January 23, 2011

Soft Chicken Tacos with Spicy Mayo

Take me straight to South Philly in a matter of minutes.

There are a number of incredible taquerias in South Philadelphia,. The instant you sit down you are presented with piles of double-thick tortilla chips straight from the fryer. It's crispy, crunchy heaven, and if you're not careful (and if you are a tortilla chip addict like me) you risk ruining your appetite for the main event: a plate of piping hot, fragrant tacos. 

M and I regularly get hit hard with cravings for that succulent pork, chicken, and beef enveloped in fresh, soft corn tortillas. Unfortunately, the authentic Mexican dives of Washington Street just feel a tad too far away for a really quick weekday visit. We have friends who will do drive-by's of their favorite taquerias at least once a week to fulfill the cravings, but alas, the only wheels M and I have these days are our bikes. This poses a slight challenge.

So I was overjoyed when I saw a recipe for chicken tacos in last month's Cooking Light magazine. I don't know why I hadn't thought of it sooner... After a little experimenting with chicken breast and my food processor, I now feel like I know the secret to those wonderful, juicy bits of meat they pile on our soft tacos.  True to South Philly's favorites, these are the kind of tacos you won't put back down on your plate once you pick them up for a bite.

Ingredients: serves 2, with 3 soft tacos each
1 large boneless-skinless chicken breast
1/2 cup chopped Spanish onion
2 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup sweet red peppers, chopped
1 t. chili powder
3 T. hot sauce
1 T. cooking oil
salt and pepper
6 soft corn tortillas, warmed in the microwave
1 lime, quartered

Spicy Mayo: 4 T. light mayo, 1 T. hot sauce, 1/2 t. chili powder. Stir together well, adjust spices to taste.

Directions: Place the first six ingredients in a food processor and process until very smooth. Preheat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add the chicken mixture. Cook until crumbly and browned. Divide evenly among the six warmed soft tortillas, spread the spicy mayo evenly atop each one. Place 3 tacos on each plate and serve alongside two lime quarters each (the lime is an important last step to flavor, so don't skip this).

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