It took a global pandemic and quarantine to finally make me learn how to cook. Up until this point, I have been living off frozen pizzas and instant mac-and-cheese. Now that I have the time, however, I have been practicing recipes and even experimenting in making up my own. One thing I’ve been making a lot is chicken tacos. Some of this recipe I pulled from other recipes I've seen, and some of it was stuff I decided to add myself. This is a quick and easy meal to make for people who literally learned how to cook three weeks ago.
Thawing the chicken: 20 to 30 minutes
Cutting vegetables: 10 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
Preparing: 5 minutes
1 frozen chicken breast
½ of a jalapeño
Lettuce or spinach (whatever you have)
1. First, I thaw the chicken. There are a variety of ways you can do this, but I put the chicken breast in a bowl of hot water for about 20 to 30 minutes.
2. Once the chicken is thawed, I place it in a skillet with some oil. I use olive oil, but you can use any oil you have available. I don’t measure the oil; I just kind of pour a little in the pan until I think it’s enough.
3. I sprinkle a little taco seasoning on both sides of the chicken. I do this while it is in the pan so the seasoning can mix with the oil in the pan to coat the vegetables I will put in later.
4. While the chicken is cooking, I dice up just a sliver of onion and half a jalapeno to add to my chicken. You can decide how much of each to put in for yourself. If you want the jalapeno to be extra spicy, keep the seeds in. If you just want a little spice, take the seeds out.
5. After the chicken cooks on both sides for about five minutes each, I take the chicken out of the pan and put it in a bowl. The chicken is not done yet, but I want to shred the chicken with two forks and then place it back in the skillet to finish cooking. There is probably a better way to do this, but I just kind of made up this technique.
6. When I put the now shredded chicken back in the skillet, I add the chopped-up onion and jalapeno to the pan. I mix everything around to make sure they get coated in the seasoning. Make sure to keep an eye on the vegetables because you don’t want them to get too brown and burnt.
7. While that is finishing up cooking, I place three corn tortillas on a plate and microwave them for about 10 seconds. I do this just so that the tortillas are hot. I also cut open an avocado into three slivers to place on each taco.
8. Once I think the chicken is done cooking (I usually just eyeball it to see when the chicken looks golden and crispy), I place little spoonfuls onto each tortilla.
9. Next I add the toppings. You can add anything you think might be good, but I add cheese (I add this first so it gets melty on the hot chicken), salsa, spinach, a sliver of avocado and sour cream.
And that’s it! This is a quick meal to make during quarantine that makes you feel like you are a master chef. If you want to pair it with a margarita for Taco Tuesday, even better. There are so many ways to change up this recipe and make it your own. Happy cooking everyone!
Newsletter editor Ellie Tolbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on social media at @ellietolbert.