This is a great Southwest flavored meal that is healthier than beef tacos and lighter as well. It makes a super dinner for guests, also (they will think you went to a LOT of trouble and it really isn’t that hard to make). My husband loves taco night, and this was an interesting twist on a family favorite that we are sure to repeat often! Who needs to pay to eat out when you can eat like this at home?!
This recipe is for a family of 4. Increase the measurements if you have older children that eat like adults (mine are 11 and 9 right now), or if you have more than 4 to feed!
INGREDIENTS FOR PABLANO-CORN SALSA
1/4 cup frozen corn
1 roasted pablano pepper (instructions on roasting below)
Julienned red onion (about 1/4-1/2 of an extra-large red onion)
Butter or Olive Oil
Garlic (1-2 cloves minced)
Salt (to taste)
Mexican Oregano (1/4 tsp)
Green Jalapeño Tabasco
dash of pepper
INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN TACOS
2-4 large chicken breasts (depending on how much meat your family eats)
Hungarian Hot Paprika (1/4 tsp – sprinkled evenly)
Lemon Pepper (1/4 tsp)
Ground Coriander (1/2 tsp)
Cilantro (chopped leaves)
on the side – lettuce and sour cream
INGREDIENTS FOR CILANTRO LIME RICE (inspired by Chipotle)
1 cup Basmati Rice
3 tbsp butter (1 for cooking with, the other 2 for tossing in to coat afterwards)
Lime Juice (about 1/4 cup)
1.5 cups water
Cilantro (1/4 cup chopped leaves)
Salt (to taste)
INGREDIENTS FOR REFRIED BLACKBEANS
Can of refried blackbeans
1-2 tsp. water
3-4 tblsp. milk
Ground coriander (about 1/2 tsp)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper to taste
Dash of Green Tabasco to taste
2 large Avocados
1.5 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/8 cup chopped red onion
1/2 to 1 finely chopped (& seeded) serrano pepper if you like it spicy (we do)
corn chips for dipping
FOR SERVING AT THE TABLE
bowl of corn, pablano, onion salsa
bowl of sour cream
bowl of chopped/shredded fresh lettuce
hot covered plate of tortillas
bowl of cooked, seasoned chicken
bowl of guac
bowl of chips
hot plate and pot of rice
hot plate and pot of beans
place setting for 4
iced tea for 4
STEPS FOR PREP:
1. Broil/roast your pablano pepper. Turn the oven on broil and place cleaned pablano pepper on a flat cookie sheet 2 inches from the burner for a few minutes – turning it as it browns – then set it inside in a sealable tupperware bowl to enhance the flavor while you prepare the rest of the meal.
2. Start your rice. Place all the ingredients except 2 tblsp of the butter and the cilantro in a pan with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil and stir once. Place the lid on the pan and turn the stove to just above simmer for exactly 15 minutes. [note: Basmati rice is the best and easiest to cook with – always timely perfection and hardly EVER disappoints you by the way it turns out. It also has a delicious and unique flavor. I would not substitute it. If you have trouble finding it, check your local Indian/Asian/Mid Eastern markets. They usually sell it cheaper, also!]
3. Start your beans. Place all the ingredients in a small pan with a lid. Blend well and cook over low heat until the meal is done. If the beans begin to get crisp around the edges of the pan, simply stir and lower the heat.
4. Start the sautéed onion, corn and pablano salsa. Cut your onion and peppers. Heat a skillet with butter or oil. Add your veggies (corn, onion, pablano peppers) and garlic to the skillet and sauté to desired consistancy (I like mine a bit browned or burnt at tips). As you sauté, add spices (salt, Mexican oregano, green Tabasco, pepper). When done, set aside in small glass bowl on the table.
5. Start your chicken. Re-use the same pan you cooked the peppers in. Cut excess fat off breasts and use meat scissors to cut into bite-sized strips (about 1 inch), perfect for filling small corn-tortilla tacos. You can cut it directly above a heated pan that has a little butter or olive oil in it to prevent sticking. As the pieces sizzle, add your seasonings. When browned and completely cooked, place chicken in a small bowl with a lid to keep warm.
6. Fluff your rice. When rice timer goes off, open the lid, fluff the rice with a fork, turn off the heat, and re-cover until you are ready to eat.
7. Have your husband or an older kiddo make the guacamole. Mash together all ingredients and set in a small glass bowl on the table with a bag of extra-thin restaurant style corn chips.
8. Fry your tortillas. Spread each corn tortilla with butter on each side and fry on medium high until soft and slightly browned (not hard or crispy). Place each tortilla in a tortilla warmer or other dish that has a lid to prevent the warmth from escaping. Any leftover tortillas can be used in Migas the next morning!
9. Have the kids set the table. Fill iced tea glasses while they work.
10. Put the rice, beans, chicken, and other items in the “For Serving at the Table” list above on the table. Enjoy your chicken taco meal!