So, the other day I was craving something a bit tangy and spicy to eat. SA suggested making chicken tacos, and since he had an appointment, he sent me off unceremoniously to do groceries and left me in charge of dinner. Gulp. Imagine my blind panic, when upon returning home, I realized that the recipe asked for 2 lbs of chicken breasts as opposed to the 2 chicken breasts we had and also that SA had left his phone at home.
Deciding then and there, I would just wing it and make it work, I forgot all about my fear of calculations (from the 2 lbs of chicken to 2 pieces) and set out to make dinner with gusto. Also, I must mention that SA and I are back on our health kick again, so we are trying to avoid carbs, mainly stuff with gluten. But that doesn’t mean either of us compromise on taste…nosirriee! We had made gluten-free tortillas before for fish tacos (which turned out pretty damn delicious), which we just recreated for this recipe. The tortillas get too crumbly and brittle if you make them too early, so before we get to the chicken – let’s just get our dough mixture ready and leave it aside for now.
Gulshan 1 market is our hunting ground for these “exotic” ingredients, all of which are available right here in Dhaka city. You will need a cup of almond flour, 1/2 cup of tapioca flour along with a pinch of baking soda and a smidgen of olive oil to make it all come together. We whisked together the dry ingredients in a bowl, then instead of using water, we used coconut milk which helps us mix it all together and we can then knead the mixture into a big dough ball and leave it be until it’s time to get to the tortillas.
I got a bit funky with the chicken and made a spice rub of salt, pepper, cumin and a hint of paprika which I seasoned the two chicken breasts with. As the breasts sat there soaking up all the spices and looking pretty, I got to work on the (awesome) sauce. The tomato sauce is simple to make – just put pureed tomatoes on the boil along with a bay leaf, few cloves of garlic and a dried red pepper to add a bit of a kick to it. Once the sauce was ready, I poured some white wine vinegar in it, a bit of cumin and once again just a bit of paprika.
Then I heated up some oil in the trusty cast iron skillet and put the chicken on. It took about 5 minutes to slightly brown on each side and then I added the sauce mixture to the pan. Be careful when you do this because the sauce splatters – A LOT. Basically meaning I risked life and limb to bring you this chicken taco recipe and it was worth every morsel, goddamnit! Once the sauce comes to a boil, bring heat to a low and cover the pan and let the chicken simmer in the sauce for about 10 minutes or so until cooked through.
Then, I transferred the chicken to the cutting board and shredded it using two forks. Once it was shredded and taco ready, I once again transferred the chicken to the pan and let it cook with the sauce, until caramellized. This is the perfect time to get your garnishes ready – we went with some black beans, grated cheddar, chopped green chili, cilantro, chopped onion, tomatoes, avocado, red cabbage, wedges of lime. Oh and of course, sour cream. Because what meaning is there to a taco, without the sour cream?
Now, finally we must make the tortillas otherwise all this hard work will have been in vain. Simply roll out the dough ball into round tortillas. Heat your skillet until it smokes slightly and put the tortilla on. Let it cook for about 3 minutes on one side, then flip it over. You will not need to cook it as long on the other side because then it will join the Dark Side of Tortillas.
Constructing the taco for consumption is a totally personal thing, and like I said, feel free to add whatever garnish you would like. Simply serve your tortillas on to your plate, and pile it with everything, roll up and bite! How good is that? If you do try this recipe, post some comments and put your pictures up, we would love to see your creations.
2 chicken breasts seasoned with salt, pepper, cumin and paprika
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp paprika
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp olive oil
1/3 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp chopped cilatro
2 tbsp chopped green chili
2 tbsp chopped red cabbage
2 tbsp chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp grated cheddar
2 tbsp chopped avocado
2 tbsp chopped onion
2 lime wedges
1 can of black beans, simmered with onions, cilantro, and ghee