These Ancho Chicken Tacos with Cilantro Slaw and Avocado Cream from Bruce Weinstein's and Mark Scarbrough's Cooking Light The Complete Quick Cook aren't quite as quick as opening up that yellow taco dinner box complete with hard shells and seasoning packet, but they're certainly worth the ten minutes of extra prep time in tastiness alone.
Why you should make this: Because you deserve better than tacos from a box and these chicken tacos are nearly as simple to assemble.
This recipe adopts two of Scarbrough's and Weinstein's great time savers: There's no shame in buying pre-sliced veggies when you're in a time crunch, and cooking over high heat is not only quicker but imparts great flavor.
The pre-sliced veggies here come in the form of shredded cabbage that's transformed into a tart, refreshing slaw in just a few minutes with scallions, cilantro, and lime juice. The ancho chicken is seasoned then seared in a blazing hot skillet until brown and a little crunchy around the edges. Spice fiends might want to amp up the ancho for a bit more chile heat. A cool avocado crema is whizzed in the food processor or blender to top the tacos, and voilà—a quick taco dinner that's miles away from that boxed stuff, fresher, and tastier, but takes barely any more time or effort.
Adapted from Cooking Light The Complete Quick Cook by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. Copyright © 2011. Published by Oxmoor House. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1/4-inch strips
- 3/4 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Cooking spray
- 1/8 teaspoon grated lime rind
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
- 1/4 cup light sour cream
- 2 tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
- 1/2 ripe peeled avocado, diced
- 2 cups packaged angel hair slaw
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
Heat a large skillet over high heat. Sprinkle chicken evenly with chile powder, garlic salt, and cumin. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove chicken from pan.
Combine rind, 1 tablespoon juice, and next 3 ingredients (through avocado) in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.
Combine remaining 1 tablespoon juice, slaw, onions, cilantro, oil, and salt, tossing to coat.
Heat tortillas according to directions. Divide chicken mixture evenly among tortillas. Top each tortilla with about 1 tablespoon avocado mixture and 1/4 cup slaw mixture.