Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Smokey Chipotle Chicken Tacos [Zack]

If you have ever played a video game system such as SNES or Sega Genesis, you will undoubtedly know about the Game Genie.  For the un-anointed, it’s a cartridge that you can plug into the gaming system that allows you to use cheat codes to make the games a lot easier.  As a child, it was fun to totally dominate a game every once in a while.  As this website progresses, I’m going to start including cooking tips that I consider a “Game Genie” cheat for cooking.  These will be simple items that you can add to your dish that will make it fail-proof and amazing.

I consider canned Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce a “Game Genie” for grilling and Mexican cooking.  The addition of a few peppers to your recipe adds depth, spice, and a smoky note to your dish.   I have used these peppers with great success in marinades for many grilled items: steak, shrimp, and sometimes a whole chicken.  You can even add the chopped chipotle peppers to salsas for a nice smoky kick. 

Most major grocery stores are starting to carry the peppers now, but if you can’t find them, try to find a Spanish or Mexican supermarket.  They don’t have the cans in Europe, so I have guests smuggle them in when they come to visit as "payment" for room and board.

Below is my favorite recipe for chicken tacos.  Instead of using the Taco Bell spice mix from your grocery store, you should try this recipe.  It’s not much harder to pull off, but is miles better in my opinion.


Dice the pancetta, onions, and cube the chicken thighs and add it all to a bowl.  

Add in 3 chopped chipotle peppers.

Add your dry spices: cumin powder, coriander powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and Adobo seasoning.  Stir to combine everything and let it marinade in your fridge for 30 minutes up to a few days.

Make your guacamole.   Prep the other taco ingredients - this is as simple as dicing an onion, dicing the cilantro, and cutting a lime or two into wedges.

Start a frying pan on medium-high heat and let it heat up.  While it is heating up dice a red onion, some cilantro, and slice up a lime for garnishing.  Add in olive oil or canola oil (your choice) and then saute your chicken until it is cooked through.  It should take about 6 minutes.

To assemble your tacos, warm up the soft taco shells, add the chicken, diced onion, cilantro, and guacamole.  Squeeze a lime wedge on top, grab a cold beer, and enjoy!   


3 chipotle in adobo peppers finely chopped plus sauce from the can
1 small red onion
10 slices pancetta or 3 slices bacon
4 chicken thighs (or 2 breasts) chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 T cumin powder
1 T corriander powder
1 T garlic powder
1 T adobo seasoning (or seasoned salt)
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Handful of chopped cilantro
1/2 diced red onion
a few limes cut into wedges

A good taco-cookin song:  D’angelo – Spanish Joint

1 comment:

  1. I wish i could order this for delivery straight to my mouth.