Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pollo Asada Tacos

April's Cooking Light has a chicken asada taco recipe, that I followed but did a little tweaking.

The original recipe is on page 92 or you can find it through this link.

Here's my version of theirs:


  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemon)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly vertically sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into thin strips
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano (I like Mexican oregano for this dish)
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas (ours were bad so we ended up using hard shells)
  • 1 cup diced peeled avocado (about 1 avocado)
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled queso fresco cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
handful of chopped cilantro (I don't know why they didn't add cilantro in the original recipe-- seems like a crime)

  • Preparation

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring until sugar dissolves. Place onion in a small saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; drain and plunge onion in ice water. Drain onion then add the onion to juice/pickling mixture. Chill until ready to serve. Drain the onions before serving.

Here's my major departure. Dry rub on chicken thighs sounded dreadful to me. So I marinated the thighs in the my own choice of spices (cumin, oregano, chipotle, paprika, coriander, salt, and pepper) and the olive oil for about 2 hours. When ready to cook, go to step 2.

2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 4-6 minutes or until browned and done, stirring occasionally.

3. Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide chicken evenly among tortillas. Drain onion; divide evenly among tortillas. Top each tortilla with 2 tablespoons avocado and 1 tablespoon cheese; fold over. Top with cilantro!

We served them with sour cream and homemade salsa (which was awesome for my first time making a salsa from scratch!). Recipe is below


4 tomatillos (cut in half)

8 small, vine ripened tomatoes

1 medium onion cut into thin slices

2 jalapenos (cut lengthwise and with membrane and seeds removed unless you want the extra heat)

1 clove of garlic (cut the top off, add about a tablespoon of olive oil, salt/ pepper, and wrap in foil-- will take the longest to cook)

Coat all ingredients in olive oil (don't need to drown, just a light cover) and place on a cookie sheet. Usually, I use a rimmed cookie sheet, toss about a tablespoon of olive oil on the pan directly, then toss the veggies. Arrange all vegetables (not garlic) on the sheet. Salt and pepper. Throw into the oven for about 30 minutes at 350. Check the veggies at ten minute intervals and stir to evenly roast all the sides.

I pulled the tomatillos and the tomatoes out about half-way or so; they cook faster than the onions and peppers. The garlic always takes longer than everything else, so my plan of action is to crank up the heat to 400 as soon as the rest of the veggies are done. Once the garlic is roasted, squeeze out the golden-brown ooey gooey delight and then throw it along with all the other veggies all into a food processor or blender. I leave the juices out (the tomatoes and tomatillos will likely produce a lot of juice. Add spices (I used 1/2 tsp of cumin, 1 tsp Mexican oregano, and 1/2 tsp of coriander). PULSE-- Do not just let it go willy-nilly. Just pulse less you make hot sauce rather than a salsa. Taste and adjust seasonings as appropriate. Store in the fridge.

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