So I’m kinda into tacos. In a big way. I once had a lengthy discussion with some of my fourth graders about the best kind of tacos (Cory said carnitas, Miguel said al pastor, I said tinga — in the end we agreed to disagree). And I really do think that they’re a pretty perfect food. I like the idea of a little bit of highly seasoned meat (or vegetables) encased in a fresh corn tortilla with a spicy, acidic salsa. I like the bits of cabbage, radish, and other garnish. And I really like the crumbly Mexican cheese that you can sprinkle on top.
(tacos with refried beans, chipotle corn, and arroz verde)
So, tacos: the perfect food. Maybe.
Anyway, in my continued quest for great tacos I tried this chicken and chorizo recipe from Mark Miller’s Tacos. It’s pretty straightforward – the chicken is marinated in a chile “pesto” (poblano, jalapeno, cilantro, and some other stuff, all blended to a paste) and then cooked with Mexican chorizo, an uncooked, spicy pork sausage.
Next time, I’d make a few modifications. For one, I would set aside half of the marinade to toss with the chicken after it’s cooked (I have modified the recipe below to reflect this). I would also consider using chicken thighs, since the breast pieces have a tendency to dry out. But even with no changes, this is an excellent, brightly flavored dish that would be great for summer dining.
Chicken Tacos with Chorizo
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon lime juice, about half of one big lime
1 poblano chile, stemmed
1 jalapeno chile, stemmed
1 bunch cilantro, leaves and stems
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 cloves garlic
1 t green chile powder (I couldn’t find this, so I left it out)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
1 bunch green onions, and cut into big pieces
2 T vegetable oil
1 1/4 pounds chicken breast, cut into 1/2 inch wide strips
6 ounces Mexican pork chorizo
1/2 white onion, sliced
hot sauce, for serving
lime wedges, for serving
Blend everything except the oil, chicken, chorizo, and onion until smooth. If you’re using an immersion blender, you might have to add a little more water to get it going – that’s ok. Set asidee half of the mixture in a small bowl for later. In the remaining half, add 1 tablespoon oil and the chicken. Toss to combine and marinate, refrigerated, for 1-12 hours.
When you’re ready to cook, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the chorizo and onion along with a pinch of salt. Cook until the chorizo is browned and crumbly and the onion is lightly browned, about 5-7 minutes. Remove from pan, leaving fat behind.
Add the chicken to the pan and cook until lightly browned and no longer pink in the middle, about 3-4 minutes. Try to not disturb it too much so you can get some good browning going. Remove the chicken to a bowl and toss with the reserved marinade.
To serve, heat corn tortillas and serve each taco with a few pieces of chicken and a spoonful of the chorizo/onion mixture. Pass hot sauce and lime wedges at the table.