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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Chipotle chicken salad tacos

Rick Bayless is a genius. At least, that's what we think in our house. He has made great strides in introducing the U.S. to really authentic Mexican food, and he's also been a prominent advocate of the locavore movement in Chicago and throughout the country.

But as much as he teaches traditional techniques and dishes, he puts fresh, contemporary twists on these same dishes.

Like chipotle chicken salad tacos.

Have you ever had tacos filled with cabbage? I hadn't, before I tried this recipe. And I certainly wouldn't have thought of combining cabbage and carrots with a smoky chipotle balsamic vinaigrette.

But . . . wow! It's amazing. Taste it for yourself with some local carrots and cabbage.

Chipotle chicken salad tacos

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup olive oil
2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo, finely chopped
salt to taste
1/2 small head Napa cabbage, thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
1 small candy onion (or red onion)
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped cooked chicken (I cooked mine in the crockpot last week and froze the chopped meat)
1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into cubes
1/3 cup coarsely grated pecorino romano cheese (or queso a├▒ejo or Parmesan)
12 to 16 warm, fresh corn tortillas (we made our own with Maseca!)

In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, and chipotles. Season generously with salt. Add the cabbage, carrot, chicken, onion, and cilantro and toss. Let stand for 15 minutes. (It's best eaten the same day, but you can refrigerate it for a few hours before dinner if that works better with your schedule.)

When you're ready to serve, put the avocado, cheese, and salad on the table with tortillas and let everyone assemble their own chicken salad tacos.

From Mexico One Plate at a Time by Rick Bayless, page 114

1 people are talking about food:

Davene July 15, 2010 10:52 PM  

I always look forward to seeing what you post...because it's always something with a twist to it. :)

This recipe looks great! When we lived in San Diego, we had tacos with cabbage in them; I think that's how fish tacos were "always" done...although it's a little hard for me to remember because I'm not a fish taco fan. My husband is though, and I have a feeling he would be a fan of this chipotle chicken salad taco recipe, too! :)

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