliable. (If you prefer a crunchy tortilla like me, lightly brush the tortilla with olive oil on both sides and bake in a 400 F degree oven, flipping occasionally, until the tortillas are lightly browned and crispy.)

Serve the chicken with the warm tortillas, cheese, and more cilantro and lime wedges, if desired.

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chicken3

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Here are some ideas for that leftover adobo sauce:

  • toss it with pasta and a little grated queso
  • add it to scrambled eggs or omelets
  • mix it with mayo for a quick sandwich spread

 

 

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