There are two things that drive away the gray and the rain for me: exercise and spicy food. This has been the rainiest, darkest winter I can remember. It’s really important to make food that balances out what’s going on in life. These chicken tinga tacos will help lift you out of the end of winter funk.
The first thing you want to do is find some watermelon radishes. These colorful beauties are amazing. I have always liked red radishes in small amounts, but they are a bit too spicy for me to have many. When I saw these watermelon radishes at Ozark Natural Foods, I knew they would be topping my chicken tinga tacos. They are milder than red radishes and have a subtle sweet flavor you will love!
If you wanna do them right, dice them up pretty small – no larger than a kitten’s nose. They will be sprinkled over your tacos when the time comes. Meanwhile, take a swig of wine and get ready for the sauce!
This is where the peppers shine. Ancho and chipotle peppers work well. You can take a shortcut here and buy some chipotles in adobo sauce (use about half a can of those chopped). I did not have any so I simply boiled some dried ancho and dried poblano (aka chipotle) peppers in two cups of water and then added them to the sauce mix with about one cup of the boiled pepper water.
Cook down your onions, folks! Don’t let them go into the sauce all crispy! Do this and your taste buds shall be rewarded with savory goodness.
After you have cooked all your sauce ingredients for a bit in the pan, you should cream them up in a blender. I use the smoothie cup on my Ninja blender for this. It does sound like a jet engine, but gets the job done really quickly. Then it’s time to add in the cooked chicken. Oh, it’s so good. Go ahead…lick the sauce.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget some perfectly ripe sliced avocados for your toppings. Know how to tell if an avocado is ready? It should be dark on the outside and when you give it a light squeeze it should be just slightly soft. Not too much or it might be brown. If it’s too hard, then it’s probably too green. This takes some practice, but vegetable-picking patience will be rewarded, friends.
PREP TIME: 30 minutes COOK TIME: 35 minutes SERVINGS: 6
- 2 lbs. chicken breast, cooked and shredded
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, sliced thin
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 dried chipotle or ancho peppers, stems removed
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 8 oz fire roasted tomatoes
- 1 cup chicken broth
- sea salt
- 2 watermelon radishes, diced
- 2 avocados, sliced
- handful of cilantro, chopped
- 2 limes
- corn tortillas
- Pour yourself a nice glass of wine. Things are about to get spicy. Turn on your favorite Pandora station. You’ll need the background noise.
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Don’t stick your finger in there to test the temperature. I already tried that. Add onions and cook them down until they start to look like caramelized gummy worms (about 15 minutes).
- Meanwhile, boil two cups of water in a small pot and add in the dried peppers. Let them simmer for about five minutes and then turn off the heat. Drink some wine. Remove them from the liquid and reserve about one cup of the liquid for the sauce.
- Add garlic and boiled pepper to the onions and cook for a few minutes. Next add reserved pepper water, cumin, oregano, paprika, tomatoes, chicken broth and salt. Let this simmer for a few minutes and then blend it well in a blender.
- Take blended sauce, return it to the pan and simmer the chicken in it for a minutes. Finish your glass of wine and pour another one. It’s go time.
- Heat corn tortillas and place stewed chicken in inside. Top with radishes avocado, cilantro and lime. Put it in your mouth and feel the love!