Whether they’re encased in soft and tender flour tortillas or the crisper and more flavorful corn type made with masa harina, it isn’t surprising that tacos have transcended the culinary scene from the rustic taquerias of rural Mexico to more refined venues such as upscale gastropubs throughout the world’s biggest cities with their own twist on taco recipe.
Many diners enjoy chicken tacos, in particular, for a number of reasons. For one thing, they are seen as a healthier yet equally delicious alternative to classic tacos con carne with beef or tacos con carnitas that are made with pork. In addition, chicken is also considered as versatile particularly among chefs who are into fusion cuisine. Indeed, some chicken dishes from other cultures like Filipino insal or Indo-Malayan sate lend themselves well to becoming delectable fillings for modern taco recipe.
Here, we present some practical pointers on preparing and presenting chicken tacos.
Bland chicken is the bane of many chefs and is a major turn-off for diners. This can be kept at bay by marinating the chicken with a piquant spice rub, a liquid marinade featuring citrus that has dual advantages of removing any unpleasant gaminess from the meat as well as imparting a fresh flavor, or by adding a flavor booster like Knorr Chicken Powder to the base marinade. Likewise with their dark meat, chicken thigh fillets are more flavorful than chicken breast so they are more commonly used.
Soft, pliable white flour tortillas are an excellent edible wrapper for chicken tacos as they barely have any flavor. As a result, they put the tastes and textures of the chicken filling to the center stage. Corn tortillas, on the other hand, have a slightly sweet and nutty flavor that also goes well with the spiced chicken. They also add texture to the dish when fried into crunchy golden shells.
Fresh, crisp vegetables are an excellent addition to any taco, and the overall appeal and savor of chicken tacos can be amplified by an addition of something as simple as shredded lettuce and diced fresh tomatoes or tomatillos. The latter is also adding a sharp and tart counterpoint to the taste of the meat.
When it comes to sauces, those made with smoked chilies such as ancho or chipotle add a rich nuance to the meat. Traditional guacamole, on the other hand, adds a creamy richness tempered with a splash of sour lime and a hint of sweet tomato.