Moving In With Spicy Chicken Tacos

Putting the kitchen together in my new Saint Paul apartment is a unique look back on…me. I unpack the black and white speckled ceramic mug and remember all the handcrafted dishes my Mom has given me over the years. I unpack my dying, miniature hand beater that was a desperate Goodwill purchase in college and remember how I didn’t even try to feel “at home” all three of those years. Each dish or lack thereof is a memory and a piece of me. As I carefully place each item into these aged wood cabinets, I can’t help but think of all the moments yet to come in this coveted space, and how certainly there will be a few I’ll always keep close to my heart. And I know this time I don’t even have to try to feel “at home,” it’s happening naturally.


I came across the recipe for one of the first meals I pursued in this new space during a peak hungered moment of surfing the net: spicy chicken tacos. Being the novice meat cooker that I am, I was quite happy with the results this recipe yielded. I followed this recipe almost to a tee–a very rare occasion for me–and it paid off royally. These tacos are spicy, light, and can be completed in under a half hour. Weeknight meal, you say? (Note to self: spend more time taking quality photos for blog, and less time drooling on meal.)


Spicy Chicken Tacos

Makes 8 tacos

Adapted from Serious Eats


1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 red onion, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 chipotles in adobo, plus 1 tablespoon of sauce

1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth

2 ears of corn, kernels sliced off

1/2 cup crumbled feta

8 corn tortillas, warmed

1/2 cup picked cilantro leaves

2 ripe avocados, pitted and sliced

Lime wedges, for serving


Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Add chicken and cook until browned on both sides, about 6 minutes total. Transfer chicken to a plate. In the same pot over medium heat, add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in cumin and oregano until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add chipotles and their sauce, stirring to combine, and cook for 1 minute. Add broth and nestle the chicken back in the pot. Adjust heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to a clean plate. Allow cooking liquid to reduce slightly. Meanwhile, shred chicken with 2 forks. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot and cook until warmed through, about 3 minutes. In a small bowl, combine corn with feta, seasoning with 1 tablespoon of lime juice and pepper. Stir remaining 1 tablespoon lime juice into chicken, then spoon onto the tortillas. Serve with the corn salsa, cilantro, avocado, and lime wedges. Buen provecho!


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