Chicken Soft Tacos
I recently discovered that Neko loves eating soft tacos. We were out at a taqueria and I ordered Neko a bean and cheese soft taco. She picked it up like an expert and went to town, not even pausing to set the taco down until she was full, about three-quarters of the way through the taco.
The last time I did a build-your-own-taco night at home, the results weren’t great. Neko piled her tortilla with too much stuff and cried when it inevitably fell apart as she tried to eat it.
This time things went much better. Neko used a more judicious hand as she sprinkled shredded chicken, pinto beans, cabbage, queso fresco and crème fraiche on her tortilla. She asked for help rolling it up, but then she held it like a pro, not squeezing hard enough to displace any of the filling, and she ate almost the entire thing before setting down the remnants and asking to be excused with an “Excuse me.”
One of the best things about taco night is that each person can decorate his taco however he likes. Set out hot salsa for the adventurous, beans for the vegetarians, etc. All rolled up in a warm tortilla, it’s a perfect meal.
Chicken Soft Tacos
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 can of black or pinto beans
½ head of green or red cabbage
homemade or jarred salsa
crumbled queso fresco
crème fraiche or Mexican crema or sour cream or Greek yogurt
Cook the chicken by roasting or poaching or grilling. I just sprinkled mine with salt, pepper, olive oil and lime juice and quickly cooked it in a grill pan. You can also buy a rotisserie chicken if you don’t feel like messing with cooking your own chicken. When cook enough to handle, shred the chicken and set aside.
While the chicken is cooking, drain and rinse the beans and put them in a pot with a cup of water, a pinch of salt and some fresh ground pepper. Bring to a simmer and cook until the water is reduced and the mixture resembles refried beans. Mash some of the beans with a wooden spoon to help thicken the mixture. You can add further seasoning to your liking—sometimes I use cumin, you could also use smoked paprika.
Put the beans and chicken out with the warmed tortillas (brush tortillas with olive oil and warm for 5 mins. in a 350 degree oven). Serve with crème fraiche, sliced avocado, shredded cabbage, salsa and crumbled queso fresco.