Braised Chicken Tacos

I’m in a taco phase right now… Anything I can stuff into a tortilla, I want to devour. Lately I’ve made a multitude of breakfast tacos, fish tacos, and then these braised chicken tacos. If I could eat tacos for breakfast, lunch and dinner I would… well, I guess nothing is stopping me from doing that, other than the fact that I want to make every recipe known to man, and that includes recipes that aren’t tacos… but seriously, tacos are the best. Maybe I’ve told you this story, but when I was a kid, my brother Jeremy was not a taco fan. Whereas I would be ecstatic when I heard it was taco night, he would moan and groan and complain about tacos being boring and not filling. He said they were the Mexican equivalent of sandwiches… which I guess he also found boring. Weirdo! Luckily he has now changed his tune, otherwise I might have to disown him.

Onto the tacos… these are so simple, spicy and flavorful. They are a perfect and quick weeknight meal, which as you know are my favorite! Served alongside some rice and beans, you’ll have a complete (and filling) meal that no one should consider boring.

Braised chicken tacos

Braised Chicken Tacos

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 jalapeno, thinly sliced

1 large bone-on, skin-on chicken breast (about 1 lb)

1 cup chicken broth

1 12-15 oz can tomato sauce (mine was 15 oz)

2 Tbsp cumin

2 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp chipotle chile powder

Kosher salt, to taste

12 corn tortillas

For topping:

Cilantro

Scallions, thinly sliced

Radishes, thinly sliced

Avocado slices

Cojita cheese (optional)

Lime wedges

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a heavy pot, preferably a Dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add onions, jalapenos, and a sprinkle of salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions and jalapenos are browned and have started to soften.  Add chicken broth, and scrape up the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to medium.

2. Add the chicken breast to the pot, skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes, so that the fat has a chance to render.

3. Add the tomato sauce, cumin and chili powders and stir to combine. Flip the chicken over, and place the lid on to cover. Reduce heat to low and cook 15 minutes, flip chicken over and cook another 15 minutes until chicken is cooked through.

4. Remove the chicken breast, and shred the meat. Add the shredded meat back to the pot, and throw away the bone and skin. Season with salt to taste.

5. Heat up the tortillas- to heat mine, I place a stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat. When heated, add as many tortillas as can fit (my 12-inch skillet can hold 3). When the first side is starting to brown and puff up, I flip and brown the other side.

6. To serve, top the warm tortillas with the braised chicken and sauce, cilantro, radish slices, scallions, avocado, cojita cheese (if using) and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve alongside rice and beans.

Source: heatherchristo.com

Brown Rice and Beans with Chile-Ginger Salsa

I hope everyone is having a good week! I am so excited that tomorrow is Friday. The week has just been so busy and everyone has been sick at work, so I need to get some fresh air away from all the germs! I plan on sleeping in this weekend (if getting up at 8 can be considered sleeping in), doing some spring cleaning, planting some flowers, watching some movies, and just relaxing. I love weekends where I have no formal plans. Maybe that’s boring for some people, but it’s just the way I like my weekends to be!

When I saw this recipe in the April issue of Bon Appetit I knew immediately that it was something I wanted to make. Sure, it’s super simple, pretty much just a rice and bean bowl, but the chile-ginger salsa was what really intrigued me. Ginger is not something you usually see in salsas, and since I loved all the flavors that were to make up the salsa, I knew it would be something delicious! Plus, I have no problem with a simple meal of rice and beans. In fact, that’s one of my go-to meals when I’m alone for dinner, and don’t know what to make- rice, beans, a fried egg, and some hot sauce. Simple, filling and satisfying. This meal dresses up the basics with sauteing some onion before you add the rice to the pot, and then adding some cilantro at the end. The beans are also jazzed up with onion, cumin and coriander, and then you have that chile-ginger salsa to put on top, along with a bunch of toppings of your choosing. Of course, I used them all! I made this meal to bring to lunch for the week, and I never got bored of it. It was a super satisfying vegetarian meal, and you could totally make it vegan just by omitting the cheese. Now that I’m thinking about ginger in the salsa, this reminds me of another awesome meal that I haven’t made in forever from the New York TimesIts a gently cooked chicken with a garlic-chile-ginger sauce. I will have to make that soon!

Brown Rice and Beans with Chile-Ginger Salsa

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1 medium onion, chopped, divided

1 cup brown rice

Kosher salt

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped, divided

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

2 (15-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth or water

2 red jalapenos (or Fresno or Holland chiles), stemmed, halved and seeded

1 garlic clove

1 Tbsp ginger, chopped and peeled

1 Tbsp finely grated lime zest

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 avocado, halved, pitted and chopped

1/4 cup Cojita or feta cheese, crumbled

Lime wedges

Directions:

1. Place a medium saucepan over medium heat, and add 1 Tbsp of the olive oil. Add 1/4 of the chopped onion, and saute about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the rice, and stir to coat. Add 2 cups water, season with salt, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat to low, cover and cook for 40-50 minutes, until rice is cooked. Then remove from the heat, let stand, covered for 10 minutes. Remove cover, fluff with fork, add 1/4 cup of the cilantro, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. In the meantime, add the remaining Tbsp of oil to a medium saucepan, and place over medium heat. Add 2/3 of the remaining onion, and saute for about 5 minutes until the onion is softened. Add the coriander and cumin, and cook, stirring, for a minute. Add the black beans and broth or water, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, until slightly thickened, mashing slightly.

3. To make the chile-ginger salsa, add the chiles, garlic, lime zest, lime juice and remaining onion to a blender or a mini-food processor. Pulse a few times, until it forms a chunky salsa. Season with salt to taste.

4. To serve, add the rice and the beans to a bowl, top with salsa, avocado, cheese, cilantro, and lime wedges.

Source: Bon Appetit, April 2013