Sunday, October 2, 2011

Chicken Tacos

Ok, we actually call these TacOdasso's, a play off of our last name Odasso. They are pretty popular in our house, and with some of our married friends from Idaho. The idea for these tacos came when I was working as a nanny in Idaho. The family was somewhat low-income, so figuring out what to make the kids for lunch was sometimes a challenge. On a whim, I made some taco shells, filled them with black beans and topped with shredded cheddar cheese, chopped fresh spinach, and a squirt of lime juice. The kids weren't big fans (taco's without meat?!?!) but I thought they were SUPER yummy! I just had to make them again when I got home, but since my husband hates beans (and spinach), I decided to use chicken, iceberg lettuce, and I added some cilantro because, let's face it, cilantro makes everything better. I originally added black beans to mine as well as the chicken, but have since nixed the beans because I'm the only one who eats them!

Chicken Tacos, or TacOdassos
You will need:
1-2 Chicken Breasts, roughly chopped* (1 chicken breast makes about 4-5 Tacos)
Small Corn Tortillas, white or yellow, it doesn't matter
Vegetable Oil
Iceberg Lettuce
1 Lime
Shredded Cheese, whatever you like
Garlic Powder
Mexican Chili Powder
Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Salt and Pepper (not pictured) I also prefer to use Sea Salt
(I know it looks like it in the picture, but that Cilantro is NOT touching that raw chicken! I swear!)

*You can also use Shredded Chicken
 First you need to cook up your chicken. I have a few different ways of doing this. Normally, I have a huge bag of shredded chicken that i've already cooked up using a crockpot, but for this time, I just chopped up a chicken breast and added them to a pot with about 1 Tbsp of hot veggie oil. I used a pot rather than a skillet because I hate oil splattering everywhere. Add your seasonings, however much you like. I've never measured because I just add them until it smells awesome.
 Stir it all up and cook over medium-high heat until cooked through, about 6-8 minutes depending on how big or small you cut up your chicken.
 While your chicken is cooking, start on your taco shells. Heat about 4 Tbsps of oil for every 4 Taco shells. Have a plate and a few paper towels ready. Put your tortilla in the oil and let it cook for 30-60 seconds. Flip, cook, and then transfer to a plate covered with a paper towel.
 Once it's on the paper towel (to soak up extra oil), fold the tortilla over to make the shell. Fold the paper towel over on top of the taco so you can put your next one on top. Repeat until you have all the tacos you want. You can also let them cook for longer for a harder shell. These are soft with a little crunch.
 I do a lot of multi-tasking here. The next few steps CAN be done ahead of time. Cut off a chunk or your iceberg lettuce.
 Rinse it off and then cut it in half. Then, slice the lettuce into cute little lettuce strips.
 Lettuce! I always end up cutting too much lettuce, but oh well.
 Now grab some cilantro. I LOVE cilantro, so I use quite a bit. Pull the leaves off of the stems.
 Gather all the leaves into a pile and then just roughly chop the cilantro.
 You'll also want to cut your lime in half, but I didn't think that warranted a picture. Once you've got all of that done, you can shred your chicken. I grabbed a couple of forks and just pulled all the chicken apart. Stir it all up so that everything is coated in spices.
 Now, set up your taco assembly station! You can make your tacos however you want, but I have a certain order to my taco that, I think, makes it taste perfect. First, grab a shell, fill the bottom with chicken, cover with cheese, then lettuce, a huge helping of cilantro (or barely any like my hubby) and then squirt a lime across the top.
 Open your mouth, take a bite, and enjoy. :)

 Extra notes: You CAN add beans to your tacos and it IS really yummy that way! Black beans are my favorite, but pinto or refried beans are delicious too. One thing we have done with some of our friends is to also have regular flour tortillas, rice, beans, sour cream, and a few different salsas. This way, we can all have tacos, burritos, mix and match what goes in which and it all tastes so good!


  1. yum- you know if you slam your iceberg against the counter (stem side down) you can easily remove the stem after- then slice. I've never seen Mexican chili powder before, is it like taco seasoning or is it more like regular chili powder?

  2. I actually don't know. Haha! Honestly, the bottle that I have came from neighbors who were moving, who got it from other neighbors that had moved who had homemade the seasonings. I expect it's about the same as store-bought Mexican Chili powder. It is a little like Taco Seasoning, but ine has little pieces of dried chilis, I think.

  3. Ikea has metal splatter screens for cheap for when you are cooking oily stuff- it's a lid but made of screen


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