Chipotle Chicken Tacos

Aunt Suzy says . . .

My blog partner and I are looking for uses for leftover chicken or turkey these days, something we seem to regularly have on hand from roasting or stewing a chicken. . . or maybe buying a rotisserie chicken.  I was looking for a chicken enchiladas recipe last week and was on The Homesick Texan blog when I ran across this taco recipe.  It attracted me because it doesn’t use cheese, a ubiquitous ingredient in enchiladas, and looked unbelievable easy to make, which it was.  It’s one of those recipes where you throw all the ingredients into a blender, heat the blended sauce up and then add chicken.  What could be simpler?  Oh, and did I mention these tacos are delicious and fun to eat?   We served with amped-up Spanish rice and orange-avocado salad.   Both the taco and Spanish rice recipes make a lot, so I’ve been enjoying for lunch.  I think you could also freeze both of these for future meals.

Making the chicken in chipotle sauce

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 small can diced tomatoes with juice

2 chipotle chiles en adobo (from a can), rinsed

1/4 medium yellow onion, cut in chunks

4 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

pinch of ground allspice

1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 tablespoons canola oil

Salt and black pepper to taste

About 4 cups cooked, shredded chicken (from stewed or roasted chicken)

Place all ingredients up to the canola oil into a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Place the canola oil into a medium saucepan on medium heat.  Once heated, add the blended sauce.  Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes, until it is a little darker and thicker.  Add the chicken and stir to coat and blend and then keep on a medium burner until heated through, about 10 minutes.  Ready to assemble!

Assembling the tacos

Corn or flour tortillas (I recommend corn)

Lime wedges

Diced white onion

Fresh cilantro, chopped

Other favorite toppings – maybe avocado, tomatillo salsa, radishes, etc.

Place tortillas in foil and heat in the oven at 300 for 5 or so minutes until warm.  For thin tortillas, you will want to use 2 per serving.  Otherwise, for each taco, place chicken on a tortilla, top with your fave toppings and squeeze a little lime over all.

COOK’S NOTES:   I just noticed on The Homesick Texan that she says 4 servings.  4 servings!!  That would be for people who are going to eat 5 tacos per person :-).  I think this makes enough chicken for at least 20 tacos given how many we’ve eaten and how much chicken is left.

This recipe could be made kid-friendly with no or 1 chipotle pepper, then adults could pass the hot sauce.  If you omit the chipotle peppers, I recommend you add 1-2 teaspoons smoked paprika. We like to use sprouted corn tortillas from Food for Life. They are thicker, healthier, GF and have an intense corn taste.  For the chicken, you can use an entire stewed or roasted chicken or chicken parts.  I roasted 2 fairly large breasts and 4 legs (all bone-in/skin-on) and they were the perfect amount.  To shred, I just pulled/broke the meat apart with my hands.  You can also do this with 2 forks.

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Sloppy Joes – The Best!!

November 22, 2010

Aunt Suzy says . . .

My friend Karen introduced me to the Joy of Cooking recipe for sloppy joes several years ago, and they became an instant staple in our household!  I don’t think I had thought of nor made sloppy joes in decades.  This recipe is adapted, but only slightly.  I usually make it with a combo of white and dark meat ground turkey.  I always substitute Pickapeppa Sauce for Worcestershire – either works, but don’t leave this out!  I think the combo of chili sauce and one of these savory sauces is what makes this recipe stand out.  I like serving sloppy joes with cole slaw, which provides a crunchy contrast to the sweet, spicy and juicy sandwiches.  This is good with a beer, ale or a nice Zin.  Margaux, what sides and drinks do you serve this with?

Margaux says . . .

We first had this while visiting Aunt Suzy…and when she told me we were having sloppy joes for dinner I couldn’t believe it!  But it is fantastic, and it quickly became a staple in our household as well!  I usually use ground beef for it, but have also used ground turkey.  And I serve it with cole slaw as well, and have also served it with homemade home fries.  We always drink beer with it!  One of our favorites this time of year is Goose Island Harvest Ale.

Aunt Suzy says . . .

I hadn’t thought to mention it before seeing Margaux’s comments, but I often make sloppy joes for supper when I have family visiting.  It’s not a fancy meal, but one that definitely falls into the comfort food category and is easy to make ahead of time.  Takes the focus off of meal prep and onto enjoying the visitors!  And it’s nice to have on hand for a supper or lunch during holidays. 

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, small dice

1 medium red bell pepper, small dice

1 celery stalk, small dice

1 carrot, peeled and small dice

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried (optional)

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds ground turkey or beef

3/4 cup chili sauce

1/2-3/4 cup water or dark beer

3 tablespoons Pickapeppa or Worcestershire sauce

Hot sauce to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

This recipe makes enough for about 8-10 sandwiches.

Place a large frying or saute pan over medium heat and coat with vegetable oil.  When hot, add the vegetables (except the garlic) along with the thyme.  Turn the heat up a little and saute until soft and just beginning to brown.  Add the garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes till fragrant.  Remove all from the pan and wipe with a paper towel.   Put the pan back on a medium high burner, add the meat and brown breaking it up as it cooks.  It’s recommended to cook the meat one pound at a time so that it browns instead of stewing.  Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain of grease and liquid.  Wipe the pan again and put the meat and vegetables back in over medium heat.

Add the chili sauce, the water or beer, the Pickapeppa or Worcestershire and hot sauce.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Turn up heat to bring to a bubble, then turn down and simmer for 15 minutes.  This is delicious immediately and especially good after sitting for a day or two!  Place on sandwich buns (toasted or not!) and serve with scallions or grated cheese if you wish.