Who doesn’t love taco night? Whether you like a simple one-ingredient taco or over-stuffed tacos with a bit of everything, I have just the thing for you.
For me, a good taco has two stars. Firstly, perfectly seasoned and cooked meat and then, a killer salsa sauce to complement it. Once you have these two covered, you can play around with the other ingredients. I personally love crunchy onions, lots of cilantro, lime and maybe some corn. The little one here just likes chicken and lots of cheese on his tacos, thank you very much. Onions are of course too smelly for him. But I am sure, his palette will develop over the years.
The easiest salsa would be a quick onion, tomato, chili and cilantro salsa. You can finely chop and toss the ingredients together or give a quick whir in the blender. But I have a lip-smacking salsa verde recipe for you made with roasted green tomatillos.
Green tomatillos are so beautiful and they pack a delightful flavor punch. They look so exotic wrapped in a paper-like husk.
I roasted them with onions, garlic and freshly cracked black pepper to bring out the deep flavors. You can use then raw as well. But a roasted tomatillo salsa keeps well in the refrigerator for many days, which is a good thing, right?!
I used lots of cilantro, a bit of lime juice and a couple of small green chilis. You can use roasted jalapenos if you like or any chili with a bit of heat will do.
Prepping and roasting the chicken is also very quick and easy. I introduced a bit of Indian flavor here using red chili powder, coriander and cumin. This makes for a spicy oven-roasted chicken. If you are lucky to have good grilling weather, feel free to fire up the grill.
SPICY CHICKEN TACOS WITH ROASTED TOMATILLO SALSA VERDE
You will need: (Makes 6 tacos)
For the Salsa Verde,
- Green tomatillos – 8-10, unhusked, washed and halved
- Onion – 1 small, quartered
- Garlic – 5-6 cloves, crushed
- Crushed black pepper – 2 tsp
- Green chilies – 1-2 (as per heat level)
- Cilantro leaves – 1/2 cup
- Lime – 1, juiced
- Salt – to taste
For the Spicy Oven Roasted Chicken,
- Chicken – 3 thigh pieces (boneless and skinless)
- Red chili powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
- Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
- Garam masala powder – a pinch
- Soy sauce – 1 tbsp (adds color and flavor)
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – for brushing
For the tacos,
- Corn tortillas – 6 (you can use flour tortillas if you like, but corn tortillas better compliment the flavors here)
- Onion – 1 small, thinly sliced
- Cilantro leaves – a small handful, roughly torn
- Shredded cheese – as needed
- Lime – 1
- Salsa Verde: Pre-heat the oven to 400 deg.F. Arrange the tomatillos, onion and garlic in a baking tray and sprinkle crushed black pepper on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or till tomatillos are soft.
- Cool and blend in a mixer along with the other salsa ingredients.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator till needed. Keeps well for at least a week.
- Spicy Oven Roasted Chicken: Wash and pat dry the chicken thighs. Mix the marinade ingredients together and coat the chicken well. Allow chicken to rest for a couple of hours in the refrigerator if you have time or proceed directly with the roasting.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 deg.F and place a roasting rack over a rimmed baking tray. Arrange the chicken on it and brush lightly with oil. Bake for 25-30 minutes or till internal temperature reads 180 deg.F or till juices run clear when poked.
- Remove from oven and rest the chicken for 5-10 minutes. Slice them to use in the tacos.
- Assembling the Tacos: Place a few slices of chicken, some onion and cilantro leaves on each taco. Top generously with the salsa verde, shredded cheese and a squeeze of lime juice. Roll and eat up!
- Instead of oven roasting, you can use a grill to cook the chicken.
- Add additional fillings to the tacos as you like. Some things I can think of are corn, beans, cilantro-lime rice, sour cream, guacamole and so on.
These tacos are super awesome, if I may say so myself. The chicken is juicy and goes perfectly with the green tomatillo salsa. I made a huge batch of salsa verde and we have it with everything now; as a dip for tortilla chips and sometimes even with rotis and dosas. You must definitely give it a try!
Tell me, do you love tacos? What do you fill them with? Have you tried roasted green tomatillo salsa? Do share.
I am linking this up at these awesome blogs.
- A Blossoming Life
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- By Stephanie Lynn