I stumbled across this recipe on the Pioneer Woman’s website. She has lovely pictures and beautifully describes the technique here.
As I was chatting with my hubby on the phone telling him about the recipe, I was drooling because these tacos sounded so good. Chip said, “We are having those for supper!” We waited for the weekend to try these, not really knowing how hard they would be to make.
PW’s Brother’s Chicken Tacos
- 16 whole Corn Tortillas (small Size)
- 4 whole Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut Into Pieces
- Salt, Cumin, Chili Powder To Taste (or Use Taco Seasoning)
- 2 Tablespoons Canola Oil
- 2 cans (4 Ounce) Diced Green Chilies
- 1-½ cup Finely Grated Cheese (cheddar Or Cheddar/jack Mix)
- Sour Cream
- Hot Sauce (Chulula Or Other Brand)
- 2 cups Thinly Sliced Romaine Lettuce (or Any Lettuce)
- 4 whole Roma Tomatoes, Diced
- Canola Oil, For Frying Tacos
*Be careful frying with hot oil!*
First get a big mound of chicken ready.
Season diced chicken liberally.
Since I don’t have a “to taste” measuring spoon, and my kids aren’t really big on spicy food, I used 1/2 of a taco seasoning package. Nothing fancy, good ol’ Great Value Taco Seasoning-it’s what I had.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for a couple of minutes. Dump in the diced green chilies.
The recipe calls for 2-4 ounce cans. Someone, who remains nameless, begged me not to use the chilies. We went to Santa Fe and Glorietta, New Mexico on vacation a couple of years ago. We went fun places to eat, like Bobcat Bite and Tomasitas. Let’s just say…there was an incident and leave it at that. I compromised and only put in one can.
Stir and cook until chicken is totally done inside. Turn off heat and set aside.
Have all other ingredients—grated cheese, sliced lettuce, diced tomato, sour cream, and hot sauce—ready.
Also have a plate ready, as well as a stack of five or six paper towels to hold in your hand.
To fry the tacos, heat a couple of inches of canola oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high. Place some chicken in the middle of a tortilla, then fold tortilla in half. Clamp the tortilla shut with a pair of heat-proof metal tongs, then carefully lay the taco—one side down—in the oil. As you lay it in the oil, use the tongs to hold the top side down for a few seconds to form it in place. Once it stays put, repeat with two other tacos. Turn tacos after 30 to 45 seconds, or when each side gets light golden brown (not too brown.)
Not sure if you can see from this picture or not…I had a little trouble at this point. The corn tortillas are more tender than I realized. I kept poking a hole in them. Then the chicken would fall out and splatter oil everywhere! It didn’t affect the taste-mmmm.
You might want to consider having an extra pair of adult hands near by. I kinda’ spazzed out with all the grease flyin’ and spatterin’!
One at a time, remove tacos from the pan with tongs, holding sideways as you remove them to allow oil to drip out of the sides. Place the taco in the stack of paper towels. Fold the sides and corners around the taco to tightly hold it, then give it three or four shakes to remove excess oil. Remove it from the paper towels and place on a plate. Repeat with other tacos in the pan.
As you continue frying the other tacos, have someone carefully place some grated cheese inside the tops of the tacos (gently pry them open just enough to place the cheese in). Then just let them sit until ready to serve—the cheese will melt as it sits in the warm taco.
Megan helped a little with the cheese. She wasn’t excited about helping, and I was freaking out over the oil. Chip came and cleaned up some of the splatters (before there was a fire!) while I kept splattering. He stayed on to help with the cheese.
To serve, garnish in this order: a smear of sour cream, dashes of hot sauce, shredded lettuce, diced tomato. You’ll need to slightly open up the tops of the tacos to get all the garnishes in there.
Tacos will be hot for a minute or two after frying, so don’t rush into eating! They’ll stay nice and warm for a little while after frying.
Next time I think I might use a little more of that taco seasoning or maybe the other can of chilies. However, the kids say don’t change a thing!