Taco night can oftentimes be underwhelming and under-appreciated. But done right, and taco night will easily become a family favorite. Of course leave it to Cook's Illustrated to turn ordinary chicken soft tacos into a ridiculously delicious meal. And you can eat 2 tacos for only 350 calories! I actually only ate one since we had some delicious and substantial sides to go along with them anyway (Guacamole Salad and Mexican Corn Salad in case you're wondering).
In order to produce the perfect chicken for the taco, boneless skinless chicken breasts are poached in a fragrant broth of garlic, chipotle chiles, cilantro, and orange juice. Once the meat is cooked through, it is shredded. Meanwhile the poaching liquid is turned into a flavorful sauce with the addition of Worcestershire sauce and yellow mustard. I know it sounds weird, but always trust Cook's Illustrated. The shredded chicken is then returned to the pan and stirred into the sauce to produce great flavored, but low fat chicken that is perfect for soft tacos, nachos, quesadillas, or salad.
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Chicken Soft Tacos
Cook's Illustrated, Light and Healthy 2010
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
- salt and pepper
- 12 (6-inch) flour tortillas, warmed
- desired toppings (we used tomatoes, spinach, and shredded pepperjack cheese)
Nestle the chicken into the skillet and bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the thickest part registers 160-165 degrees on a thermometer, about 12-18 minutes, flipping them halfway through.
Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Shred into bite-sized pieces using 2 forks.
Meanwhile, continue to simmer the sauce over medium heat until thickened and reduced to about 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat, and whisk in the mustard and remaining cilantro. Stir in the chicken, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with warm tortillas and desired toppings.