From Mexico’s tradition of “you can turn just about anything into a taco filling” comes this simple and flavorful chicken salad taco. But this isn’t just any chicken salad. Combine meat from a rotisserie chicken, red skin potatoes, avocado, romaine tossed in a tingling chipotle vinaigrette and you’ve got a cool filling for warm tortillas. And one that you’ll think about long after the meal is done. Or forget the tortillas and just eat it as a satisfying salad. It’s packed with flavor no matter how you consume it.
I had my first taco when I was about twelve years old. Taco Tico came to our small Kansas town. A fast food franchise who served a hard shell taco full of orange colored mushy flavored beef topped with lettuce, tomato and shredded cheese. We loved it. It was delicious. Since it wouldn’t stand up on it’s own, we had to eat it with our hands. That made it fun, That made it messy. After all you can’t bite into a hard shelled taco without it breaking into at least five pieces. Flawed.
Little did I know that a few hundred miles directly south of me, people were churning out authentic Mexican warm homemade soft taco shells, filled with fresh meat, exotic (to me) spices and rolling them up into pure bliss. And they had been doing so for centuries.
Thanks to my first trip to Mexico, and the likes of Diana Kennedy and Rick Bayless, I discovered authentic Mexican food and have been under its spell ever since. Both Kennedy and Bayless have lived in Mexico, studied its regional cuisines extensively and are all about maintaining a standard, and preaching it to us.
This is a Rick Bayless recipe. Rick specializes in authentic Mexican but has no issues taking modern liberties with his creations. This is a great example of thinking outside the taco shell box. It’s full of flavor.
- 1 inch large red skin or Yukon Gold potato sliced 1/4 thick
- 3 Tablespoons cider vinegar or 2 tablespoons cider and 1 tablespoons balsamic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano Mexican if you have it
- 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo seeded and chopped
- 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from the can of chiles en adobo
- 1/4 sweet onion fine chopped
- 6 ounces cooked chicken shredded (rotisserie chicken makes this easy)
- 2 cups sliced romaine leaves
- 1 inch avocado flesh scooped from skin and cut into 1/4 cubes
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 soft corn tortillas warmed
Place the sliced potato into a large microwaveable bowl, drizzle with 1/4 cup water and sprinkle generously with salt. Cover with plastic wrap, poke a couple of holes in the top and microwave on high for about 4 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. Scoop the potatoes onto a cutting board, leaving the liquid behind. Let the potatoes cool.
Add vinegar, oregano, chipotle chiles, adobo sauce, and onion to the bowl with the potato cooking water to make a dressing. Mix well, then taste and season with salt to taste.
Use a fork to break the cooled potatoes into 1/2 inch pieces, then scoop them into a large bowl. Add the chicken and drizzle on the dressing and toss everything together. Refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes to blend flavors.
Just before serving, add the lettuce and avocado to the bowl. Drizzle with the oil and toss to combine. Serve with warm tortillas for soft tacos.
Chipotle Chicken Salad Tacos with Avocado, Red Skin Potatoes and Romaine…They’re what’s for Dinner.
Looking for something beef-ier for this week’s taco night? How about this Crockpot Barbacoa Taco Recipe from the archives.
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