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

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Three-Cheese, Rosemary and Pepperoni Pizza

So we’ve been continuing to have our weekly pizza nights for a while now, and I’m becoming more and more confident and comfortable with my pizza making skills. I’ve discovered that sometimes rolling out your dough, rather than just stretching it makes things go more smoothly, and I’ve also found that using parchment paper to make my pizza on and transfer it to the oven, cuts down on 99.99% of the stress I was feeling about pizza making. It seriously makes things go so smoothly, and I no longer feel my blood pressure rising as I try to slide my pizza off the peel and into the oven. I usually just let it bake the entire way on the parchment paper, and I haven’t had a problem, but you can also slide it out a few minutes into the cooking time, when the dough as cooked enough to do so. I really love this method!

This three-cheese, pepperoni and rosemary pizza is fabulous! Ron declared it his favorite pizza so far, and while I still think the clam, bacon and onion pizza has been my favorite, this is in my top 3! I used fresh rosemary from my garden, and it made me feel so accomplished that I was using an ingredient that I grew myself! I can’t wait until I have more than just herbs to pick. You should definitely make this pizza! You are pretty much guaranteed to love it- unless you don’t like pepperoni, or rosemary or cheese… then I suppose this won’t be your cup of tea 🙂

Three-cheese rosemary and pepperoni pizza

Three-Cheese Rosemary and Pepperoni Pizza

Makes one 12-14 inch pizza

Ingredients:

1/2 pizza dough recipe (or about 1 lb pizza dough)

About 1/2 cup sauce (I used the super simple tomato sauce)

8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded

6 oz Fontina, shredded

2 oz ricotta (about 1/4 cup)

2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped

Pepperoni slices (however much you want)

Directions:

1. Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven, and preheat oven to 500 degrees. Let preheat for an hour before baking pizza.

2. Stretch or roll out your pizza dough on a piece of parchment paper, set on your pizza peal (if you have one). Top with sauce. Sprinkle on about 3/4 of the mozzarella and fontina cheeses. Drop about 1 Tbsp spoonfuls of the ricotta on top. Place your pepperoni pieces on the pizza (as much as you want!). Sprinkle the rosemary over the top. Top with the remaining mozzarella and fontina cheeses.

3. Slide pizza (on parchment) onto your baking stone, and bake for about 14 minutes. Remove from oven, and let sit for about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Source: Smells Like Home

Enchilada Lasagna

Enchilada Lasagna

Are you guys ready for another variation on enchiladas? I know it’s only been a few weeks since I posted an enchilada recipe, but I just love the flavors of enchiladas so much that I never tire of them, and wouldn’t mind making a new variation every week! I’ve actually made this particular variation several times, and like all of the other Alton Brown recipes I’ve tried, it does not disappoint. This is similar in flavor to the red chile enchiladas, containing the chicken, cheese, and red chile sauce (although this one uses chipotles instead of guajillo chiles), but it is a quicker variation as everything is layered, rather than rolled up. I think the traditional rolled enchiladas make for a prettier presentation, but the flavor of these is just as good, and so on those nights where you have a little bit less energy, this is perfect! If you cut this lasagna as soon as you take it out of the oven, you’re slices will be pretty messy, so I suggest waiting for it to cool down a bit so that it slices more neatly. If you can’t wait though, I don’t blame you! It’ll still taste just as good.

Enchilada Lasagna

Enchilada Lasagna

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

For sauce:

2 dried chipotle chiles, stemmed and seeded, diced (or 2 canned chipotle chiles, diced)

3 large garlic cloves, minced

2 1/2 tsp chili powder

1 1/2 tsp cumin

2 cups chicken broth

3 cups tomato sauce

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For filling:

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced

1 1/2 cups onion, diced

Pinch kosher salt

1 large clove garlic, minced

1 tsp dried oregano

12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (Cut 3 of them in half)

3 cups shredded Monterey jack cheese

Nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

1. To make sauce: combine the chipotle chiles, garlic, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper in a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. Set aside.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Place a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add vegetable oil. Add chicken, and saute for 7-9 minutes, until cooked through. Remove chicken to a dish, and add onion and a pinch of salt to the skillet. Lower heat to medium-low and cook for 4-6 minutes until starting to soften. Add the garlic and oregano, and cook for 2-3 minutes more, until the onions are softened. Add the chicken to the onions, and remove from the heat.

4. To assemble: Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spead 1/2-cup sauce in the bottom of the dish. Dip 3 tortillas, and 2 of the halves in the enchilada sauce, and lay in the baking dish to cover the bottom. Add half the chicken mixture in an even layer, and 1 cup of the cheese. Repeat with next 4 tortillas (3 whole and 1 cut in half) dipped in sauce, remaining chicken, and 1 cup of cheese. Top with remaining tortillas dipped in sauce. Pour remaining sauce over the top, and top with remaining cheese.

4. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake for 10 more minutes, until cheese and sauce are bubbling.

Source: Alton Brown

No-Knead Pizza Dough and Super Simple Tomato Sauce

Have I told you guys yet that for Christmas my boyfriend’s parents got me all this fabulous pizza making equipment? A pizza stone, pizza peel, pizza pan, pizza wheel and server? Yeah, I was pretty excited, and now I have no excuse for not perfecting my homemade pizza. It’s definitely still not there yet, but I’m getting better and better with every pizza I make, and it’s been really fun coming up with combinations of pizza to try. So far we’ve stuck with pretty classic combinations, but I think as time goes on, we’ll become more and more creative! I have a bunch of pizza dough recipes I want to try, and I really like the one I’ve made before (this one), but I know it could be even better. I grew up in New Haven, CT which is known for it’s fabulous pizza (Modern is my personal favorite), and the whole state is filled with awesome pizza restaurants (Christos in Wallingford is excellent), so I have a lot to live up to. Homemade pizza will never replace take-out for me, but it’s still fun, delicious, and makes me feel a little less guilty about my pizza habit.

Pizza

I’ve been intrigued by this no-knead pizza dough for a while. It sounds sooo easy, and after trying it, I concur… It is definitely easier than my other dough recipe, and it was a lot easier to handle as well. I really like the other pizza dough I’ve made, but it is a lot more temperamental and I get a lot more frustrated when I’ve worked with it than I did with this no-knead dough. I had no problem shaping it on the peal, only had a couple places where it tore, and it didn’t have any problem sticking to the peel. The flavor is great too, and I love that it makes enough for 2 pizzas, so I end up making a full batch, and then just freezing one for the following week. It works out perfectly, and I swear that the second dough from the freezer was even easier to handle and tasted better.

This tomato sauce recipe is extremely simple and tasty as well. You just add a few ingredients to a food processor, buzz it all together, and bam, done! This recipe also makes enough for 3-4 pizzas, so you could refriderate or freeze the rest for future pizza making.

No Knead Pizza Dough

No-Knead Pizza Dough

Makes 2 14-inch pizzas

Ingredients:

3 3/4 cups bread flour

2 1/2 tsp active or instant dry yeast

3/4 tsp table salt

3/4 tsp sugar

1 1/3 cups warm water

Directions

1. Stir together the bread flour, yeast, salt and sugar in a large bowl.

2. Add the water and mix together with your hands, or a wooden spoon, until it all comes together. This’ll take a minute or two.

3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and leave to rise at room temperature for 2 hours.

4. Divide dough into 2 portions. If you are only making one pizza, now is a good time to freeze one portion of the dough. Wrap in plastic wrap, put in a freezer bag, and place in the freezer.

Source: Shutterbean

Super Simple Tomato Sauce

Makes enough for 3-4 pizzas

Ingredients:

1 28-oz can whole peeled tomatoes, drained

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp red wine vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 tsp salt

1 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Directions:

1. Add all ingredients to a food processor or blended, and blend until smooth. That’s it 🙂 The extra can be refridgerated or frozen for future use.

Source: Annie‘s Eats

To make the pizza:

1. Adjust one oven rack to the lowest setting, place pizza stone on it, and preheat oven to 500 degrees- and let stone sit in the preheated oven for an hour before assembling and cooking the pizza.

2. Shape the other dough on your pizza peal sprinkled with cornmeal or flour (if you have one), add desired toppings, and slide onto pizza stone. Bake for 14 minutes. Alternately, you could use a pizza pan (like the ones with the perforated hole), or you could roll out the dough onto a large (13×18 rimmed oiled baking sheet). If you use either the pizza pan or baking sheet, the pizzas will probably need to bake a bit longer- 18-20 minutes.

Here are some types of pizza we’ve made lately, if you want some ideas!

Pepperoni and Roasted Pepper

Clam, Bacon and Onion (recipe coming soon!!)

Caramelized onion and chicken

Pepperoni and Mushroom

Buffalo chicken pizza

BLT Pizza

Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Pizza