Sunday, April 10, 2011

Mexican Shredded Chicken Taco Rolls

First, I would like to apologize for the name.  That part of this recipe is under construction and it begins because I created something new....Mexican Shredded Chicken.  Now, I'm not naive enough to think no-one else has ever put together this combo before, but one summer Sunday after work, I got a bunch of stuff together and made a date with my stove top to get everything done.  And that I did! 

This chicken goes great in tacos, quesidillas and, although I haven't tried it, I'm sure it's pretty tasty in a chimichanga as well.  This week, in my haste at the grocery store, I grabbed a large bag of small corn tortillas before I knew what to do with them.   I have decided to make the chicken as usual, roll it up in the corn tortilla and bake them.  It will be somewhat of a cross between a taco, an enchilada and a taquito.   Instead of the Taco Roll, maybe I should call it Taquito Grande or The Confused Tacochilada...as you can see, I'm still working on that one.

And ... on to the food: 




Mexican Shredded Chicken 
in Tacochilada Form

All Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 lb chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbls Olive Oil
  • 1 Roma tomato
  • 2 Tomatillos
  • 1/2 Med size white onion, diced
  • 1 Red, Orange or Yellow Bell Pepper
  • 2-3 Cloves fresh garlic
  • 2 Tbls tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin (or more if you like)
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • Dash of red pepper flakes
  • Salt & Pepper to your taste
  • 12-14 Small Corn Tortillas
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Lime wedges
  • Sour Cream
  • Black Beans
  • Avocado
  • Salsa
Preparation:
  • Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  Place them in a skillet with about 1" of water, turning as you need to cook almost all the way through.  Note #1:  You do not fully need to cook the chicken this way you will cook it more after you shred it.  Note #2:  If you are crunched for time, you could skip this step by buying a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and shredding that.
  • While the chicken is cooking, mince the garlic, dice the onion, and chop the tomatillos, pepper and tomatoes.  Timing wise, when you pull the chicken off to start cooling for about 5 minutes (it's easier and less painful to shred when not so hot), start about 2 Tbls olive oil in skillet over medium heat.  Reserve some of the water the chicken cooked in (if there is some left - sometimes it all evaporates or soaks into the chicken).
  • Add onions to oil and saute till close to clear and tender...salt and pepper to your taste.  When onions are close to done, add garlic and peppers.  Cook till soft.  Then add tomatoes, tomatillos, tomato paste, cayenne pepper, cumin, chili powder and red pepper flakes.  Cook very breifly until the flavors meld.  **If you are making the guacamole recipe down below, make sure to reserve a small amount of the chopped onion and tomato.
  • While the vegetables are cooking down, begin shredding your chicken.  This is best accomplished with two forks from my experience, but if it has chilled enough, you could use your hands as an alternative. 
  • Add shredded chicken to mix and let everything work itself together.  At this point, if the mixture is kind of dry, add some of the reserved chicken water.  It is also a good time to test for flavor.  If you think it's too mild, add more spices.  If you think it's too spicy, add a little brown sugar to cut (only a little).  If it's too runny, take the time to let some of the water heat and evaporate.  Sometimes, I even add more water to really heat and cook the flavors together.
  • Open your can of black beans (or rinse re-hydrated black beans).  Dump into colander and rinse till almost cleaned.
  • Take your corn tortillas and layer chicken mixture, black beans and shredded cheese.  Roll up and place in glass baking dish.  Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes.  The goal is to crisp the tortilla and melt the cheese, so it doesn't need a long bake time.
  • Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced avacado, salsa, taco sauce, lime wedges and chopped veggies (onion, tomato and lettuce). 

Now, I mentioned that this does not need to be served this way.  It could be in taco form, burrito, and I'm dying to try it in chimichangas, but either way, this is a crowd pleaser.  And, it would be easy to double this batch for large gatherings or save some of the chicken for other meals.  The chicken mixture will keep in the freezer for a few weeks.  When you reheat, make sure to add some water while re-cooking to keep the moisture. 

While making this, I reserved a small amount of the onions and tomatoes because I was making homemade guacamole to serve on the side of this dish.  Here's the super simple homemade guacamole recipe...I can't wait until my Molcajete is out of storage and I will be able to smoosh and mix tons of guacamole in that. 

No comments:

Post a Comment