It’s end of semester break, that means school holidays and a full house with my son home for three weeks. There’s also a definite emphasis on dude food as I try to keep up with a six foot four eating machine. My dude adores chillies, the hotter and spicier the better and after picking up a punnet of chillies at the markets I knew exactly what would be on the menu as we watched the rugby. Warmed soft tacos served with roasted butterflied chicken, corn salsa and a piquant green chilli sauce. And yes, if you are wondering, I was so impressed by that chilli sauce that it was the subject of my last post as a 5-2 fast day condiment idea, guaranteed to spice up any plate of food.
Inspired by the flavours of a traditional Mexican taqueria, these soft chicken tacos are a very easy and relaxed meal to prepare. Designed to be enjoyed self assembly style at a shared table. Butterflying and flattening the chicken reduces roasting time but it’s also perfectly acceptable if pushed for time to substitute a purchased barbecued chicken. Both the corn salsa and green chilli sauce can be prepared in advance. All that is required at serving time is for the tacos to be warmed through.Dude food at its best.
Soft Chicken Tacos With Roasted Corn Salsa and Green Chilli Sauce.
Makes 20 Mini Tacos
1.25kg free range chicken,
2 teaspoons Mexican seasoning
1 tablespoon oil
2 packets x 10 mini soft tacos
PREHEAT oven to 180 C
BUTTERFLY the chicken. Use a sharp knife or kitchen scissors to cut down either side of the backbone. Remove the backbone. Open the chicken and remove the rib bones.
PLACE flattened chicken skin side up in a roasting pan. Drizzle over olive oil, sprinkle over Mexican seasoning. Rub well over the chicken.
ROAST for 35-40 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden. Remove to a wooden chopping board and cut into bite sized pieces.
SERVE with warmed soft tacos, roasted corn salsa and green chilli sauce.
Roasted Corn Salsa
2 large ears of corn, shucked
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Mexican seasoning
1 medium tomato, seeded and finely diced
1 habanero chilli, finely sliced
3 long green spring onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons freshly chopped coriander leaves
2 tablespoons freshly chopped mint leaves
1 lime, juiced and zested
sea salt, to taste
PREHEAT oven grill to high.
LIGHTLY grease each cob with olive oil and sprinkle over Mexican seasoning.
PLACE on a tray under a hot grill for 3-5 minutes until the kernels just begin to char. Turn corn cobs over and repeat on the other side.
REMOVE from grill. Set aside until ready to roast the butterflied chicken.
ROAST corn cobs in hot oven for 20 minutes. Remove to a plate and when cool enough to handle slice the corn kernels off the cob and place in a medium sized bowl.
ADD tomato, chilli, onion, coriander, mint, lime juice and zest. Toss well to combine then season with sea salt. Serve at room temperature.
Green Chilli Sauce. Poblano Style.
500g green chillies
3/4 cup chopped white onion
3 large garlic cloves, finely sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
generous pinch sea salt
125 ml chicken stock
PREHEAT oven grill to high. Line a baking tray with non stick paper.
SPREAD whole chillies over the tray in an even layer and place under hot grill for 3-5 minutes until the skins begin to blister and char. Turn the chillies over and repeat on the other side.
TRANSFER the chillies to a plate, cover with cling film and leave to stand. This helps the skins loosen making the chillies easier to peel.
GENTLY peel off the charred skin, then slit each chilli open and remove the seed pod and stem. Coarsely chop the flesh.
HEAT oil in a heavy based pan over medium heat. Fry onion and garlic with a generous pinch of sea salt in oil until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the charred chillies, stirring to combine.
TRANSFER the mixture to a blender with chicken stock and puree until smooth. Spoon into a serving bowl to serve.