Taco nights seem to be very popular lately. And really who doesn’t like tacos? My Aunt Barbara who to this day is one of my cooking icons always had the best taco nights. I still crave her tacos. By putting a few extra little touches to your tacos like, using good ingredients, and making everything from scratch your tacos can go from ordinary to extraordinary!
I made these chicken tacos for the girls and one guy at Michele Coulon Dessertier and I think they would be great for any taco night.
First Make The Chicken:
Place Chicken Breast in between to sheets of wax paper
Pound with Mallot to make chicken breast more even (if you do not have a mallot I have used all these items before I got one: large books, back of my hand, rolling pin, bottom of heavy pots) This is one of those extras steps that really makes a difference, I have cooked so many chicken breasts with the tops were juicy and the bottoms dry. If you pound them it evenly distributes them better and allows for a more even cook.
Heavily season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.
Melt butter in heavy bottomed pan and leave on HIGH heat (1.5 tablespoons butter for each breast)
Cook chicken breast on each side until very browned almost black (about 5-7 minutes)
When both sides are cooked turn heat down to low and place cover over pan
Cook for about ten minutes until chicken is throughly cooked through out, all white and no pink (the purpose of the high heat is to brown them and the purpose of the low heat is to evenly distribute the cooking through out the chicken breast. If you only cook the chicken on high the breasts will be black on the outsides and raw on the insides) Total cooking time generally about 20 minutes, depending on breast size.
Remove chicken from heat let cool.
Meanwhile slice either green red or yellow onions, onions, I prefer green. For each one chicken breast I use half an onion or half a bunch of green onions.
When chicken is cool, slice on the bias (in a diagonal) into thin strips small enough to fit into a taco.
Put onions into pan and cook until soft and translucent, add chicken, juice of 1/2 lemon or lime (for each breast) and chile oil
Season to taste
Toppings are really most of the rage with taco nights. I like to have these on hand for my tacos:
Crispy Lettuce (like butterhead)
Grated Organic Sharp Aged Cheddar (remember all the little touches make a difference get good cheese as opposed to the dry pre grated plastic bags, I have been lazy and gotten that cheese before and it pretty much made me cry)
Grated Organic Monterey Jack with Peppers
Avocados with Salt Lemon and Lime
Chopped Organic Heirloom Tomatoes
Chopped Red Onions
Organic Sour Cream
My parents would always make this salsa which go amazing with tacos:
Slice Half a Red Onion and Marinate in Fresh Lemon and Lime Juice
Slice Two Large Tomatoes and Scrape (reserving juices) Into Bowl with Onions
Add One Mashed Avocado
And One Bunch Roughly Chopped Cilantro
Season with Salt Pepper Lemon and Lime Juice
All of the quantities can be changed, and feel free to leave out the avocado and make it more of a pico de gallo
If I serve this I do not served chopped tomato and avocado
I like to serve these beans as an option for vegetarians but it also goes really well with the chicken:
For One Can Organic Cooked Black Beans add Two Roasted Peppers (see previous post for directions)
Season with Salt Pepper and Lime.
The Piece de Resistance that my Aunt Barbara would always do is deep fry the corn tortillas. I use canola oil for this.
Place oil into HEAVY BOTTOMED sauce pan, you will need to have about four inches of oil covering your tortilla to get the best results. The oil is hot enough if the tortilla floats when you place it in the pan. Using tongs place the tortilla in the sauce pan and brown a little on each side. You want the tortilla to be both crispy and soft at the same time. It is a complicated theory, but once you have eaten a few you will figure out your frying preference. There is really no wrong way to do it, except for burning.
If you do not feel like deep frying your tortilla another option is if you have a gas stove, place directly on flame and brown, or you can heat in a dry sautee pan.
Here is an open version of the one I ate the other day. Enjoy!