Shredded Chicken Tacos (Tinga De Pollo)

Ingredients

  • Chicken
    • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
    • Salt and pepper (we used kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
    • ½ cup chicken broth (we used reduced-sodium chicken broth)
    • 2 tablespoons minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
    • ½ teaspoon brown sugar (we used light brown sugar)
    • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
    • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Tacos
    • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
    • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, and cut into ½-inch pieces
    • 2 ounces Cotija cheese, crumbled (½ cup)
    • 6 scallions, minced
    • Minced fresh cilantro
    • Lime wedges

Directions

  1. For the chicken: Pat the chicken dry with paper towels before seasoning it with salt and pepper. Pour 1 tablespoon of the oil into a large Dutch oven, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, add half* of the chicken in so it can get browned, letting it cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place the browned chicken on a plate and repeat the cooking process with the other half of the chicken, adding the second batch of browned chicken to the plate as well.
  2. Turn the heat down to medium, pouring the last tablespoon of oil into the Dutch oven afterwards. Once the oil’s hot, toss the onion in, stirring it around frequently for 5 minutes or until the onion’s browned. Add the garlic, cumin and cinnamon into the Dutch oven, stirring constantly for 1 minute or until the mixture is fragrant. Add in the tomatoes and their juice, broth, chipotle and adobo sauce, and the sugar, stirring to combine and waiting for it to come to a boil afterwards. Once boiling, scrape up any browned bits from the bottom before moving onto the next step.
  3. Put the chicken back in the Dutch oven, turning the heat down to medium-low afterwards. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and let it simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken registers 195 degrees, flipping the chicken after the first 5 minutes. Once the chicken’s fully cooked, take it out and place it on a cutting board.
  4. Transfer the remaining mixture from the Dutch oven into a blender and process it for 15 to 30 seconds or until smooth (we used the puree option on our blender to get the mixture smooth). Pour the smooth sauce back into the Dutch oven. Once the chicken’s cooled down enough for you to handle, shred it into bite-size pieces, returning it to the Dutch oven afterwards. Turn the heat up to medium and stir frequently for 10 minutes or until the sauce looks like it’s thickened and is clinging to the chicken**. Stir in the lime zest and juice at this point, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste afterwards.
  5. For the tacos: Spoon the chicken down the center of each tortilla, serving with the avocado, Cotija, scallions and cilantro as toppings and serving lime wedges on the side.

*We had to do more than just 2 batches in order for the chicken to get browned rather than steamed. We also added more oil into the Dutch oven for the other batches when the bottom seemed to be void of oil.

**Because of the blender, our sauce was already thicker and was coating the chicken so we only cooked the sauce and chicken until they were both heated through.

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You’ll be coming back for seconds when you try this taco ! The sauce initially was nothing to write home about but once we added enough salt to it, we really tasted the smokiness from the chipotle and some of the other components in the sauce. It tasted so good that we started trying to think of ways to use that sauce in other dishes, we loved it that much ! All the components together work so harmoniously in this taco. You get that spice from the sauce, the creamy avocado, the funky (in a good way) flavor of the Cotija cheese, the freshness from the green onion and cilantro and a sharpness from the green onion all in this taco. We’d be happy to make this again and hopefully you will too !

We got this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Cook’s Illustrated.

Take care everybody !

Margarita Chicken Salad

Ingredients

  • Margarita Dressing
    • ½ cup frozen (thawed) nonalcoholic margarita mix
    • ¼ cup olive or vegetable oil
    • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • Salad
    • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 ¼ lb.) (we used 2 breasts that together weighed about 1 ¼ lb.)
    • 6 cups bite-size pieces mixed salad greens (we used a 50/50 blend of spring greens and spinach)
    • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
    • 1 medium mango, seed removed, peeled and sliced
    • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
    • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Preheat your gas or charcoal grill (we used a gas grill). Mix the dressing ingredients together with a wire whisk in a small bowl. Measure out ¼ cup of the dressing and pour it into a separate bowl to use for basting later.
  2. Place the chicken on the grill over medium heat. Cover grill and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, flipping halfway through or until the chicken is fully cooked in the thickest part (at least 165 degrees). Brush the chicken with some of the dressing from that ¼ cup you set aside earlier. Continue cooking for 2 to 4 minutes longer, turning and basting frequently with the dressing (we went for 2 minutes).
  3. In a large mixing bowl, toss the greens and strawberries together. Split the mixture up among 4 plates. Cut the chicken breasts into slices before equally dividing it between the 4 plates along with the mango and avocado. Sprinkle cilantro over the top of the 4 plates, drizzling any remaining dressing over the top of the salad portions afterwards.
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This salad is full of flavor ! The dressing has some acidity to it and you taste the margarita mix in it,  the greens are bitter, the strawberries and mango are sweet and the avocado is delicious and brings a creaminess to the salad. The chicken helps this feel like a salad you eat for dinner and makes it more filling. Mommy loves eating strawberries but I’m a lot pickier when it comes to enjoying them. This salad, it made me love eating strawberries !

We got this recipe from Betty Crocker.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Betty Crocker.

Take care everybody !

Grilled Corn & Black Bean Salad

Ingredients

  • 4 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • 3 Tbsp. EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • Salt
  • 2 cans (15 oz. each) black beans, rinsed and drained (we used one can of Bush’s reduced-sodium and one can of Goya’s black beans)
  • 1 bunch radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 4 oz. queso fresco, crumbled
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Preheat your grill to medium. Place the corn on the grill grates and cook for 10 minutes or until it’s charred in spots. Take it off the grill and let the corn completely cool down.
  2. Take a large mixing bowl and whisk the EVOO, lime juice, chili powder and ½ tsp. salt (we used table salt) together in it. Once the corn’s cooled, cut the corn off the cob using a large sharp knife, putting the kernels into the large mixing bowl. Add to the bowl the beans, radish slices, scallions and the cilantro, tossing well to make sure all the ingredients are coated in the dressing and the salad ingredients are evenly distributed (the recipe doesn’t say to but we seasoned the salad with some kosher salt). Split the salad between 4 plates, topping the salad with the queso and avocado.
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This is such a delicious summer salad. There’s a variety of texture from the soft slices of avocado to the crunch of the radish slices. The beans really help make this a filling and satisfying dish.

We got this recipe from a Rachael Ray magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Bush’s, Goya’s, or Rachael Ray.

Take care everybody !

Tex-Mex Beef Wraps

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste (we used somewhere between ¾ to 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 boneless beef chuck pot roast (2 ½ to 3 pounds), cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (we used a yellow onion)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup salsa, divided (we used Restaurant-Style Salsa)
  • 12 flour or corn tortillas (6 to 7 inches), warmed (we used corn tortillas)
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese (we used finely shredded pepper jack cheese)
  • 1 cup chopped tomato*
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro*
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

Directions

  1. Take a slow cooker (we used a 6-quart slow cooker) and spray the inside of it with cooking spray. In a small container, mix together the chili powder, cumin, salt and cayenne pepper. Take the spice mixture and rub it all over the roast. Take the onion and garlic and place it in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place the meat on top of the onion and garlic. Spoon ½ cup of the salsa over the meat, putting the lid on the slow cooker afterwards. Let it cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours or on HIGH for 3 ½ to 4 ½ hours on HIGH or until the meat’s very tender (we cooked ours on LOW).
  2. Take the meat out of the slow cooker and place it on a plate. Shred the meat using two forks. Skim off and throw away any fat from the juices you can, placing the meat back in the slow cooker afterwards, mixing well. Place the meat on the warmed tortillas, topping the meat with the cheese, tomato, cilantro and avocado. Fold it up to wrap** and serve with the remaining salsa.

*We decided to use some pico de gallo instead.

**It’s easier to eat this like a taco instead of a wrap. Maybe if the tortillas had been bigger we would’ve done wraps.

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They called this a wrap but we call it delicious no matter how you eat it ! Even though we increased the cayenne, the other flavors still came through in the meat. The pico de gallo brought a freshness to the dish and the avocado added a nice creamy goodness. The salsa is already delicious all on its own so naturally it only made the wrap taste even better !

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Black Bean Burgers with Mango Salsa

Ingredients

  • 2 (15-ounce each) cans black beans, rinsed and drained (we used Bush’s brand)
  • ¾ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro, divided
  • ¾ cup (3 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese (we used pepper Jack cheese)
  • ¼ cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ medium jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 large egg whites
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 ¼ cups chopped peeled mango (about 1 medium) (we went with the 1 ¼ cup measurement)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped shallots
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 avocado, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 6 (2-ounce) whole-wheat hamburger buns, lightly toasted
  • 6 green leaf lettuce leaves

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Take a medium-sized bowl and add the black beans to it, mashing it with a fork (we mashed them until they looked like refried beans). Mix in ½ cup cilantro and the following ingredients: cheese, panko, ground cumin, dried oregano, sea salt, chopped jalapeño and egg whites. Take a baking sheet and line it with aluminum foil, spraying the foil with cooking spray afterwards. Shape the bean mixture into 6 (½-inch thick) patties.  Place the patties on the lined baking sheet, sticking the sheet in the oven afterwards for 20 minutes, carefully flipping the patties halfway through.
  3. Take another medium-sized bowl and mix the following ingredients together in it: the remaining cilantro, mango, shallots, lime juice, avocado and minced garlic. Take each patty and place it on a bottom bun, topping each one with a lettuce leaf and 1/3 cup of mango salsa, placing the top bun on afterwards.
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We loved this burger ! The patty itself has a little bit of heat to it. It’s tastiest when you can get the mango salsa in a bite with the patty. The lettuce is a nice touch (although we do wonder if they simply called for lettuce to help keep the mango salsa from spilling everywhere). The whole burger, toppings and all, is a great example of how tasty veggie burgers can be.

We got this recipe from Cooking Light.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Bush’s or Cooking Light.

Take care everybody !

Guacamole Parfaits

Ingredients

  • 1 diced avocado (we used 2 avocados since they seemed small)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste (we used kosher salt)
  • 1 diced tomato
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1 chopped seeded jalapeño
  • Cilantro, lime wedges and tortilla chips for toppings

Directions

  1. In one bowl, mix together the diced avocado and lime juice, adding salt to taste. In a separate bowl, mix together the tomato, red onion, jalapeño and salt to taste. In a martini glass, layer the avocado and tomato mixture (we start the parfait with a layer of the tomato mixture).
  2. Top this with any cilantro, lime wedges and tortilla chips you may be using and enjoy !
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This was a simple but tasty guacamole. You could taste every component in this. Even though the jalapeño was seeded we could still get a little bit of heat.

We got this recipe from Food Network Magazine.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Food Network Magazine.

Take care everybody !

Avocado Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dry converted white rice (we used Uncle Ben’s)
  • 1 avocado, pureed
  • ¼ cup each minced fresh cilantro and scallions
  • 1-2 Tbsp. minced serrano chile or jalapeño (we used  2 tablespoons of minced jalapeño)
  • 1 Tbsp. each extra-virgin olive oil and white wine vinegar
  • Salt to taste (we used kosher salt)

Directions

  1. Cook the rice based off the directions found on the package it came in.
  2. Mix in the avocado, cilantro, scallions, jalapeño, oil and vinegar. Take a bite and season to taste with salt.
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We really loved this dish. Avocado is the primary thing you’ll taste but you still get some flavor from the other components. It didn’t bother us but you will get a crunch in this from the jalapeño just giving you a heads up so you don’t accidentally think your rice is undercooked.

We got this recipe from Cuisine at Home.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Cuisine at Home or Uncle Ben’s.

Take care everybody !