Being a kid from the snow covered hills of Northern New York, I love a classic Northeast winter. Snow storms, sledding, and mornings so chilly you can see your breath — it’s nostalgic and delicious. That being said, I don’t mind a bit of a refresher on the beauty of summer fun and flavors every now and then.
Enter taco night! Being that tacos come in so many different shapes, sizes and varieties, I opted this week for a simple and delicious chicken & chorizo combo with a big kick up on the spice factor. My husband loves spicy food (I’m getting there, too; give me some time) so I reached for a heavily seasoned fresh chorizo from my local Latin market and topped these tacos with a chipotle cream and quick pickled jalapenos — both of which I made fresh at home in the time it took the meats to cook through.
The toppings that I used were what I had in the fridge. Take my suggestions as a guide, then go ahead and get crazy with whatever you have around. That’s really what’s so great about taco night, isn’t it? They’re easy; they’re interactive; and they’re just so delicious.
Spicy Chicken & Chorizo Tacos
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
For the chicken and chorizo:
2 (6- to 8-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and ground black pepper
2 to 3 links fresh chorizo (about 8 ounces total)
1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
For the pickled jalapenos:
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
2 to 3 jalapenos, thinly sliced
For the chipotle cream:
1 cup sour cream
1 chipotle in adobo, finely chopped, plus 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce
1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
For the tacos:
8 corn tortillas, charred if desired
Assorted taco toppings (such as sliced radishes, sliced scallions, and chopped cilantro)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Season the chicken breasts with the cumin, coriander, oregano, and some salt and pepper. Arrange them on a baking sheet along with the chorizo and drizzle all of the meats with the oil. Roast the chicken and chorizo until the chicken is cooked through and chorizo are golden brown, about 25 minutes.
While the meats are roasting prepare the pickled jalapenos. In a small pot, combine the vinegar, sugar, and a pinch of salt; bring the liquids to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat, toss in the jalapenos, and let sit for at least 10 minutes. Set aside.
While the meats are roasting, prepare the chipotle cream. In a small bowl stir together the sour cream, chipotle in adobo, adobo sauce, honey or agave, and a pinch of salt. Set aside.
When the meats come out of the oven, thinly slice them and squeeze the juice of the lime over top.
Serve the sliced chicken and chorizo along with the pickled jalapenos, chipotle cream, tortillas, and whatever taco toppings you like.
Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars like Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee and Paula Deen, he now works as a food stylist and producer in NYC by day and a food writer and recipe developer at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following his latest tweets on Twitter at @patrickwdecker or visiting his website at patrickwdecker.com.