Michael Chiarello shares his Mexican-inspired recipe for chicken tacos.
Chicken Tacos Recipe
Hey, I'm throwing a party kind of south of the border style, a taco bar and my famous margaritas at the same time. We’re going to have all kinds of dips and sauces and guacamole sliced radishes, all kinds of radishes but one of me filling is one of my favorite chicken taco fillings and I'm going to show you how I do it.
Extra virgin olive oil and I have about 10 cloves of garlic that I minced up. While the garlic is cooking, I can finish mincing my onions. It’s going to be five onions total minced. When I get done with this, a little bit of sauce goes in with the onions to bring some of the moisture out. Quick turn. And these are going to cook for about 10 or 12 minutes until they get really soft and caramelized. You see how many onions? And this is an exactly a traditional Mexican chicken fillet. And today, you’re going to see my interpretation that if I was born like I like to be my next time Mexican, this is how I would cook a chicken taco.
So, I have some big pieces of chicken right here, four pounds of chicken breasts, good amount of salt, lots of pepper, okay. I put my pan on high, mix in our seasoning. And here is a little trick that I learned from my mom when I was a kid. If you want to feed a larger group and you only had a little bit of chicken or meat that’d be floured something up on top, then you can add some water or some stock or something that flour is going to thicken up and you’ll feed about four or five more people just with a thickened sauce because I like the texture that the flour gives into the final chicken mixture.
Now, I have a big saute pan, extra virgin olive oil, nice and hot, you see that. My chicken is going to go right in. Another reason for really large pan is that your chicken doesn’t boil, right. I give it the chance to get a nice surface area. I get it really hot. You always see me with a hot saute pan, I'm putting cold chicken on top of it. That’s going to take the temperature of my pan balanced. So, the hotter I start, the temperature is really going to reduce, the better and quicker the browning we get.
Alright, let’s see. We’ll get our chicken, give them a quick turn. There we go. You see that. In this case, it’s one of the few times I don’t want them really, really brown. I want them to cook lightly. I want the flour to cook a little bit because when I cook them too far, I think the chicken would get too dry so a little bit of a poached chicken. Alright, the chicken will need a few more minutes here and my onions about 10 more minutes and then we can add them altogether. And I'll show you how I spice them up.
Now, it would be a good time to go ahead and slice up our serrano chilies. Now, there’s all kinds of different chilies. They all have different flavors. They’re not all super hot. My favorite actually is the serrano. I'm very fond of it. It’s got a nice little kick to it. And it doesn’t take a whole bunch of chilies to give you a whole lot of flavor. These are going to saute in with my onions and my chicken. And a little bit, I'm going to add some dried chilies that have some paprikas. I have one sweet paprika and one smoked paprika. Sweet paprika, usually if I'm hungry, I happen to have both Spanish but Hungarian paprika is very, very sweet. It’s made from like a pimento pepper that they say is very particular, the one that’s grown in Hungary. We’re also going to add some oregano. Some Mexican oregano is the much different variety so if you can find it in a Latin market, that’s worth to search.
Now, I'm going to start adding the rest of my spices to my onions, add some cumin seeds that I love. I have two tablespoons of cumin. I have toasted this up in saute pan dry, bring the oils of the spice up and give the nuttier less soapy flavor so I can actually use more cumin which I love. A couple of tablespoons of cumin goes in. And this is my two tablespoon recipe. I like to write a recipe but it actually makes sense the second time I do them. So it’s two tablespoons of everything. Two tablespoons of cumin, two tablespoons of sweet paprika, two tablespoons of smoked, slightly hotter paprika and two tablespoons of Mexican oregano. And all these flavor is to cook together nicely with the onions. This is going to be the underlying flavor of this entire dish.
Now, my chicken, my bland chicken, you see there is not much color there. It’s cooked but not cooked too hard and my chicken goes on top with all of the chicken juices. And now, I'm going to put some stock that you could absolutely use water because I got a whole lot of flavor going on here. About four or five cups. This is fantastic. We’re just going to mix this together. The water or the stock and the flour around the chicken are going to cook together. As soon as they come up to a boil, they’re going to make a wonderful sauce. The chicken taco recipe I am making today actually is a recipe that kind of invented and evolved over the years with my kids. When they were young, it would be done just with sweet paprika and everything would be really, really sweet. As they got older and their taste for spicy have got better, it got hotter and hotter. Now, they come home from college and it’s got some kick to them.
Tags:chicken tacos recipe,chicken recipe,easy entertaining with michael chiarello,food network,how to make chicken tacos,How to Make Tacos,latin food recipe,michael chiarello,taco recipe