Braised Chili Lime and Cumin Chicken Tacos with White Bean Purée
This three-layer taco might not look like a traditional taco, but the flavors are there, and braising a whole chicken like this makes for a really tasty dish.
12 white corn tortillas (makes 4 3-layered tacos)
Jalapeño pickling brine (just a bit of the brine from a jar of jalapeños)
Cayenne Pepper(to taste)
Lime (juice and zest)
Red Wine Vinegar
Red Bell Pepper
Red Bell Pepper
1 cup White Beans (like Great Northern)
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)
Start by removing the backbone from the chicken, so that it can be flattened. Drizzle both sides with olive oil, white wine, red wine vinegar, and the juice of 2 limes.
Next, season both sides with chili powder (be very generous with this), cumin, lemon zest (from 2 limes), cayenne pepper, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
When it’s seasoned, place the chicken, along with the backbone (which imparts flavor), in a baking dish, breast side up, and flatten it a bit.
Next, add sliced onions (1 large onion), sliced red bell pepper, several cloves of sliced garlic, chopped pickled jalapeños, and chopped cilantro. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of white wine and then add enough water so that there is about 1/4 of an inch of liquid in the dish. This amount of liquid won’t stew the chicken and will reduce throughout the cooking process.
Season the onion and bell pepper with more salt and pepper as needed, then cover the dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 to 1.5 hours.
After 1 to 1.5 hours, remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 to 30 minutes. This will add a nice color to the chicken and thicken the sauce.
When the chicken is fully cooked, let it rest for 20-30 minutes, then separate all of the meat from the bones. This should be very easy to do when it’s warm.
Put the chunks of chicken back into your sauce and add fresh chopped cilantro, lime juice (1-2 limes), along with chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper as needed.
Mix everything so that it’s well incorporated, but try not to shred the bits of chicken, then set it aside.
White Bean Purée
Bring 1 cup of beans to a boil, and then simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until fully cooked.
Once the beans are done, drain excess liquid, and purée in a food processor with, cumin, a splash of white wine, a splash of jalapeño pickling brine, the juice of a lime, and salt and pepper to taste. Doing this while the beans are still hot will help cook some of the alcohol out of the wine and help you achieve a much smoother purée.
When it’s done, set it aside, and keep it warm for when it’s time to plate.
Sart by cutting your tortillas into squres, then cut them in half.
Next, lightly coat each side with olive oil and sautée each side until there’s a bit of color. The goal is to cook these to bring out the flavor, but not to make them so crispy that it’s hard to get a fork through all of the layers.
Assembling the Tacos
Start by placing one of your tortillas on the plate, then add a layer of white bean purée, a layer of chicken, a thin slice or two of avocado, and bits of queso fresco.
Repeat this for the second layer, then finish with a tortilla on top.
Add a bit more white bean purée and chicken to the top, along with slices of fresh jalapeño and tomato, cilantro, avocado, and queso fresco.
Finish by drizzling a bit of your sauce over it, and enjoy.