Crispy Potato and Chorizo Tacos Recipe

The Food Lab

Unraveling the mysteries of home cooking through science.

Crispy Potato and Chorizo Tacos Recipe

Crisp potato cubes and highly seasoned bits of chorizo make an ideal taco filling. [Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

Crispy potato and chorizo are a classic taco combination. The ideal potato and chorizo taco should be deeply browned and flavorful, each crisp cube of potato coated in a thin layer of bright red fat packed with spicy, meaty flavor. The chorizo itself should have a range of textures from tender and moist to crisp. It's a very straight-forward process to get there, but it does take a bit of time.

Why this recipe works:

  • Par-cooking potatoes in vinegar-spiked water helps them achieve extra crispness when subsequently fried in hot fat in a cast iron skillet.
  • Cooking chorizo past the point where you think it's finished leads to crisper, better browned, tastier end results.
  • Yield:Serves 4
  • Active time: 40 minutes
  • Total time:40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice (about 3 large potatoes)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo or vegan Mexican chorizo
  • 12 to 16 warm soft corn tortillas, for serving
  • 1 white onion, minced, for serving
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
  • Homemade or store-bought salsa verde, for serving
  • 2 limes cut into 8 wedges each, for serving

Directions

  1. 1.

    Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Add vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until potatoes are just cooked through, about 5 minutes after coming to a boil. Drain potatoes and let rest over sink until mostly dry.

  2. 2.

    Heat 4 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Add potatoes, shake to distribute around the pan, and cook, tossing and stirring occasionally until very crisp and golden brown on all sides, about 15 minutes.

  3. 3.

    Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a medium non-stick or cast iron skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add chorizo and cook, stirring, until heated through. Continue cooking, stirring and tossing frequently, until all the liquid has evaporated, some fat breaks out, the chorizo starts sizzling, and eventually is quite dry and well-browned, about 15 minutes.

  4. 4.

    Transfer cooked chorizo to pan with potatoes. Toss to combine and season to taste with salt. Serve chorizo and potato mixture immediately with tortillas, onions, cilantro, salsa, and limes on the side.