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Cooking For Others: Unresolved Tacos

EVENT: Not Quite Sure…
VENUE: Phoebe’s Apartment, Flatiron
PARTY SIZE: 4 mystery eaters
TYPE: Taco Tuesday…or something like that
: Ancho-Rubbed Chicken & Chorizo Tacos with Mango Salad, Avocado, and Chipotle Crema

It’s a sad story when you’ve made so many tacos in a month that you can’t remember who came to eat them and why. I made these ancho-rubbed chicken tacos sometime before April 17th. I know this because the ancho chili powder inspired the marinade for these backseat chicken sandwiches. But I cannot for the life of me remember the dinner. I even checked my calendar. Nothing.

So let’s talk about the why part.

Since the book really got rolling these past few months, my entertaining and cooking habits have gone through some changes. You might have noticed that there have been far fewer Cooking For Others posts on the blog. But this is not for lack of having friends over. In fact, I’ve been entertaining more than ever, mainly because there always seems to be something specific on the agenda that needs to be cooked. We just aren’t going to share those recipes with you just yet (wink).

When I am not deliberately inviting over 4 people to taste-test paella, I’m trying to use up the leftover onions, peppers, and chorizo that the paella generated (I usually halve the larger recipes). For that, the answer has been tacos.

If someone wants to come over for a quiet dinner, I’ll pick up a pack of tortillas at the corner grocer, and perhaps an avocado, and throw together some fillings. These black beans have been a staple, but really it’s a “whatever works” kind of system. Dinner is on the table quickly and cheaply, and I can usually count on using up one of my many book leftovers in the process.

These particular chicken-chorizo tacos were inspired by one of the variations in the May’s Food and WineTaco World spread. The recipe calls for you to make your own chorizo by buying ground pork and adding the spices as you brown the meat. Thanks to the paella, I had some pre-made links on hand, but if you are starting from scratch, I would encourage you to try F & W’s version (and report back!).

I remember how delicious these tacos were, but very little else. So please, if you enjoyed them with me, speak up. I think my memory’s negligence means I owe you another dinner.

From my kitchen, dishes out tacos to whoever walks through the door, to yours,



Ancho-Rubbed Chicken & Chorizo Tacos
Makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon ancho chili powder (or any chili powder you have on hand)
1/2 lime, juiced
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/2 lb chorizo (about 2 links), casings removed

4-6 tortillas
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 cup Chipotle Crema
Mango Salad (recipe follows)
Cilantro leaves

In a mixing bowl, combine the chili powder, lime juice, mustard, oil and salt. Add the chicken and toss until coated in the marinade. Place a nonstick or cast-iron skillet over high heat and brown the chicken in batches. Remove to a plate and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
Add the chorizo to the pan, breaking apart with your spatula as you cook, until browned and cooked through. Set aside.

Slice the chicken into strips and combine it with the chorizo along with any juices.

Arrange the chicken-chorizo mixture alongside warm tortillas, sliced avocado, chopped mango or mango salad, and chipotle crema and serve immediately. Let guests (whoever they may be) roll their own tacos.

Mango Salad
Makes about 2 cups

1 medium mango, diced
1 garlic clove, minced or pushed through a press
1 lime, juiced
1 tsp siracha
½ tsp salt
fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and toss to combine. For best results, make the salad the night before to allow the flavors to intensify.