I dream of the day I can make a true red or green chili sauce, or an actual molé. Until then, I’ll continue on in my faux Mexican food state. And besides, who can resist tacos, in any form?
When we spent the weekend in Rocky Point a few weeks back, and feasted on some of the best tacos of my life, I was reminded that it had been ages since I made tacos at home. I don’t like to have to do a lot of work when it comes to tacos and the whole dry meat, pre-shredded cheese, and chopped up iceberg thing doesn’t really do it for me. So I came up with these- a super flavorful and hearty taco filling that fulfills that meaty craving but with the addition of black beans, corn straight from the cob, a ton of spices, and a little cream cheese and shredded jack folded in to bring it all together. Confession- the filling is delicious, but I really just use my tacos as a vehicle to eat pickled jalapeños and sour cream (as if that wasn’t clear from these photos). Get on it!
Pulled Chicken Tacos
Makes 12 tacos
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 large chicken breasts (about 1 lb)
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- kernels from 2 cobs of corn
- 3 jalapeños, minced (ribbing and seeds removed on just one if you like it spicy!)
- 1 spanish onion, diced
- 3 large cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 cup shredded jack cheese
- 10 tacos shells
- more cheese, hot sauce, pickled jalapenos, and sour cream for serving
Poach the chicken: Place the chicken in a large pot, cover by one inch with water or chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower to barely a simmer, and simmer- partially covered, for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, and let rest in water for 5 more minute. Remove from water, let cool, and shred into small pieces.
Set a large heavy bottomed pot to medium heat. Add in the vegetable oil and onion and sauté until slightly softened. Add in the garlic, jalapeños, and spices, and sauté until onions and jalapeños are very soft, stirring occasionally (total cooking time will be 15-20 minutes) . Stir in the beans, corn, tomatoes, the cilantro and chicken and cook until heated through and bubbling slightly. Fold in the cream cheese and jack cheese and remove from the heat.
Prepare taco shells according to package directions. Fill tacos shells with meat and desired toppings. Meat will last up to 5 days and fridge and can be frozen up to 1 month.