Monday, October 27, 2014

Cider-Beer Braised Chicken Tacos

I bet you thought I couldn't possibly find another taco recipe to post on this blog. Well, you were wrong! There are MILLIONS! I can go on for years! Tacos forever!!

Ok, sorry about that. I just love tacos, you guys. This recipe looked sufficiently different from the other recipes I've posted, and it is. And it looked sufficiently delicious, and it is. So here we go. It's a pretty simple recipe that I found on a blog called Half-Baked Harvest. But don't let the simplicity fool you. These pack a ton of flavor (and a good amount of heat). I also made a little psuedo-salsa to top it with, mixing some apple into some pretty normal ingredients, which brought some really nice crunch and flavor to the taco. I recommend you try it!

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
2 chipotle chilies in adobo, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
salt and pepper
1 cup beer 
1/2 cup apple cider
3/4 cup enchilada sauce 
1 jalapeno or serrano, diced
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 lime, juiced
1/2 cup diced apple
Handful of cilantro, chopped

In a small dish, mix together the spices: chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, brown sugar, cayenne and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cut your chicken into big chunks and put them in another small bowl. Pour the olive oil over and then add the garlic and chipotle chiles. Stir a little to spread the chiles and garlic around and then pour in your spice mix and mix well until the chicken is evenly covered.

Now, heat your dutch oven on high until hot, then sear the chicken about 2-4 minutes a side. It will cook more later so don't over cook it now. Also, be careful of breathing in the spices while they cook. It will definitely make you cough! Once the chicken is seared, turn down the heat and pour in the beer and apple cider, scraping the bottom of the dutch oven to deglaze it. Simmer on low for 25-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.

While the chicken is simmering, you can make the salsa. Just mix together the jalapeno, onion, apple and cilantro with the lime juice, and stir. Leave it in the fridge while you finish the chicken.

Once the chicken is done, shred it with two forks. Turn up the heat on the sauce in the pot and reduce it down to about 3/4 of a cup and then add the chicken back to the pot along with the enchilada sauce. Let that warm up for a few minutes and once it's hot, it's ready to serve! We used sour cream and a little cheese on our tortillas, as well as the chicken and apple salsa and the mixture was really tasty. I know the apple seems a little weird, but go ahead, be daring and give it a chance! You will be happy to find yet another taco to love. 

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