I’m always trying to make quick and healthy meals during the work week. One of my mainstays is a taco/fajita type meal. I usually make a simple protein (beef, chicken, fish, or pork) and just use fresh ingredients for toppings. It’s a bit of a cop out, but that’s good cooking for you. You shouldn’t really work too hard at dressing up the food (well certainly not at the end of a long work day).
When I did the grocery shopping Sunday morning (sorry father Jim for not going to mass), I thought that a simple chicken breast taco would be both tasty and healthy for the beginning of the week. At the store I purchased a package of individually portioned chicken breasts, which are great, because the meat company pounds out the breasts just enough so that they cook evenly, but not so much as to make the chicken too thin. I then went to the produce aisle and bought several items for a home-made salsa and the typical accompaniments.
For the salsa, which I made the day before, I decided to just roast the vegetables at a high temperature with a little bit of oil, salt and pepper, and ground up the vegetables up in the blender. I used scallions, poblano chiles, red pepper, red onion, and a jalapeno. I roasted the vegetables at 475 for about 20-25 minutes until well charred. After the veggies cooled, I added lime juice, cilantro, fresh garlic and the vegetables to the blender and blended the vegetables until smooth (if too thick, add a bit of water).
As to the chicken, I seasoned it with a store-bought Latin seasoning (adobo), Mexican oregano, paprika, and black pepper. I sautéed the chicken breasts and just chopped them up into bite-sized pieces. I then assembled the following garnishes:
finely chopped onion (mixed with a bit of cilantro)
shredded cabbage (don’t use lettuce!)
chopped avocado (sprinkled with salt and lime juice)
favorite tortillas (lightly grilled in the same pan you cooked your chicken in)
While the salsa was very good, I think for a typical work day I’d skip making the salsa. There are plenty of good store-bought alternatives out there. Other really good additions to the dish would be your favorite cheese (I like cotija or queso fresco) and sour cream or crema Mexicano.