Chicken Street Tacos

It’s 7 am and you are standing in front of the fridge, feeling underwhelmed about your lunch options. Left overs? Meh; too much gravy. Sam’ich? Meh; too boring. That sad looking prepackaged salad you stock for lunches? Meh; you’re always still hungry after. Cup o’noodles? Eww; icky, bloated, sodium-belly. What you need is something you can make quickly, cheaply, is fairly healthy, and well, good enough to eat on purpose!

Enter the street taco. Traditionally it’s a taco el carbon, which means grilled over an open coal flame, but lots of food trucks and Mexican caterers sell these without the fuss of flame grilling. I’ll show you how to make this (which is really a no-brainer) but in a way that will have you out the door in 10 minutes with a lunch that packs up well, comes together when it’s time to eat so it tastes freshly prepped, and will save you from carrying around sad taste buds all afternoon. You’re welcome.

Chicken Street Taco

Chicken Street Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 1 4-oz frozen, skinless chicken breast. (*Shoe string alert: Frozen chicken breasts are sold in 5-pound bags that you keep in your freezer for 10-15 bucks. You just take out however many breasts you want to use for a meal and you can pop them straight into the oven to bake. Its very economical, convenient, and waste-reducing.)
  • 3-5 corn tortillas
  • 1 small, white onion
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • Salsa (*Don’t be cheap or lazy alert: Make your own salsa in advance, or if you like to buy pre-made salsa, get the good stuff. This is the main garnish and makes a big difference for this meal.)

Prep:

  • Either the night before, or in the morning, pop the chicken breast in the oven and let it bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. Use a digital thermometer to check the temp. At 160 degrees Fahrenheit, pull the chicken out and let it rest. Don’t cook to 165 degrees or it will be rubbery and best donated to a clown.
  • When the chicken is ready, dice the small onion and chicken. If you have the time, I think shredded chicken tastes a little better, but dicing is traditional and faster.
  • Roughly chop or tear some cilantro. I like lots, but go with how much based on what tastes good to you.
  • Combine all the ingredients into a tupperware and seal.
  • Over an open flame, lightly grill your corn tortillas. I like mine with just a few minor char spots, but don’t over do it. You want the tortilla to stay soft and pliable.
  • When your stack of tortillas is done, roll them loosely and pop into a plastic sandwich bag. The steam will keep them soft.
  • Put your salsa into a small, separate container, or if you are using a taco sauce, just remember to bring it.

When you are ready to eat, you really don’t need to re-heat anything. Just sprinkle the mixture into each tortilla, add your salsa or sauce, and keep your moans of pleasure down so you don’t get any co-workers asking for sharzies.

~ Nom on

Baked BBQ chicken drumsticks: Chicken-lickin’ good

I thought for my first post I would share a great recipe for baked ‘BBQ’ chicken. I personally don’t like grilling; it’s too much like baby sitting and I already have a toddler to baby sit every day. I need my cooking to happen without my undivided attention. I found this simple approach to getting the sticky, gooey mess I love about BBQ food without the fuss. I hope you enjoy it!

Baked BBQ Chicken

Baked BBQ Chicken Drumsticks

Ingredients

  • Chicken Legs or thighs (the bone-in, dark meat is jucier than boneless chicken breast.)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Sweet Heat BBQ sauce 

Prep

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees
  • Brush meat with olive oil all over. (If you don’t like skin or are trying to cut calories and fat, take the skin off first.)
  • Lay out ckicken on a rimmed baking sheet
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper all over
  • Set timer and bake for 20 minutes
  • Brush chicken all over with BBQ sauce and bake for 7 minutes.
  • Repeat this cycle 2 more times

Chef’s Note: For the last round of baking, check the temp to make sure the chicken hasn’t already passed 160 degrees. If you have a tendency to end up with dry or chewy chicken, you are over cooking it. Meat continues cooking after it is removed from the oven, thus when a recipe calls to let the meat ‘rest’ that means let the meat finish cooking from it’s internal heat. In this world of paranoia over bacteria and food poisoning, it’s easy to cook the crap out of our food. I have lived through some gnarly boughts of food poisoning and people have lost their children to it, so I do not mean to imply it’s not a legit concern. I also aknowledge that our food system is completely toxic, but the truth is, meat tastes like shit when it’s over cooked and 165 degrees will do ya. Respect the internal temp, let the meat rest. 

Serve with fresh baguette or sour potato salad or whatever sounds rad and don’t forget to make loud, slurpy noises as you lick the sticky sauce off your fingers. This is an ancient Chinese secret for improving the flavor.

~Nom on