Thursday, January 26, 2006

Chicken Soft Tacos with Tequila Spiked Pico

I'm just going to say it right off the bat: don't knock it until you've tried it, tequila haters--a few drops of the stuff takes this pico de gallo from ordinary to special. Don't you want special pico? I know you do.

Okay? Okay.

Now, tonight's dinner is not exactly exciting. Rather, it is pretty representative of the dinners we have the night before a big grocery trip. I keep this chicken in the freezer to have on hand for just these kinds of nights. Everything else is in the pantry, or the vegetable basket.

The chicken is one of those classic crockpot recipes that has been given to me by several helpful friends over the past few months. It couldn't be easier: place your boneless, skinless breasts in the pot, pour a jar of salsa over it (it doesn't have to be very nice, I usually use Pace), and pour a packet of taco seasoning over the whole lot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Remove the chicken from the pot and shred it up (it shouldn't take any effort at all). Add a few dollops of sour cream to the salsa mixture in the pot, mix it up, and pour it over the chicken. Viola! Instant taco, burrito, or enchilada filling. Eat some right away and freeze a portion for nights where creativity escapes you.

Tonight I decided to whip up some pico de gallo, using what I had and improvising the rest. It is actually pretty good, but it would be even better with the finely diced fresh jalapeno, lime juice, garlic, and avocado I normally add. But tonight's recipe was simply:

Tequila Spiked Pico

4 medium Campari tomatoes*
half a yellow onion
splash or two of tequila
lemon (or lime) juice to taste
sea salt
tabasco sauce (optional)

*these seem to be the only tomatoes worth eating this time of year, I really love them and use them a lot

Seed and dice your tomatoes, and dice the onion. Chop up the cilantro as finely as you can (it sticks to the blade something awful, so I usually don't put too much effort into it).

Toss these three ingredients together in a bowl, add tequila and lemon juice and sprinkle with salt. Mix well and let sit for a half hour or so (lets the flavors introduce themselves to each other). Do a little taste test and add more lemon, salt, or tequila if needed (you don't want to really taste the tequila, it should just enhance the other flavors).

If you like a little spice, you can add a few dashes of Tabasco as well.

As for the tacos themselves, they are pretty self explanatory. The crockpot chicken described above with pico and sour cream, wrapped up in a soft flour tortilla. The requisite black beans and rice as a side is up to you, but that's what we almost always have. You get bonus points for some slices of fried plantain as a sweet garnish.

Sometimes you just need a simple, filling dinner.

Mrs. C.


amy corinne said...

Mrs. Canada, I have a really dumb question. How do you seed a tomato? I don't really eat them raw, and I don't think I've ever seeded them.

(I told you it was a dumb question.)

Marianne said...

Not dumb at all! What I do is slice off the top of the tomato (where the stem end is), then I cut it in half. Using a paring knife, I cute around the membrane parts of the tomato and just basically scoop out the insides. You really don't have to, but I think salsas and things like that are better without seeds. Let me know if I wasn't clear.

amy corinne said...

That makes perfect sense. Thank you!