Our Cinco de Mayo DinnerPosted: May 9, 2007
This weekend we made chicken tacos with salsa verde and cilantro rice. We liked the flavors a lot, so I thought I would share the recipes here.
Chicken— We adapted the marinade from Rachel Ray’s recipe for Grilled Chicken Burritos with Mango Salsa.
2 pounds thin-sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
9 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 4 or 5 limes)
9 cloves garlic (pressed)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika [my new favorite spice!]
Combine all marinade ingredients in a ziploc bag. Add chicken and marinate for a few hours. Cook in skillet over medium-high heat. Cool slightly and cut into small bite-sized pieces.
Salsa Verde — This version is adapted from the Roasted Tomatillo Salsa recipe in Rick Bayless’ Mexican Everyday. I like this cookbook a lot; we have tried five or six recipes and they all turned out well. Prior to buying this book we hadn’t cooked Mexican food before. I think it provides a good intro to Mexican cooking for total newbies.
4 medium (about 8 ounces total) tomatillos, husked, rinsed, and halved
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 serrano chiles, stemmed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
Set a large nonstick skiller over medium heat. Lay in the garlic and tomatillos, cut side down. When the tomatillos are well browned, turn everything over and brown the other side. (The tomatillos should be completely soft.) [I found it difficult to brown the tomatillos without having burned bits in the pan. I suggest shifting the tomatillos around occasionally so that they don’t burn quite as badly.]
Scrape the tomatillos and garlic into a blender or food processor and let cool to room temperature, about 3 minutes. Add the chiles, cilantro, salt, and 1/4 cup water. Blend to a coarse puree. Add a little more water if necessary to reach the desired consistency. [The photo below isn’t quite representative of what the salsa should look like because we used 2/3 cup cilantro, which was probably too much. But we love cilantro! Anywhere from 1/3 to 1/2 cup of cilantro should be fine.]
Cilantro Rice — We used the recipe posted here. It was interesting, but I think I made my rice too mushy.
Next time, we will try cooking the chicken breasts on the Foreman grill and will probably leave out the cilantro rice. Hubby thinks carmelized onions would be a good substitute!