Thursday 5 March 2015

Chicken Tacos.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

This is my kind of pick and mix.

The savoury kind though not the sweet that I bet you were thinking about.
Yesterday (now a few days ago), the question in my diary was: Salty or sweet?

Now, I am usually salty and savoury all the way - a samosa with spicy yoghurt over a slice of cake anyday. Except yesterday (now a few days ago) when I baked the most awesome chocolate cake ever - I cannot wait to bake it again to share with you guys. 

Anyway, these Chicken Tacos are the ultimate pick and mix dinner. Grill up some spicy chicken (seasoned with smoked paprika and cumin), heat up the tortillas (wholemeal) and prepare your favourite accompaniments (lettuce, Cheddar, jalapeno, coriander, lime, onion, cabbage, salsa). 

Let everyone build their own so that you can stuff your own with extra cheese and salsa - there is no judgement round here. And, dig in! It's messy but oh so worth it.

Wraps and Tacos, previously: Chimichurri fish tacosCheesy chicken tandoori wrapsPeri peri chicken wrapsChicken twister wraps

A Simple List of Ingredients:
1. Boneless Chicken Breast Pieces
2. Smoked Paprika
3. Ground Cumin
4. Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
5. Vegetable Oil
6. Salt
7. Black Pepper
8. Spring Onions
9. Jalapeno Chilli
10. Fresh Coriander
11. Lime
12. Lettuce
13. Red Cabbage
14. Cheddar Cheese
15. Tomato Salsa
16. Tortilla Wraps

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, to marinade the chicken. And, if there is anything I have learnt in the past few weeks, it's that the longer you marinade chicken, the better it tastes. So, be sure to give this marinade at least an hour if you have it or maybe a few more? 
For this recipe, take 1 pound Boneless Chicken Breast, cut into pieces. If chicken thighs or even chicken on the bone is more your thing, go for it!

Then, gather together the seasonings: salt, pepper, vegetable oil, smoked paprika, crushed red chilli flakes, ground cumin.

We will begin with the spice.

To the chicken pieces, add 1/2 teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes or more, depending on how brave you're feeling today.

Then, (my favourite) 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika.

This smoked paprika gives colour to the chicken along with a delicious, deep, smoky flavour. Yum!

Next, (Mum's favourite) 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin.

Followed by the king of seasoning, 1 teaspoon Salt. Or to taste.

And, where there is salt,

... pepper is never far behind.

Add 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper.

And, that's it for the dried spices. If you're in the mood, you could also add in garlic powder and onion powder. They would also be really good in this.

Finally, drizzle in about 3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil.

The oil will help the spices stick to the chicken and help in marinading.

So, give everything a good stir.

Cover with foil and set aside to marinade for an hour or more if you've got it.

Once the chicken has marinaded and you're ready to cook, heat up a large frying pan or grill pan over a high heat.

Add a little vegetable oil if you want, and then add in the chicken.

Spread the chicken out into a single layer - this was the point where I'd wished I'd used a bigger pan. 

Anyway, let the chicken brown all over. Turn it once or twice so it's an even colour on all sides.

Once it's formed a lovely, golden crust, it's time to let it simmer to cook completely. However, if you feel your chicken is already cooked through, you're done!

Me? I like to simmer my chicken over a low heat, covered, for about 10-15 minutes until it's juicy and completely cooked through.

And, while that's happening, it's the perfect chance to get everything else ready.

Since tacos are one of those meals with plenty of different fillings, I like to pop everything onto one of these chip and dip platters. Of course, bowls would work too.

Let's begin by preparing anything that is green. I went for fresh coriander, limes, jalapeno chilli, spring onion and lettuce (which was too shy to appear in this photo).

Since I'm not really a fan of raw onion, I only used the green part of the spring onion and saved the white for something else. Maybe an omelette?

You can of course use the entire thing. So, thinly slice up 5 Spring Onions.

And, put them onto your plate/platter.

Next, for more heat, 1 Jalapeno Chilli.

I like to slice off the top.

Cut the pepper in half down the middle.

And, since, we'll be eating this raw, I usually remove the seeds. But you can keep them in, if you want.

Finely chop the pepper and place it with the spring onion.

Then, for a little herb goodness.

Take a handful of Fresh Coriander.

Give it a fine chop and onto the platter it goes.

Next, 1 Lime. Yes, there are two but one ended up being enough.

Slice in half.

And, then cut into wedges.

The fresh juice from these limes will give the tacos real brightness and zing.

Next, our previously shy lettuce.

Thinly slice 1 Lettuce.

And, pop it onto the platter.

Now, for more crunch, red cabbage.

Thinly slice 1/2 Red Cabbage and pop onto your platter.

That's all the veggies done. Now, it's onto everyone's favourite - the cheese! Come on, you know it's the best part of the taco.

Grate up 150 grams Cheddar Cheese. I used the mature stuff because it's my favourite.

Pop it onto the platter.

Finally, 1 jar Chunky Tomato Salsa. I was lazy and used ready-made but feel free to make it from scratch.

Spoon the salsa onto your platter.

And, we're done! Now, I know some people like sour cream etc. on their tacos but since we were keeping it on the lighter side, we left it out. But, feel free to add it or anything else you like!

Next, what's a taco without something to wrap it in?

Get yourself 4 Tortilla Wraps. We used wholemeal but any will do.

At this point, our chicken is done. If you want it extra smoky, feel free to give it a smoke with hot coals like I did here.

Anyway, ours was fine so I went ahead and shredded up the chicken. If you were using chicken on the bone, get rid of the bones and shred the meat.

And, we're ready!

All that's left to do is heat up our tortillas, assemble and munch!

To heat the tortillas, you can use a microwave or a dry frying pan or a tawa like we did. 

Once the tortilla is hot, the fun begins!

Gather together the toppings and chicken.

And, let everyone make their own.

Once you're happy with your pick and mix, wrap it up and eat!

By the way, these ingredients leftover along with the chicken make an excellant salad for lunch the next day.

But, in a soft tortilla, for dinner, they are even better.

Full Written Recipe:

Chicken Tacos

Prep Time: About 1 hour 30 minutes (including marinading chicken)
Cook Time: About 20 minutes
Serves:  About 4 people


For the Chicken
1 pound Boneless Chicken Breast, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
½ teaspoon Crushed Red Chilli Flakes
3 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
1 teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Black Pepper

For the Tacos
5 Spring Onions, thinly sliced
1 Jalapeno Chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
Handful Fresh Coriander, finely chopped
1 Lime, sliced into wedges
1 Lettuce, thinly sliced
½ Red Cabbage, thinly sliced
150 grams Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 jar Chunky Tomato Salsa
4 Tortilla Wraps


For the chicken, mix together all the ingredients and set aside to marinade for about an hour. 

Then, heat a little vegetable oil in a pan over a high heat and add the chicken. Let the pieces brown all over and then cover, and simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes or until completely cooked. Slice and set aside.

Prepare the rest of the taco ingredients.

 Heat the tortillas in a dry frying pan or in the microwave.

Bring everything onto a platter and assemble the tacos. Enjoy!

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Keep me in your duas, please,


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