Friday, April 1, 2011

Chicken Tacos

I've been missin me some El Pollo Loco! Like crazy missin it!! Why oh why oh why can't there be an El Pollo Loco up here?! Last night I decided to do an "Ode To El Pollo Loco". Okay maybe not that far but I was seriously craving me some of their Taco Al Carbone and that more the scrumptious Avacado Salsa. Mmm just thinking about it is making me want to drive a few hours to go pick up one of those Loco Salads. You know what, I think I could eat a Loco Salad, some Taco Al Carbones, the Avacado Salsa, and their Churros...every day and never EVER get sick of it. Im really hoping to get me some of this yummy deliciousness while we are in California in a few weeks. Until then I had to make due and put together something similar. So the chicken, sad to say, is not flame grilled (mmm my mouth is starting to drool), but its still good. A brother in law of mine gave me a couple of ideas on how to cook the chicken to get in some awesome flavor.

Depending on how many people are eating you may need to tweek the recipe but this is for 2 people with some leftovers (depending on how much chicken you use to)

2-3 chicken breasts
2 TBSP butter
a few dashes of McCormick Montreal Chicken Seasoning
1-2 jalapenos, diced into small pieces
white corn tortillas
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco or cojita cheese(I prefer queso fresco myself)
1 lime, in wedges
avacado salsa

Dice the chicken up into small bite sized pieces. The smaller they are the easier it is to put in your taco. Melt butter in a large skillet and add chicken. Season with your favorite seasonings (I use salt, pepper, and montreal chicken seasoning). Add diced up jalapenos.
*Depending on whether you like crispy tortillas or just warmed ones you may decide to omit this step*
While chicken is cooking heat a small amount of oil in a pan to fry your tortillas in. Fry tortillas until it starts to turn light brown. Flip and repeat. When you pull it out of the oil sprinkle one side with salt and bend (not snap it) in half to make it U-shaped.
**or just heat your tortillas up in the microwave if you prefer not to fry them!
Once everything is done, layer on your favorite toppings (to keep it El Pollo Loco style I stick with onion, cilantro, and salsa...okay I throw on a little cheese and lime as well) and voala!

**Randi's Side Notes**
~ To make this diet approved and gluten free, I served my chicken over the top of a salad instead of putting it in the tortilla. Or simply roll it up in some lettuce and have a healthier version. I love to top it with the Avacado Salsa, cilantro and onions. You could make a fresh lime vinaigrette to serve over the top of it and bam you have an amazing salad! Also, I wasn't sure on a couple of the herbs in the Montreal Chicken seasoning so a great alternative mixture would just be to sprinkle a little of the following spices on it when you throw it in the pan: sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, and paprika. To add the additional sweetness that isn't in a spice you could grate some orange zest and lemon zest on it while its cooking as well. These spices were all in the Montreal mix, but it had some extra ingredients that were a tid bit iffy. 
~ This recipe is so versitle anybody could tweek it to however they wanted it to taste. Ive served these with guacamole, spanish rice, lettuce, pico de gallo, sour name it...its been served with it.
~ Don't forget to throw in some spanish corn on the cob! I love that as my side dish for these. There are many varieties of that as well. My personal preference is mayo and paprika. Most add lime juice and chili powder along with that.

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