We all love those classic Tex-Mex flavors; the Ortega taco sauce, crunchy shells, and ground beef seasoned from a packet with orange cheese on top, but it can never truly beat the real thing. A recent trip to one of my favorite Mexican restaurants in Akron, Ohio (La Fresa), inspired me to make some authentic Mexican cuisine. The other night I took advantage of some boneless, skinless chicken breasts and turned them into one of the best meals that I’ve made in a long time.
There are MANY, MANY things that go into this dish as a whole so I’ll break it down by layer.
This one is really to your liking. If you want flour, go with that. If you want corn, you can use that too. Hell, you can even make your own if you’re feeling fancy! It’s up to you, but I used some whole wheat ones because they just happened to be what I had in the pantry.
- I believe mine was made with about 3 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast; possibly a little less. I would recommend cutting the breasts up into smaller pieces. Don’t worry too much about that though because the time it gets in the slow cooker will break it down plenty.
- An instant pot is preferred due to it’s sauté option, but if you don’t have one then I would recommend getting some crispy edges on the chicken before throwing it in the slow cooker.
- 1 can of Diced Chili Ready Tomatoes
- 1 Lime juiced and zested
- 1/3 Cup White Vinegar
- 1/4 Cup Olive Oil
- Cilantro (dried or fresh)
- Smoked Paprika
- Chili Powder
- Cayenne Powder
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Black Pepper
- Salt to taste
You guys must know how I cook by now: I don’t often measure, rather I’m an eye-baller. I think if you have a good understanding of how much chicken you have then you should be able to season properly visually, but be sure to use these spices and this basic format.
Sauté chicken with just salt and pepper in an instant pot or pan on both sides for a few minutes before slow cooking for about 4 hours with the rest of the above ingredients.
Now comes the fun part, toppings!
Buy a large bag of Mexican blend cheese. Thank me later.
Yeah, that’s the stuff.
Black Bean and Corn Salsa:
This one’s also very simple to make. Grab a can of fire roasted corn with those little peppers in it and mix with a can of black beans (drained). Add salt, pepper, chili powder and maybe some cayenne if you’re feeling frisky like me.
I used this as the base of the taco, a cute resting place for the chicken.
- 1 Avocado (soft and ripe)
- 1 clove of Garlic
- Grated Red Onion (eyeball it)
- Juice of 1 Lime
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
Throw above ingredients into the blender until it’s as smooth and silky as Chipotle’s sour cream. This stuff is similar but twice as addictive. Use on the tacos, or just dip your chips in it and it’s pretty amazing.
Last but not least…
Honestly, ever since I started making my own salsa it’s hard to go back to the jar. Something about making it yourself is just so great and you can make the flavors exactly to your liking. This one is measured a lot better than everything else so don’t you worry, you’ll be able to recreate this just fine.
Get a ripping hot pan and toss in the following coated in olive oil and salt:
- 1 White Onion chopped into 4 chunks
- 2 Red Tomatoes sliced in half
- 3 cloves of Garlic
- 1 Poblano Pepper sliced
- 1 Jalapeño sliced
- 1 Habanero (if you don’t like spicy, well then i’m afraid this dish doesn’t suit you)
Sauté until you see some beautiful color on the veggies, then dump into your blender with some more salt, pepper, a little bit of white vinegar, the juice of 2 limes, and blend until smooth.
Serve with chips and top tacos accordingly.
Well folks, that’s all for the prep!
Bottom to top:
- Black Bean and Corn Salsa
- Super Juicy and Flavorful Chicken
- Worlds Greatest Roasted Salsa
- Silky Smooth Guac Crema
- A few tortilla chips for crunch
You’re gonna be a happy daddy, I guarantee you.
It might seem like a lot of prep and a lot of ingredients, but with the chicken cooking slowly and doing its own thing that gives you plenty of time to prep everything else. A lot of us have time either not working or working from home during this pandemic, so why not bump up those chef skills a bit and make this dadlicious recipe that’s sure to fill that bod to the brim!