Mexican Chicken for Tacos
Thanks to my craving for some delicious Mexican chicken for tacos, I’m finally coming at you with a new blog post! I know, I know, it’s been forever. And I promised you guys this recipe back when I posted my Best Chicken Enchilada recipe a couple of months ago, didn’t I? Yes, the wait has been long, but wait no more! I’m back and I’m bringing one of the best chicken taco recipes of all time!
Do you like your Mexican food spicy, or mild? I won’t lie; I like some heat! I describe levels of spiciness in this way: there’s “warm up your mouth” hot, “a little burn to the tongue” hot, “I feel it in my throat” hot, and “ay caramba!” hot. I really like it somewhere between the last two, and I can definitely handle full-on “ay caramba!”…even if my eyes are watering and I begin to sweat. The beauty of this Mexican chicken for tacos is that you can make it as hot or as mild as you like. You’re in control, so do it your way!
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Some Like it Hot…
The key to these perfect chicken tacos is the fresh blender salsa, which I highly recommend you make extra of for dipping chips. It’s the simplest salsa recipe ever, and it’s so, so delicious! The zing of the fresh ingredients adds something super special to the chicken, and it literally takes minutes to make. This is where you control your heat, as well. I make mine with one or two whole jalapeños… ribs, seeds and all! I say one or two, because it depends on who I’m making it for. My family likes the kick of one whole jalapeño; I could easily go for two. You can remove the ribs and seeds of the pepper to hold down on the heat, but be sure to wear gloves while cutting it up!
If you’re like me and live for the heat, try a habanero pepper…seeded, of course (even I’m not that crazy)! Habaneros have such a delicious, fruity flavor and can take your salsa to a whole new level. If you’re more wimpy, you could even try a mild banana pepper or Serrano chile without the seeds. It’s completely your call!
simple mexican recipe
Now that I’ve rambled on and on about salsa and tongue torches, I’ll get on with the Mexican chicken for tacos. All you need is some boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders (I used tenders here), a few spices, and some of your fresh blender salsa to make this fantastic recipe. Oh…and a cast-iron skillet, because everything is better in an iron skillet!
When seasoning chicken tacos, more is more. Ok, maybe that’s a matter of personal preference, but I season mine generously, then brown it well on both sides before adding the salsa to the skillet and letting it simmer. Once the simmering begins, you’ll have plenty of time to prep the rest of your taco ingredients while you sip a margarita or two. I like to have shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, freshly-grated Monterrey jack cheese, avocado, a little sour cream, and scallions. Sometimes I make my super-yummy guacamole, but, honestly, the margarita is the most important part of your wait.
Once the chicken has cooked through, just shred it up with two forks and build your tacos! You’ll love the flavors in this chicken, and the spiciness is nicely offset by the cold toppings…especially the sour cream. You just can’t leave that off! I love the cilantro and lime flavor from the salsa, and the crispiness of the chicken from pre-browning is to die for!
If you have a little extra time and don’t mind the mess, you can cut your chicken into small bite-sized pieces before seasoning, brown it off in small batches, then add it back to the skillet with the salsa. It does cook a little bit quicker this way, but it’s also more prep work and a little more messy. The oil seems to splatter more when I do it this way, but it sure is delicious to have each little piece of chicken browned all the way around! Also, It gives you a chance to remove all the little “dingleberries” that are always in chicken tenders….that’s what I call them, anyway. You know, those little tendon thingies at the fat end of a tender that no one can chew? If I’m cooking with chicken tenders, the dingleberries gotta go!! I removed them all during the shredding process this time.
perfect chicken tacos at home!
I love to go out for Mexican food, but the prices at our local place are just outrageous. I guess that’s what happens when you’re the best gig in town, right? I’ve figured out ways to make all of our favorite dishes at home, and Mexican chicken for tacos is a family favorite at Big Creek. I usually double up on the recipe so we have leftovers. You know I love a good “cook once, eat twice” meal idea, and this simple Mexican recipe fits the bill.
Thanks for being patient with me. I promised you a taco chicken recipe, and I delivered…eventually! Ha! I hope this recipe was worth the wait, and that you’ll try it very soon! Please, oh pretty please, come back and let me know how it turned out for you. And before you go, would you pop into the comments and answer me this…do you prefer spicy or mild? I just gotta know! 😉