Even though there is no dearth of places to get great Mexican food, making it at home is always the best. That's why a book like Mexican Flavors by Hugh Carpenter and Teri Sandison comes in so handy. With dozens of authentic, contemporary recipes from mushroom enchiladas to chilled avocado soup, as well as this simple and delicious one for BBQ chicken tacos, you'll never have to pick up dinner from Chipotle again.
BBQ Chicken Tacos
"A soft chicken taco wrapped around a supermarket roast chicken, avocado slices, and a store-bought salsa makes a satisfying weeknight dinner. But the following recipe, with its sophisticated taste and texture mix, is great for informal dinner parties. We serve this as the only appetizer, and often it is the only Mexican-inspired dish on the menu. Or, it’s great as the main course, accompanied by a Caesar salad. An ambitious cook might grill jumbo shrimp or skirt steak alongside the chicken thighs, and add a few salsas, to create a greater variety of Mexican flavor options."
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 tablespoons dry rub of choice
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 (6-inch) corn or flour tortillas
Flavorless cooking oil (if making tostados)
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
Coleslaw Dressing (included)
Your choice of salsa
½ cup crumbled queso fresco or crema
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a gas or charcoal grill. Cut the chicken into 1 ½-inch-wide strips. Rub with the dry rub, and then with the olive oil. Grill the chicken for 3 minutes on each side. Let cool, then thinly slice the chicken.
Warm the tortillas, then transfer to a basket lined with a cloth towel, and wrap the tortillas to keep warm.
For tacos, all the elements can be served at the table with everyone building their own. Or (more work and not as much fun), they can be assembled in the kitchen, and the tacos placed on a serving platter or dinner plates.
If making tostados, heat ½ inch cooking oil in a deep frying pan to 375°F. The end of a tortilla strip should bubble when dipped into the oil. Fry the tortillas until crisp. Drain on paper towels, and then place flat on serving plates. Then add the layers on top of the tortillas: first guacamole, then lettuce, chicken, coleslaw, salsa, and cheese.