Chicken Street Tacos
The business of cooking is a tricky one. It’s not one-dimensional. Depending on the day, just finding your rhythm in the kitchen can be a formidable task. It’s a messy undertaking for sure (especially in my kitchen), but it’s also precise. It demands your patience, and moderation, but sometimes the best dishes are made spontaneously. It can be minimal or extravagant, simple or complex, completely enjoyable or completely exhausting. It’s one of those things where the more you learn, the more you realize you know nothing, and you keep evolving. But I think that’s why cooking has kinda become my thing — it keeps you on your toes, and it’s a life-long pursuit that can turn into a true craft if you’re lucky.
Here’s my point: the process is everything. You have to be able to go with that flow. Sometimes, you can follow a James Beard award-winning recipe to the last teaspoon, and end up with an unappetizing bowl of goop. Or, you can accidentally burn some peppers and discover that charred shishitos are heavenly. Or, you can dip your culinary toes into a cuisine you have little to no experience with and absolutely fall in love. Such is the case with me and these tacos.
When I started cooking, I started big. I jumped into culinary school and went about absorbing and trying to replicate every recipe and technique. Mother sauces, laminated breads, flambés — I dove in head first. But it wasn’t until later that I slowed down, took a step back, and went about translating that passion into simple, every day life. Pastas. Pies. Even casseroles. Simple and clean, it was such a refreshing shift, one that felt more my style, and one that lends itself so well to exploring different cuisines. Such as Latin. Latin was one that I’d never really tried on my own. But now, I’m playing with some of those classic Latin flavors and spices and have realized that it’s a cuisine that keeps things slow and simple — but is by no means one-dimensional.
This recipe is perfect for the novice Latin-inspired chef (which I’ve definitely become), in large part because its approachable. These tacos are just a few simple flavors – nothing fancy here – but the way in which they’re combined create a dish that is unmistakably Latin and utterly delicious. The beauty of any taco is that it’s like a delicious blank canvas — they can be decadent or simple, depending on how you’re feeling. I love a taco topped with radishes, pepitas, serranos, cotija… and I also love a taco with nothing but a little squeeze of lime. There’s no such thing as a wrong taco. This time, the sailor and I went somewhere in the middle with a fresh cabbage slaw and some of my homemade, sweet and spicy pineapple salsa. Every bite was like an affirmation that going with the flow and exploring new things is always the right decision.
Just like tacos. Tacos are definitely always the right decision.
- 4 chicken breasts
- 6-8 cloves garlic peeled and crushed
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 3 tsp ground cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 8-12 tortillas corn or flour
- 1-2 limes
In a large pot or saucepan, add garlic, chili powder, cumin, bay leaves, oregano, and salt. Add about a cup of water and stir to combine.
Add the chicken breasts. If they're not already covered, add more water until the breasts are fully submerged in the water.
Turn the burner on to medium-high heat and bring to boil. Cover and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove chicken and using two forks, lightly shred the meat. Add about 1-2 tablespoons of simmer liquid to the chicken. Slice the lime and juice over meat. Stir to combine.
Top a warmed corn or flour tortilla with the chicken mixture, and dress up (or not!) as desired.
|Per Serving||% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 14.1g||18%|
|Saturated Fat 3.3g||17%|
|Trans Fat 0g|
|Total Carb 33.6g||11%|
|Dietary Fiber 4.7g||17%|
|Vitamin A 24% · Vitamin C 13%|
|Calcium 8% · Iron 23%|
|*Based on a 2,000 calorie diet|
|Recipe analyzed by|
Please note: This estimate is provided by an online nutrition calculator.
It should not be considered a substitute for a professional analysis or recommendation.