So a chicken taco sounds pretty boring, right? I wasn’t even planning on blogging about it, but then my husband said something like, “These are so yummy. Too bad you didn’t take a picture for your blog!” Every time we have them for dinner he is quite free with his praise of the tacos, and they are a little bit original, so I decided to go ahead and call it a “recipe.” 🙂 It was a friend of ours who first served them to us this way, so if he’s reading this I hope he doesn’t think I’m a recipe thief!
There’s not much about the day to pass along – just our normal Thursday going to the homeschool co-op — but there were a few differences that made the day special. 🙂 We started off by stopping at Dunkin Donuts for kolaches and donuts, and of course a decaf iced coffee with a tiny bit of pumpkin spice in it. Such a late breakfast, and such a big one, keeps us going til around 2:30pm with only a small snack in between as we drive from one place to another. This was the first day that we had piano lessons in the middle of classes, so I dropped off Gabriel, after his first class, over at the piano teacher’s house for a very successful lesson. A good day for Gabriel, since they were building a Merry-Go-Round in his KNex class, and the piano teacher decided the book she had ordered for him is too easy, and he needs to move to the next book. After returning to the co-op to retrieve the girls, we arrived back at the teacher’s house for Patience’s lesson. It was cute hanging out on the teacher’s front porch because the other four children basically chased each other back and forth for about twenty minutes nonstop. Where do they find the energy??
After the last period, I was excited to meet another mom from the co-op whose son is interested in bagpipe lessons. I advertised last night on one of the homeschooling support group websites, and already there have been two responses! Hopefully I will end up with two or three dedicated students to whom I will be able to reveal the underground world of bagpiping. 🙂 No, I mean, a several students in whom I can instill a love of piping that will last a lifetime. Playing the bagpipes is something that has brought me, and others, so much joy in a way that is different than other instruments I have played (I also play the flute and the piano.) I can’t explain why this is — you either love bagpipes, so you don’t need this explained, or you hate bagpipes and could never understand why anyone would want to listen to them, much less devote hours upon hours to learning to play them!!
Then we stopped in to Chick-fil-a again on the way home, so by the time we returned we needed to start dinner. So here’s what I did! 🙂
First, and you can do this part ahead of time to pull the meat out of the freezer in a baggie on the day you need it, bake the chicken. I use thighs because of the intense, yummy chicken flavor that adds to the seasonings. Breasts are good for some things – usually eating on their own as the centerpiece of a meal – but I find that when I have meals where the chicken is going to be diced up (and particularly if you’re going to freeze it to use later) that it seems sort of dried up if it is chicken breast. Anyway, I just put the chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on, into a baking dish and then season them. (Sometimes I lift the skin up a bit and season inside but usually I make sure the side with almost no skin on it is face up so it can receive the seasonings.) I use salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper – to taste. The kids need it a bit less spicy than we would like it, so John always adds Tabsco sauce to the finished taco. Bake roughly 45-60 minutes (until juices run clear when poked) at 425 degress F.
Meanwhile, shred your cheese, chop up your tomatoes, wash and chop your cilantro. When the chicken has cooked, remove the skin, then cut it off the bones and dice it up. Fill half a flour tortilla with some cheese and some chopped up chicken. Fold the tortilla over and set aside. Fill all your tortillas this way until all the ingredients have been used. Next, we fry them in Olive Oil! I think this is legitimately the only meal that we “fry”, although every time I make tacos I “soften” the corn tortillas in hot oil as well. Does that count as frying? Anyway, John cooked them up for us — he gently lays them into the pan of oil and cooks for about two minutes and then carefully flips them to cook the other side. They turn out golden brown and sealed shut from the melted cheese. We quickly open them and stuff them also with the cilantro and tomatoes, but you could add things like olives, salsa, etc, or even cook them with some onions in with the cheese and chicken as well. Let me know if you make them this way and enjoy them!!
Now it’s Friday morning, and I snuck in a quick run by getting up at 7, pumping, and bolting out the door just as the baby woke up 🙂 John fed him the bottle so I could run for a bit before Daniel’s 9am doctor’s appointment, for which John would be staying home to watch the children. It was just a short four miles, but I achieved my goal of making each mile quicker than the last:
Mile 1: 11:06
Mile 2: 10:32
Mile 3: 10:03
Mile 4: 9:50
Everything for Daniel checked out well, and I was back home by 10:15. I wanted to show you what has become a “catch-all” table in this temporary lodging:
Or has it? Upon closer inspection strange things are seen, and its true nature is revealed: