Chicken can make a delicious taco filling, but boneless, skinless chicken breasts can lack flavor bling. Chipotle chilies canned in adobo sauce adds both flavor and aroma to the poaching liquid.
Chipotles are smoked, dried jalapeno chilies and they add an enticing rich smokiness. More add-ins heighten flavor, too, including garlic, orange juice and Worchester sauce, plus a smidgen of sugar.
This taco filling can be prepared in advance and reheated, chilling if it’s prepared well in advance. To boost the flavor, substitute boneless, skinless chicken thighs for the breasts.
Serve the filling with warm corn tortillas, shredded cabbage (or lettuce), tomatoes and avocado. Be generous with the veg. Add cheese if you like. For me, a whisper of grated queso fresco is perfect.
Easy Chipotle Chicken Tacos
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
3 tablespoons butter
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 minced canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce, about 2 teaspoons (or less if serving children)
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided use
1/2 cup orange juice
Optional: 1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (2 large breasts, cut in half lengthwise, or 3 smaller breasts)
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
For serving: 14 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed, see cook’s notes
For serving: lime wedges, thinly sliced green cabbage, diced avocado and diced tomatoes, grated cheese
Cook’s notes: To warm tortillas, stack on microwave-safe plate. Cover with damp, clean dish towel. Microwave 60 to 90 seconds. Use potholders when removing from oven and open towel so that steam is directed away from you.
1. Melt butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and chipotle; cook about 30 seconds. Stir in 1/2 cup cilantro, orange juice, sugar if using, and Worcestershire. Bring to a simmer. Nestle chicken into sauce. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until temperature registers 160 degrees, 12 to 16 minutes, turning chicken half way through cooking. Transfer to plate and cover.
2. Increase heat to medium-high and cook liquid until reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 3 to 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in mustard. Using two forks, shred chicken into bite-sized pieces and return to skillet. Add remaining 1/4 cup cilantro and toss. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with warm tortillas, lime wedges, cabbage, avocado and tomatoes. If you like, top with grated cheese.
Source: adapted from “America’s Test Kitchen The Best Mexican Recipes” from the Editors at American’s Test Kitchen