Who doesn’t love a taco? With the boom of Burrito Bars that seem to be overtaking my town of Brisbane I wanted to have a go at making my own Mexican food at home. I wanted to do everything from scratch. The tortilla, the spice mix for the chicken and a tasty salsa. I dug around in my recipe books, and poked around on-line until I came across a recipe from Donna Hay for Chicken Tacos.
I didn’t like the fussiness of her tortilla recipe though. Rubbing butter into flour? There’s got to be an easier way. And so my search continued. I finally came across The Homesick Texan website and her Flour Tortilla recipe. Much easier, and who better to take tortilla making advice from than a Texan!
I kept to Donna’s recipe for the spice mix that would cover the chicken except for the onion salt which I didn’t have. Next time I’ll kick up the chili factor as my “Mexican Ground Chili” mix was not spicy enough. As all things chili though you should really just add however much you want.
Makes 8 Tacos
For the taco insides:
4x200g chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp chili powder (next time I’d bump this up to 1 tsp)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
vegetable oil (I used avocado oil)
Various accompaniments: salsa verde, shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream, or whatever else you’d like.
2 cups flour (plus extra for dusting)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
3/4 – 1 cup warm milk
First make the tortilla dough as it needs time to rest.
Mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and oil with a fork until well combined. To this mixture slowly add in the warm milk until a sticky ball is formed. The original recipe called for 3/4 cup of milk but I used almost a cup.
Dust some flour over a surface (I used my kitchen bench, but you could use a chopping board) and knead the dough for 2 minutes. Once needed the dough should feel firm and soft.
Put the dough into a bowl and cover it with a damp tea towel for 20 minutes. Once the dough as rested, divide it into 8 equal portions, rolling them into balls in your hands. Put them on a plate and cover them with a damp cloth, this time for 10 minutes.
Once completely rested, take one ball at a time and on a sheet of baking paper press it down flat into a 10cm circle. Then, use a rolling-pin to roll it out as thin as you can. Don’t worry about making them a perfect circle as it makes them all the more charming. Continue to roll out the rest of the dough and cover with a damp cloth until ready to cook.
To cook, heat up a heavy based or cast iron skillet (I used my normal heavy based fry pan with spray oil to keep them from sticking) and cook the tortilla’s for 30 seconds on each side. The first side should be like the photo above, and should also puff up a bit. Don’t worry if once flipped the other side doesn’t look the same. Mine didn’t look evenly browned on the other side, instead having lonesome brown blotches, but they still tasted as they should.
Once cooked you can keep them wrapped up in a dry tea towel under ready to assemble and eat.
While the tortilla’s are resting, get the chicken spice mixture ready and let the chicken marinate in it for around 10 minutes. Once the tortilla’s are resting for the second 10 minutes put the chicken on a medium heat to start cooking. They should around 5 minutes each side, but if you’re not sure they are cooked slice into the thickest part of the thigh to check.
Once cooked, let the chicken rest on a chopping board for 5 minutes covered in foil (and in the meantime start cooking up the tortilla’s) and then slice up ready to stick onto the tortilla’s.
Assemble with your favourite condiments and gulp down!
The verdict from Richard was pretty adamant. His first remark was, “Awesome dude food”, followed by spilling half of it on his shirt, and then a smile of contentment and a verdict of “best taco ever”. You can’t really get a better endorsement than that!