Weather: -6 degrees, sunshine and spots of fog
What I’m listening to: Ten Goodbyes, Tim Atlas

I’m a big fan of Taco Tuesday. And Taco Thursday. And tacos any day. Heck, I’m even a fan of breakfast tacos. When I lived in California, taco stands or taco trucks were prolific. I could swing in and pick up legit street tacos for .99 a pop for chicken or carne asada or carnitas, piping hot and rolled up in white parchment paper or foil. They would almost always ask if I wanted my tacos hot or mild, or occasionally ask if I wanted green or red salsa. They were inexpensive, crazy fresh, accessible, and wildly addictive. I’m a petite lady, but I could devour three tacos in no time flat, five tacos on a really good day.

Street tacos are, and always will be, my definition of a taco. The tiny tortillas are always corn, never flour. They are heated until pliable on the hot flattop or charred over open flame, then kept warm so that they steam together and become so soft that you have to serve them up in a double layer, two per taco. The meat is always well-seasoned, smoky and acidic, with a little char on the edges of each bite. And traditional street tacos are always served with finely chopped cilantro and onion, a thin drizzle of freshly made salsa, with a lime wedge on the side.

Chipotle Chicken tacos

To make my homemade chipotle chicken tacos, pick up a small can of chipotles in adobo in the latin foods section of your local market. You can save the leftover chipotles in an airtight container in your refrigerator to make up a batch of my chipotle corn queso or to add to a pot of my black bean chili. In addition to the cilantro and onions, I’ve added a cooling garlic lime crema and slices of ripe avocado to offset the smoky heat of the adobo. To warm your corn tortillas, you can char them on a gas stove top or steam them in a tortilla warmer in the microwave. Enjoy them on Taco Tuesday. Or any other day of the week.

Chipotle Chicken Tacos with Garlic Lime Crema

Yields: Serves 2-4

  • For the chipotle chicken:
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotles in adobo)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • vegetable oil for the pan
  • For the garlic lime crema:
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • For the tacos:
  • 8 yellow corn tortillas, warm
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • hot sauce (like Tapatio) or salsa

Place the cubed chicken into a plastic zipper bag or shallow container with a lid. In a small bowl, stir together the adobo sauce, lime juice, cumin, sugar, and salt until well combined. Pour the mixture over the chicken, making sure the chicken is thoroughly coated. Seal the chicken and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to two hours. When ready to make the tacos, heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the chicken along with all the juices. Cook the chicken until browned on all sides and cooked through. Keep warm until ready to serve.

To make the crema, whisk together the sour cream, lime juice, garlic powder, salt, and milk in a small bowl.

To assemble the tacos: take each warm tortilla and fill it with the chipotle chicken. Top each taco with cilantro, onion, avocado slices, and crema. Serve with hot sauce or salsa on the side.

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