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May 01, 2012

Jalapeno Lime Chicken Tacos | Cinco de Mayo

There are two kinds of tacos we serve in our house - "old school" tacos and "fancy" tacos.  Old school tacos consist of ground beef seasoned with a packet of taco seasoning, crunchy shells, shredded ice burg lettuce, cheddar cheese, sour cream and salsa - because sometimes, we're just in the mood for a little comfort food flashback.  For Mike, "old school" tacos are his box of Macaroni and Cheese.  There's no need to be sophisticated all of the time. 

Other times, we're in the mood for fresh, really flavorful tacos.  Fancy tacos.  Tacos you could serve to company.

When I was catering, I was great at coming up with descriptive titles for my menu items at the last minute.  My client would say, "I want to serve something more fun- something different.  Do you have any ideas?"  Then I would start making up things, trying to come up with what they were looking for.  Words and phrases like "Sweet and Spicy," "Creamy" or "Caramelized" always went over well.  So, after making these random things up, I would have to figure out how to actually make them...  

After such an occasion, one of my go-to's became this Spicy Corn Relish.  For casual Summer parties I used it all of the time mixed with cream cheese and sour cream as a dip with crudites.   I would call it "Spicy Sweet Corn Cream Cheese & Crudites" - it sounded special enough for a party, but it was so simple. 

I thought it would work great mixed with sour cream and spread on fancy tacos... even though, now that I think about it, the cream cheese would have been great, too.

When I say 'fancy' tacos, I don't really mean that they are 'fancy' - just fancy as far as a taco goes.  They are actually really simple - grilled peppers and onions, slices of avocado, slivers of radishes, marinated chicken and a schmeer of this Spicy Sweet Corn Sour Cream.

Jalapeno Lime Chicken Tacos

1/4 cup of oil
6 limes, juiced - freshly squeezed
3 oranges, juiced - freshly squeezed
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded & minced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 teaspoons of cracked pepper
3 whole boneless, skinless chicken breasts
12 small corn tortillas
2 avocados, sliced
2 peppers
1 red onion
6 radishes, sliced
1 cup of sour cream
1/2 cup of spicy corn relish
cilantro (not pictured, but would be good if you like cilantro...)

In a large bowl, mix together oil, lime juice, orange juice, chili powder, jalapeno, garlic, salt and pepper.  Add chicken, turning it to coat.  Leave chicken to marinate for 1 hour or more - if you have time.

Prepare onions and peppers for the grill by brushing them with a little bit of oil.  Heat grill, then grill chicken, peppers and onions.  Remove from the grill, cover with foil and let them rest for 10 minutes.  Slice the chicken in long strips.  It can be served immediately, or put in the refrigerator and served cold/room temperature later.

For the spicy sweet corn sour cream, stir together the sour cream and corn relish.  To prepare the corn tortillas, heat each one in a hot skillet, according to the package.  Serve grilled chicken, peppers and onions with slices of avocado, radishes, cilantro and the spicy sweet corn sour cream.

Perfect party food.  You can put all of the ingredients out in bowls, or just in piles on a large board and have everyone help themselves.   Throw in a pitcher of margaritas and a couple of Coronas, and you have yourself a party.


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