Recipe: Walnut Chicken Tacos

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Old El Paso’s invitation for me to attend the media preview of its “mini cantina” pop-up at the South Bank a few days back was coupled with an offer to try the newly launched Mini Stand N Stuff tortillas for myself and come up with my own recipe of stuff to put in them.

I took the offer as a chance to create a sort of deconstructed and pared down (read: quick and easy) version of the classic Mexican dish: chiles en nogada (chillies with walnut sauce). Before I get into how to make my recipe though, it’s important to note that there are vast differences between the original dish and my mini taco version. Chiles en nogada are considerably more difficult to make and have a far more sophisticated and complex flavour profile. My recipe for walnut chicken tacos still packs a punch though. If you like what I suggest, you’ll love the more authentic traditional recipe.

I should also point out that Old El Paso’s Mini Stand N Stuff tortillas are ideal for snacks, canapés, casual meals, and cooking with kids. Shaped essentially like little boats with a flat bottom, there’s less clean up involved as well. Obviously, you can use whatever type of tortillas you’d like when making your own tacos (though I think wheat works much better than corn in this case). But I think it’s worth giving the new Mini Stand N Stuffs a go.

A lot of the measurements for this recipe are “to taste.” I’m not doing that because I’m lazy but to show how easy it is to assemble these (or any) tacos.

WALNUT CHICKEN TACOS Yum

Ingredients (for 12 Mini Stand N Stuff tacos)

  • 4 grilled chicken thighs;
  • Walnut oil (about 1 teaspoon per thigh);
  • Salt to taste;
  • 4 minced cloves of garlic;
  • 3 limes (1 for juicing, 2 cut into wedges for garnish);
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cumin to taste;
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon;
  • 12 small tortillas (I used Old El Paso’s Mini Stand N Stuff tortillas);
  • 100g goat and/or sheep cheese (I used a goat and sheep blend Feta);
  • 1 diced white onion;
  • 1 diced jalapeño;
  • Sour cream to taste (1 small dollop per taco);
  • About 1 tablespoon of chopped chives;
  • Fresh coriander leaves to taste;
  • Fresh parsley leaves to taste;
  • Iceberg lettuce leaves to taste;
  • 30g or so of chopped walnuts;
  • Pomegranate seeds to taste (about a teaspoon per taco).

Method

  • Score your thighs (I recommend leaving the skins on and using on-the-bone meat);
  • Marinade the thighs in the oil, salt, garlic, juice of one lime, cumin and cinnamon. It’s a good idea let meat marinade for a while, but the thighs will be ready to go immediately. Just make sure the oil and other ingredients are evenly distributed;
  • Cook your meat. I’m going to assume you known you how you cook chicken thighs to your liking, I but for this recipe I recommend grilling;
  • Consider lightly heating your tortillas and even lightly roasting your walnuts;
    When the chicken is cooked, cut the meat into bite-sized chunks;
  • Start assembling your tacos by first adding a single layer of lettuce to the inside bottom of your tortilla shell;
  • Add equal amounts of meat to all the shells;
  • Top with cheese;
  • Then the onion;
  • Then the walnuts;
  • Then the sour cream;
  • Continue to garnish with the rest of the ingredients.

Serve

If you’re not up to doing all the ‘heavy lifting’ for this recipe or you’re worried about who will want how much of what, it might be fun to bring all the ingredients to the table for a DIY dinner.

Read more tikichris recipes.

About tikichris

London-Based Writer/Photographer

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