JERK CHICKEN TACOS WITH MANGO SALSA

And, Bam! just like that the day became awesome!

First off it’s Tuesday (which means it’s no longer Monday!)

Secondly, the weather in Sydney has flipped from chilly winter to a warmish hint of spring (a little early and bound not to last very long but I’ll take anything I can get right now)

And thirdly I have some very exciting things happening in the very near future that I’m kid-at-Christmas excited about (a secret for now, but I will let you guys know about it when it happens!)

All this is coming together with these Tacos is like the epitome of foodie satisfaction that I can’t get rid of. Yes, this Taco Tuesday is going off with a bang!

Although, really, does any other Taco Tuesday happen any other way? Have you ever had a bang-less Taco Tuesday? Of course not, it doesn’t happen, right? Every time Tuesday rolls around and Tacos are the menus you know you’re going to have a bangin’ Tuesday evening. The tacos, the toppings, the sauce (it’s always about the sauce) the good company, the good beer/ wine, the satisfaction of curling up on a couch, Netflix loading (which with my stupid internet takes an age), and stuffing yourself silly with warm tortillas stuffed all sorts of delicious stuff.

That is what Taco Tuesday is all about. And I love it. I love it so much that I consider it appropriate to have Taco Tuesday on any day of the week; in fact my little inner-anarchist kind of revels in the fact that I have Taco Tuesday on a FRIDAY, like what? hello, rule-breaking here!

But I say: Bring. It. On!

And so to let you in on why THESE tacos are going to give you the bang for your buck this Taco Tuesday:

So, first of all, it is the chicken. Yes, we’re straying away from the Mexican/ Tex-Mex feel of Tacos for a second and we’re going to dip our toes (alright, I mean we’re going to dive headfirst) into the sacred pool of foodie fusion. This time it will be the flavors and aromas of the Caribbean; we’re going to throw together ginger, allspice, garlic, thyme and a little rum (I told you, this Taco Tuesday is going to go off with a BANG!!!) and we’re going to throw in the chicken and let it marinate for as long as possible.

Now, if you have the forethought and planning aptitude of a military general then this chicken will be best if prepared the day before you need it and marinaded overnight. If, however, you have the planning skills of a toddler – like me – then a few hours will do just fine.

Next: as the chicken is sautéing nicely in a pan (slow and steady wins the race here friends, we don’t want any dried-out chicken) we’re going to prepare the mango salsa. The sweet, juicy flavors of the mango are going to mingle with the cucumber, cilantro, onion, corn and lime juice like it’s a professional socialite and is going to play flavor-wonders with the jerk chicken.

And then, pièce de résistance, we’re going to top it all off with a chili-avocado sauce – or what I like to call Guacamole-sauce. Yes, we’re going to take very simple and chunky guacamole and we’re going to blend it down into a creamy, pour-worthy sauce. And, once the tacos are filled with jerk chicken and mango salsa, we’re going to drown it in the guacamole sauce like the professional taco eaters we are.

Jerk Chicken Tacos with Mango Salsa and Guacamole sauce for the win!

I have a confession to make. Being the nude-food hero and all I do, of course, like to make everything from scratch and, it has been my plan for some time to make my own tortillas. Now, this is not exactly the wildest of make-it-yourself endeavors but it does take a little bit of tweaking and a little bit of practice which equals time and enthusiasm.

Now, don’t get me wrong, a few weeks (read: months) ago I did indeed dive whole-heartedly into tortilla making. I read and researched as many recipes and how-to’s as I could. I even went out and bought a fancy tortilla press and cast iron tortilla pan and even Masa Harina flour to make kick-ass corn tortillas with.

And when I first obtained these things I did find it therapeutic and cool (and by “cool” I mean food blogger getting excited about mundane cooking things cool) and making my own tortillas was going to be my thang.

But, as I said before, things do need a bit of tweaking and practice. And, although many of the recipes I tried produced beautiful tortilla, they just weren’t quite right. They weren’t something I would reproduce and place on this blog for you guys knowing that I could back them with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

And I need that.

And so the tortilla making was placed on the back burner because it seemed whenever I needed tortillas, it was a time when I was throwing together a recipe containing tortillas, it was a time when time and enthusiasm were low (i.e. weeknight dinners) so grabbing that pack of ready-made tortillas was convenient (which in turn plays havoc with my nude-food hero conscience like you wouldn’t believe!)

But the good job I brought that Tortilla press!

So, of course, I am telling you that, to make this recipe and remain in the three of a bangin’ Taco Tuesday, you should definitely just grab the ready-made tortillas and bring it on (unless you are a tortilla-making aficionado which, if that is the case, I would expect nothing less than homemade tortillas as well as a few tips, tricks to be written in the comments below!)

So get yourself ready for the most bangin’ Taco Tuesday you’ve had in a while and stuff your face with these Jerk Chicken Tacos, lightly tossed with mango salsa and drowned in Guacamole sauce.

Until next time Foodie Friends – Happy Taco Tuesday!

JERK CHICKEN TACOS WITH MANGO SALSA

  • PREP TIME: 30M
  • COOK TIME: 10M
  • YIELD: 6 – 10 TACOS
  • CATEGORY: CHICKEN, MEXICAN

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 flour or corn tortillas (depending on the size)

FOR THE CHICKEN:

  • 500 grams chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon rum

FOR THE MANGO SALSA

  • 120 grams fresh mango sliced into small cubes
  • 140 grams cucumber, sliced into small pieces
  • 80 grams of corn kernels
  • 1 small red onion (around 90g) finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small bunch of cilantro (around 15g), coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

FOR THE CHILLI-AVO SAUCE

  • 200 grams avocado, chopped
  • 1 long green chili, seeds removed and coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 15 grams fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 1 cup of water

INSTRUCTIONS

FOR THE CHICKEN

  1. Combine the allspice, ginger, garlic, thyme, chili pepper, salt, olive oil, and rum and add to the chicken in a large non-reactive, sealable container or bowl. Massage the marinade into the chicken and leave in the fridge, covered, to marinate for at least an hour but overnight preferred.
  2. On the day of making, place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and marinade and sauté for 5 to 8 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the heat.

FOR THE MANGO SALSA

  1. In a bowl, stir together all the salsa ingredients

FOR THE CHILLI-AVO SAUCE

  1. Place all the ingredients (start with just 3/4 cup of water) into your food processor or blender and blitz until a thick, but the pourable sauce is made, adding a little more water in necessary.

ASSEMBLY

  1. Warm, the tortillas either in the microwave, oven or in a skillet with a little oil. Starting with one tortilla opened out flat, add a few pieces of chicken. Spoon over the salsa and drizzle/ drown with the chili-avo sauce.