Week Night Yum Yum: Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Pickled Onions

Friday, May 6, 2011

A super easy meal that whips up in minutes is tacos. Yes, tacos. I did this recipe using chicken breast I marinated in a chipotle marinade (recipe here), and topped it with some grated cheese, refried beans (recipe here), salsa fresca (recipe here), fresh cilantro, avocado, and my new favorite condiment: pickled onions. Add some fresh corn tortillas and it's hard to resist this beautiful and very tasty taco. In my opinion, this is what tacos are all about. They're fresh, light, easy to eat and packed with flavor. Honestly, I don't think tacos should have sour cream at all, anything saucy, or anything that sits so heavy that the taco breaks when you pick it up. On the contrast, they should be light, filled with chopped seasoned grilled meat or fish (or veggies), and topped with only fresh and colorful ingredients. For example, I will rarely add guacamole to my tacos, but I will do fresh chopped avocado with a squeeze of lime juice. Cilantro is a must always, I prefer cotija cheese if I can do it, and only the freshest pico de gallo salsa at the very most. Done.

Here's a recipe using easily grilled chipotle-marinated chicken. You can marinate the chicken the night before and grill it for dinner the next day.

Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Pickled Onions
2 large chicken breasts marinated in chipotle marinated
refried beans (you can use black beans if you have it)
your choice shredded cheese: recommend Cotija, sharp cheddar, or montery jack
salsa fresca/pico de gallo
fresh cilantro
1 avocado cut into small chunks
2 limes, cut into wedges
corn tortillas
pickled onions (recipe follows)

Preheat your grill to medium-high and grill your chicken until it is done, all the way through. Cooking time will depend on size of your breasts, but should take you around 10 minutes give or take grilling on both sides. Let chicken rest for 5 minutes before cutting so juices can redistribute. Once rested, cut the chicken against the grain into 1/2" thick slices, then again to form bite-sized cubes. Set aside.

Wrap desired amount of corn tortillas in a kitchen towel and microwave for 1 minute to warm through.

To assemble, take one corn tortilla and spread out about a tablespoon of the beans (or to taste). Top with some chicken, then cheese, then salsa fresca, cilantro, avocado, and pickled onions on top. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve.

These are so special. Red onion gives a gorgeous magenta color so really try to use them instead of white onion. The vinegar, salt, and sugar help balance out the flavors, while taking out the initial punch of a raw onion. These taste great and present just beautifully, instantly making any taco or Mexican dish just beautiful.

Pickled Onions
1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar (can sub with apple cider vinegar)
2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably 4. Serve cold or at room temperature. Can stand in fridge covered for up to 1 week.


Kelly said...

Michelle!! I got right on the computer once I got home to cyber stock you. I love your blog! And you pickle onions. That's awesome. I can't wait to see your short rib recipe, cause I'm picking mine up from my farmer tomorrow.

Mishy said...

Thanks so much! I'm making the ribs tonight, so stay tuned for the recipe and pics this week! So great meeting you!! :)