Green Chile Chicken Soft Tacos

green chile chicken soft tacos - trust in kim

Last weekend I got together with some friends and made an amazing Mexican meal.  We made our own soft corn tortillas with various salsa toppings, and this awesome chicken filling.   We also had some homemade refried beans and a nice light jicama salad. And of course some beer – Negro Modelo is my favourite Mexican beer because it is a little darker than most.

This is another Rick Bayless recipe, from his Mexican Everyday cookbook.  So far every recipe of his that I’ve tried has been so delicious, and the meals I had at his restaurant Xoco in Chicago were out of this world.

You can buy the tortillas if you don’t want to make them; just warm them up before serving. The homemade ones were the best, but a lot of work. If you get everyone involved and have a bit of an assembly line going it could be fun (well, I think so, but other people seemed to disagree that this this might be an option for next time).

This recipe serves about 4 people.

I like for people to be able to dress up their tacos to their liking, so it’s great to have a variety of toppings.  Here’s a list of possibilities (you don’t have to do them all!); I would choose at least two salsas and a few other items.

What you need for the chicken filling:

  • 2 large poblano peppers
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
  • salt
  • about 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • jalapeno or other hot pepper slices

What you do:

  1. Roast the poblano peppers over a gas stove or a barbecue, turning often with tongs.  The skin should become all black.  Place the peppers in a sealable container and leave for about 15 minutes to cool and let the skins soften.
  2. Turn your oven on very low.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until they are golden but still have a bit of crunch to them. Place these in a heatproof container and put in the oven to keep warm.
  4. Rub most of the blackened skin off the peppers and remove the stem and seeds.  Cut into 1/4 inch strips and add to the onions. Season with salt and return to the oven.
  5. Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place the skillet on medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Lay the chicken in the pan when the oil is hot. Brown on one side for about 5 minutes, then the other for about 4 minutes. When the meat has cooked add the lime juice and garlic to the skillet. Cook for about a minute, turning the chicken to coat in the lime juice, until the lime had formed a glaze over the chicken. (We didn’t cook the chicken all the way through in the pan – we added the garlic and lime and let it glaze the chicken, and we threw the chicken on the grill before slicing it – this gave it that nice smoky flavour).
  6. Cut the chicken into 1/4  inch strips and toss with the onions and poblano peppers. Taste and see if you need to add more salt.
  7. Serve in fresh warm tortillas with a choice toppings.

homemade tacos - trust in kim

Lemon Chicken Scaloppine in Pine Nut-Parmesan Crust

Lemon Chicken Scallopini - trust in kim

This is comfort food at its best.  It is a beautiful breaded chicken,  but with much more complex flavours than most recipes I’ve seen.  I’ve made this for company a few times, and it always gets rave reviews.  In the past I’ve served it with a risotto or another rice dish, but this time it was with a spinach salad and tomato-pesto-topped buckwheat noodles.  Gotta say, I think this is the best pairing yet.

The recipe comes from The Oprah Magazine Cookbook; I just cut down on the amount of the flour and bread crumb mixtures because there is always way too much left over, and I cut the fat in half.

What you need:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3/4 cup flour

2 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup bread crumbs

2 lemons (or one if you don’t mind serving the meal with zest-less lemons)

zest of 1 lemon (about 2 teaspoons)

1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (go for a good quality one, not the pre-shredded stuff)

1/3 cup coarsely chopped pine nuts

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon butter (or one extra of olive oil of you’re aiming to be more heart-healthy)

1 tablespoon olive oil

What you do:

1. To prepare the coatings you will need 3 large plates.  In one combine the flour, 1 teaspoon of salt and the pepper.

2. Onto the next crack the eggs and beat lightly with a fork.

3. One the third plate combine the lemon zest, bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon salt, Parmesan, pine nuts and basil.

4. Place the chicken breasts between 2 pieces of parchment or wax paper and pound with the dull side of a meat mallet (or a rolling-pin, or even an empty wine bottle might work) until they are 1/4 inch thick. Aim for an even thickness throughout the breasts so they cook evenly.

5. The cooking goes quite quickly, so make sure the rest of your meal is pretty much ready to go.  Sprinkle the chicken breasts with the last 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Coat both side of one chicken breast in flour, then egg, then the bread crumb mixture.  In the last plate you can press the chicken breast so it is sufficiently coated. Repeat this process with the rest of the chicken breasts.

6. Heat a large frying pan to medium and add 1.5 teaspoons butter and 1.5 teaspoons of olive oil. When the pan is hot add 2 chicken breasts and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until they are golden brown and cooked through.  Add the rest of the butter and olive oil to the pan and cook the remaining breasts.

7. Squeeze a wedge or two of lemon over the chicken, then serve with a wedge of lemon on the side.


chicken scallopini - trust in kim


Grilled Chicken Salad

Here’s another Mother’s Day recipe – I made this grilled chicken salad with a vinaigrette dressing, mango, and pita and tzatziki on the side.  The salad makes a nice light and tasty meal.

I watched this TED talk by a young girl named Lauren Hodge who speaks about her research on reducing the carcinogenic effects of grilling.  She says that you can reduce the carcinogens by up to 90% in grilled chicken simply by marinating it in lemon juice.  Great information, and inspiring to hear someone so young being so dedicated to research.  A helpful and tasty tip – thanks Lauren!

What you need:

2 chicken breasts, boneless and skinless

juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 clove garlic, crushed

1 teaspoon dry oregano

1 teaspoon sumac (available in middle eastern shops)

2 tablespoons olive oil

What you do:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a shallow pan or ziplock bag.  Allow to marinate for 1/2 hour to a few hours.

2.  Grill the chicken for about 4-5 minutes per side, until no longer pink.  Be careful not to cook it too long.  This will not only dry it out, but also increases the carcinogens in the meat.

3.  While the chicken is grilling, prepare the salad with vinaigrette and mango on the side.

4.  Slice the chicken and arrange it on the salad.