Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Chicken Tacos




Makes 8-10 tacos

Ok this looks like a ton of directions and I guess it kind of is but none of it is difficult. Just takes some time, but you can do a lot of it ahead of time to make it a quick and easy dinner.

Tacos:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
¾ C pico de gallo (recipe here)
8-10 soft corn tortilla shells
¼- ½ cup canola or vegetable oil for frying tortillas

Toppings:
Sour cream
Jalapeno Ranch Dressing (recipe below)
Cilantro
Pico de gallo
Avocado

Chicken:
For our family of just Aaron and I and three little ones we only need 2 chicken breasts and that usually gives us a little leftovers to have my father-in-law come over and finish it off with 2-3 tacos. (It’s his favorite meal that I make)  It’ll depend on how full you stuff them but last night we got 11 tacos out of 2 breasts.

Place the chicken in the crock pot and set it to low until the chicken easily shreds. You could also cook the chicken the day before, put it in the refrigerator and then when you’re ready to make your tacos chop it up so you get chunks and also shreds of chicken. We like it either way.

Once your chicken is shredded and your pico is made place your chicken in a pan that has a lid and turn the stove on to medium heat. Pour ¾-1 cup of the pico including the juices from it over the chicken. Cover the pan and let it heat up. You want the chicken to soak up all the juices. When it starts to boil remove the lid so it cooks down a little. When all of the liquid is basically gone and the meat is heated through it’s done. Sorry I don’t really have a time frame, it usually just sits on the stove until I’m done doing whatever else I need to do. Like the ranch dip, or until I’m done making all the taco shells.

Jalapeno Ranch Dip:
I got this recipe from Pinterest here, they say it’s like Chuey’s but it’s been so long since I’ve been there I can’t remember exactly what it’s like... from what I can tell it’s at least similar but it’s definitely good! And makes a lot so I halved this recipe and still gave some away..




8 ounces mayonnaise
24 ounces sour cream
1 Cup buttermilk
1 Cup tomatillo salsa
1 handful of cilantro
3 ranch dressing packets
½ Cup Pickled Jalapenos
Combine all ingredients in a blender; process until smooth.

Taco Shells:

This is the kind we usually use, really any brand is fine, they're all pretty much the same and cheap! You can buy them in smaller packages too.

In a small pan pour just enough oil to cover the bottom. Turn to medium-high heat on stove-top until oil is heated. Place one tortilla in the hot oil and turn the heat down to just under medium. Let the tortilla cook for about 30 seconds or until its golden brown on the bottom and turn it with a pair of tongs. Let it cook for about 23-30 seconds or until golden. Take the tortilla out of the oil but hold it over the pan to let some of the oil drain off. Place cooked tortilla on a paper towel to drain. Start your next tortilla.. if you’re making a lot of tortillas you’ll need to add some oil to the pan after a while, just add whatever you need to fill the bottom of the pan again, let it heat up and continue frying.

When I make this meal for my in-laws I can’t get tortillas made fast enough! As soon as they’re on the plate they’re gone. Much yummier than the super crunchy fall apart ones they sell. These end up chewy yet crunchy super good. If you let them cook too long they will break apart but if they’re cooked shorter the softer they will be, so cook them to your preference.

Now it’s time to assemble your taco! The way I like to do it and the way it is in the picture is I put a layer of sour cream on first, then the chicken, cheese, dressing, more pico sometimes, and cilantro.. I unfortunately didn’t have any avocado but that's really good too.

Sometimes I’ll make this really easy green chile rice to go with it and some black beans but most of the the time I only have room for the tacos :) I hope you like it as much as we do!
 

** If you don’t like the vinegar in pico de gallo you can also just cook the chicken in your favorite salsa and it also turns out really good! I’ve done it with Pace Salsa and it turned out tasting a lot like an enchilada chicken would. This recipe is also awesome with leftover shredded pork and I almost like it better.. So experiment because we definitely do!**


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