Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Chicken Tacos with Spanish Rice


Sorry for not getting around to posting this, I've been busy with my primary job: building towers of mega blocks with my daughter. 

Anyway, I made this last week using the tortillas I made. This is just a simple, no frills and cheap meal I threw together. 

The biggest thing I can share with this is the concept of the brine.

Basically it's just "brining" your meat (whatever it is) in some salt, sugar and water before you cook it. Usually this is used with pork before slow cooking, but man. You can brine ANYTHING, and it turns out so good. I love salt. My wife and daughter love salt. So it works out great for us as the brine seasons the meat from the insides, in essence. You can impart some flavor this way too, but ultimately the meat is seasoned and juicy after a sit in the brine. I have been brining every piece of meat I've cooked recently with great success and it couldn't be easier.

Chicken Tacos with Spanish Rice

1 chicken breast
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
water 
1 green chile (optional, I just have some from my garden)
1/4 cup of salsa
1 can of black beans (I used my leftover southwest burgers)
some frozen corn (optional)
tortillas 

Rice
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 cups chicken broth

==

Start with cleaning up your chicken.



Slice it into big strips (I usually do three big pieces for ease) and put it into a ziplock bag along with the salt, sugar and green chiles. Fill with water until just covered.

Mush it all together. It doesn't need to be perfectly dissolved, but you can get it pretty well there just by mushing.

Let this sit as long as you can, but you can get away with an hour and still get some results. I think I did this for about 3 hours. 


==

Add the butter and oil to a sauce pan over med/high heat.


Add your onion and sauté until just soft.


Add your garlic. Cook for about a minute until fragrant.


Add your rice and toss for about 5 minutes until you see it swell slightly.


Toasty
 Add the spices and salt and stir to combine.


Add the tomato sauce and chicken broth.


Bring to a boil, then simmer covered on low for 25 minutes until it looks like Spanish rice. 


Yup. Looks like Spanish rice (but so much better)
==

When you're ready for the chicken, toss the pieces into a pan with a little oil or butter and cook until there's some color on one side, maybe 4 minutes over med-high heat. Discard the brine.


I poured a little salsa over the top for some flavor.

Toss them into a 350F oven for around 15 minutes. I use a thermometer to make it idiot proof.


When they're finished, remove and let rest until you can handle them.


Ok, so here's the "optional" part. I had some leftover meat/black bean mixture in the freezer from my southwest burgers last month. This is just some ground beef, mashed black beans and some corn. 

I think this meal could us some black beans and corn, so just heat that up for taco fixin's.


If for some reason you have leftover southwest burgers, just cook until crumbly and done.


When your chicken is able to be handled, shred it with some forks or by hand.


Shredded deliciousness
 Warm up your tortillas in the microwave to make them pliable.


Load up your tacos. 

I'm not going to tell you how to make a taco, but I used some rice, chicken, cheese, sour cream, salsa and some diced tomatoes. 

Overall this was an incredibly cheap and satisfying meal for the family. 


Enjoy!

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