Guys, I don’t know how I got away without sharing this recipe with you guys yet. I know everyone is probably Mexican-ed out from Cinco de Mayo – but just trust me. This is one you want to Pin, or bookmark, or whatever it is you kids are doing these days!
Our family friend Stephanie introduced me to them a few years ago now. We went through a phase where I made them, like every week, for months. Needless to say, I kind of burnt ourselves out on them. Not to mention, they’re not exactly the healthiest option in my repitoire. But, oh are they good!
We always fry our own corn tortillas – but these are different. They’re almost deep fried. The crispiest taco you’ll ever find! And they retain their crispiness – even cold, after sitting on the cooling rack for 2 hours. Not that I speak from experience or anything..
And, they certainly could be tweaked to be healthier. The filling itself isn’t too bad – with some whole wheat tortillas, or even flour – your calorie count would come down significantly. But the fried shells are really worth trying once!
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs – cut into thin strips
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp cumin
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder (regular chili powder is fine too)
1 tsp kosher salt
ground black pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
12 corn tortillas
Place a cooling rack inside/ over a jelly roll pan. Place a layer of paper towels over the cooling rack. Set aside.
Heat a large, heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 Tbsp oil, as well as the chicken. Season with 1/2 tsp salt and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until chicken is cooked through and starting to brown on the edges – about 5 minutes. Remove from pan to a cutting board to cool before chopping into small pieces.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and add the bell pepper and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until peppers and onions are soft and starting to brown on the edges – about 5 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, and chili powder and cook for an additional minute. Add the chopped chicken back to the pan, as well as the chopped cilantro and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat, and place taco filling in a medium-sized bowl.
Wipe the skillet clean, and return to stove over medium heat. Add a few tablespoons of oil to the pan. Place a tortilla in the pan and let it fry for about 15 seconds, then flip over. Place about 3 Tbsp chicken taco filling inside the tortilla, right down the center.
Using tongs, carefully fold the tortilla in half, forming a taco shell. Fry on one side for about 1 minute, then using a spatula (I like using my fish spatula) carefully flip over and brown the other side. Remove to the paper-towel lined cooling rack. Repeat process with remaining tortillas. You can usually get 2 or 3 tacos going at the same time once you have the hang of it.
Serve tacos with shredded lettuce, fresh cilantro, and shredded cheese.
Source: adapted from a family friend recipe. Thanks, Burke crew!