May 5, 2010

Orange chicken tacos

Hot, sweet, and acidic makes a great combination if you can balance it right.  An orange salsa chicken wrapped in tortillas is a good way to balance all of that.  Call them burritos, tacos, whatever.  But it works well.

Two variations.  The first is my modification of a family recipe and the second is the original.

Baking method

Thaw one can of orange juice concentrate enough to get the thing out of the cardboard tubing.  Dump that in to a pyrex baking pan.

Add a generous amount of jarred salsa; Pace Picante seems to work best -- hot is better but medium seems to work just fine.  Go for about 3/4 of the amount of concentrate.

Add three or four frozen chicken breasts.

Toss into the oven at about 350ish.  Bake until the chicken is nearly done and the orange juice/salsa mixture has reduced a bit.

Remove and slice the chicken relatively thin.  Replace it in the mixture and return to the oven until the chicken is done and the sauce has reduced a bit further; bumping the heat here isn't a bad idea.

Remove the chicken again and keep the remaining mixture as a sauce.

Grilling method

This one takes a bit longer but the ratios are about the same.

Combine orange juice (concentrate doesn't work as well here), salsa, and thawed breasts.  Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at the very least one hour and at the most about eight.

Pull the chicken; grill it until done to taste.  Slice to serve.


Flour tortillas seem to compliment these flavors better than corn but either will work.  Use whatever normal fixings you would for a taco or whatnot; lettuce, cheese, black olives, etc.  Guacamole is for some reason contraindicated but fresh avocado slices seem just fine.  If you use the first method I'd recommend staying away from excess tomato; there's already plenty of acid.

Assemble at the table; simple as could be.

Alternatively, this can work out exceptionally well on a salad.

Oh, and the leftovers can be put to many a good use.

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