Monday, July 18, 2011

Easy Chicken Tacos


Since getting rid of our cable last Fall, I have discovered the hidden gem that is PBS.  One of my favorite shows is "From America's Test Kitchen: Cook's Country."  It is totally cheesy, but is extremely informative and the cooking demonstrations always leave me feeling hungry and excited about trying a new recipe.  This recipe for Chicken Tacos is one of those that piqued my interest.  I never would've thought to combine the ingredients called for, but it makes for an extremely easy, flavorful taco filling.  Make some extra to put into quesadillas and burritos for the rest of the week as well!

Also, for fun, I included a sample menu of what I served with the chicken tacos.  Hope you find it useful!

Fiesta Menu: 
Easy Chicken Tacos and suggested toppings
Tortilla chips with pico de gallo and packaged queso dip (Velveeta and a can of Rotel is still my fav)
Spanish Rice
Canned Refried Beans heated and topped with shredded cheese
Cantaloupe slices with lime zest, honey and lime juice drizzled over top
Tropical Shortcakes: yellow cake topped with chopped pineapple, mango, kiwi and berries, pastry cream and whipped cream

Easy Chicken Tacos:
3 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced (look for these in the Latin foods section)
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped and divided
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
salt and pepper to taste
12, 6-inch flour tortillas

For serving: grated cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato or pico de gallo, diced avocado, sour cream

Directions: Melt butter in large skillet over medium high heat.  Add garlic and chipotle peppers and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in orange juice, Worcestershire sauce and 1/2 cup cilantro.  Bring to a boil.

Add chicken and simmer, covered, over medium-low heat until chicken is cooked through and registers 160 degrees, about 10-15 minutes, flipping chicken half-way through cooking.*  Remove chicken from sauce mixture, transfer to a plate and set side, tenting with foil.

Increase heat to medium-high and cook until sauce is reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and whisk in mustard.  Using 2 forks, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces (and removing any "icky bits" as necessary).  Return chicken to skillet.  Toss with remaining cilantro and toss until well-combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve in tortillas with desired toppings.

*Crock Pot Variation: Follow above direction through bringing the sauce mixture to a boil.  Place raw chicken breasts in a crock pot, pour sauce mixture over chicken and cover.  Cook on high for 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked through and shreds easily with a fork.  Remove chicken to a plate.  Pour sauce mixture back into skillet and reduce as directed above.  Shred chicken, toss with sauce mixture and serve or return to crock pot to keep warm until ready to serve.  Stir in fresh cilantro right before serving.    

Source: Easy Chicken Tacos from America's Test Kitchen, Cook's Country TV

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