Today is Friday during Lent, which means that millions of Catholics, including myself, will not be eating meat today. It seems a little unfitting that I will post a chicken recipe on Friday, however it doesn’t mean I’m actually eating chicken today, just writing about it. Tempting, tempting. I would have waited a little longer, but this recipe has been sitting in my outbox just waiting to be posted. You can always cook it tomorrow!
The great thing about tacos is all the different components. You can add very little and they taste great or you can add some salsa verde, chiles, and some cream and they taste even better. Tacos al pastor are at every taqueria stand you will find in Mexico. Each one has their own recipe, which are kept secret I’m sure, but there are certain common ingredients which I tried together that work very well. I served this dish at my Mexican Street Food Dinner Party for Foodbuzz.
Chicken Al Pastor Taco
Al pastor tacos are typically made with pork on a spit. I changed the recipe a bit and used chicken instead of pork. You can substitute pork for the chicken if you wish. The recipe taste great with both types of meat.
Chicken Al Pastor Taco
2-3 pound chicken breast or thigh shredded
3 garlic cloves minced with cilantro
5 dried guajillo peppers
2 dried ancho peppers
1 chipotle pepper in adobo
1 large Spanish onion chopped
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 cup pineapple juice
1 tbs ground cumin
1 tbs oregano
1 tsp ground cloves
Salt and pepper as desired
For this dish you will need shredded chicken. You can use leftovers from previous dishes or cook the chicken and shred it yourself. For this dish I marinate chicken cut up into small pieces (so it’s easier to shred later) with the garlic and cilantro for at least an hour. After you marinate the chicken, you grill it with olive oil, salt and pepper and later shred it when it gets cool.
Boil the dried peppers (guajillo and ancho) until they get soft. Once they are soft, remove the veins and seeds. In a food processor or blender, blend together the guajillo, ancho, and chipotle peppers, as well 3/4 of the chopped onion, diced tomatoes, cumin, ground cloves, and oregano. Put the blended chile mixture in a bowl and add 1 cup of pineapple juice and 1/2 cup vinegar. Add the chicken and let marinate in the sauce for about a 1 hour to let all the flavor seep into the chicken.
In a large pan heat up some olive oil and the remaining chopped onion. Now stir in the shredded chicken with the sauce. Cook on a medium flame letting all the ingredients stew together. If you have the time you can let it cook for longer on a lower flame. When the sauce begins to evaporate and you are left with deliciously marinated chicken, you know you are finished. Now all you need to do is add this chicken to tacos, salads, or whatever else your little heart desires. Season with salt to taste.
Changes to recipe were made June 24th 2011.