Lime ginger chicken tacos ... with tomato corn salsa

 Cinco de Mayo is one of my favorite holidays to cook for each year. I'm not quite sure why but I think it has something to do with the fact that tequila becomes a serious option as an ingredient... and I can't say no to that. While I've always been intimidated by a theme party, theme cooking is a whole other challenge that I love. For reference, tomato tequila salsa with seared cod (2014) and ginger margarita swordfish (2013).

This year I was a bit influenced by one of my favorite neighborhood finds - Tenoch tacos. They are seriously delicious and I can almost see their front door from my living room. It's a phenomenal $5 dinner - or maybe $6.50 - but whatever, you can get a great taco, chips and salsa. I wasn't quite sure how to get tequila into this meal - and honestly, probably could have tried harder. I got distracted by sunshine, new yoga pants and my new favorite yoga instructor.

In the spirit of trying to eat all the food in my house already, I only ended up grabbing a few fresh veggies to make some salsa and already had everything else for this adventure. I was about to run to the corner market for some tortillas when I figured I would try and make them myself. According to Pinterest, this was either a really easy task or a disaster and hard. I mean either way it's a lesson learned so I went for it.



Tacos are one of those meals that I'm going to love because of how versatile they are. I think people get caught up in "how hard" cooking can be ... but really if you figure out one thing, you can turn that into 18 things easy peasy (e.g. pizza, lasagna, scones, etc). For tacos, I thought broke it down into protein + dressing (salsa) + softness (cheese, guac, etc). Here's what I concocted for each:

  • protein = lime ginger agave chicken
  • salsa = corn tomato salsa
  • softness = avocado crema
Good right? I would absolutely put these gems together again... and just buy the tortillas. It was a good adventure and probably healthier, but I just wasn't able to get the softness / texture that I love. See below for evidence of that...
Chicken
(Step 1) Chop your chicken into relatively small pieces. Don't get too hung up on making them bite size because you can/should chop them again after cooking.
(Step 2) Toss chicken into a plastic bag with a marinade of olive oil, lime juice, lime zest, agave (or honey), minced ginger, and salt. Don't ask me for measurements honestly. I don't have them! What I put in the list at the bottom is truly an estimate. Use your judgement. You are smart.
(Step 3) I let the chicken marinate while I was at yoga and enjoying the sun (3 hrs?) but just give it what you can even if its 30 mins. Toss into a skillet at medium heat and sautee until done.
(Step 4) After the chicken is cooked, chop up into some smaller bite sized taco friendly pieces.

Salsa
This wasn't the best salsa I've ever made - I'll be honest. I've made some really great ones previously ... but this works just fine. I really just love corn and wanted to make sure I got some in there.
(Step 1) Dice up a handful of grape tomatoes and red onion. Add to some defrosted or fresh corn from the cob.
(Step 2) You need a little juice for salsa to help all the flavors sing together. I used a little champagne vinegar, olive oil, and smidge of balsamic. Plus, a dash of salt.

Softness
I had some leftover sour cream from a batch of wedding scones I made for a friend. I call them wedding scones because I send them to the bridge a bit before the wedding. I'm pretty bad at RSVPing to things so this is kind of my apology for that so they'll be happy when they see me on their special day. Maybe this technically shouldn't be called a crema .... but whatever. 
(Step 1) Mash together some avocado and sour cream in a bowl. You can't really mess this up. Just make sure your avocado is actually ripe enough otherwise you've just got hard avocado in a bowl.
(Step 2) I added a little lime juice and salt for taste.

Flour Tortilla
This was not worth the effort - but I can say I did it ... so that helps. According to Pinterest, there are a bunch of ways to spin these and I went with the one proclaimed the easiest by Pinterest tagsI'm not going to waste a lot of energy telling you how to do this because it's easiest to just buy them.


Shopping List
Diced chicken (1 thin breast per person?)
olive oil
agave (or honey)
1 tbsp ginger
juice and zest of one lime
kosher salt
grape tomatos
corn
champagne vinegar
balsamic
sour cream
avocado

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