Whoever invented the rotisserie chicken is a genius, along with the roasters that are now in most grocery stores; these succulent whole chickens provide us with instant dinner, and leftovers for another meal. Whether you want to whip up a delicious dinner to enjoy while watching the NCAA Basketball tournaments or just make a satisfying homemade meal, the moist rotisserie chicken allows for quick, easy and tasty weeknight meals. Here the shredded chicken has been put to good use in Chicken Tacos with Black Bean Salad, Red Cabbage & Chipotle Lime Sauce. My infamous Black Bean Salad has been featured on Foodie for Two before, where it was paired with seared ono, and today the ingredients are slightly modified to give the taco a makeover with light yet hearty flavors. It works fabulously in soft tacos with some warm corn tortillas, shredded chicken, thinly sliced red cabbage, sliced jalapeño and finished with a chipotle lime sauce. The sauce is rich and creamy and brings all the other flavors together with just enough earthy spice from the chipotle, and brightness from the lime.
The versatile sauce is made with some mayonnaise, sour cream, lime zest and juice and dried chipotle pepper powder – my secret ingredient. Chipotle peppers are just fully-ripened, dried jalapeños and available in either whole dried peppers (seeds, stems and all) or dried pepper powder. I find the powder in the spice aisle of my grocery store (or from Savory Spice) and the whole peppers in the Mexican food aisle. The spiciness from the jalapeño is concentrated and it has a wonderful earthy, smokiness that adds a surprising depth of flavor to dishes or sauces.
To make dinners super easy, I like to remove all the meat (yes, the dark meat too) from the bird when I get it home and then store it in an air tight container in the refrigerator. This time I selected the colossal bird, which was only a dollar more than the regular size, and it yielded about 5 cups of shredded chicken – plenty for this meal. If you aren’t going to use the chicken within the week, just bag it up in one cup measurements and freeze for later use. How could delicious homemade dinners be any easier? This is also a great recipe for a small crowd: double or triple the amounts (depending on the number if people) and set everything out buffet style. Enjoy!
Eat well and share the love!
Chicken Tacos with Black Bean Salad, Red Cabbage & Chipotle Lime Sauce (Print Recipe)
Recipe: Melissa Schenker/Foodie for Two
Serves two foodies
Black Bean Salad
1 can (15 oz. – no salt) black beans, drained and rinsed well
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
3 tablespoons finely diced bell peppers (about 3 baby sweet
peppers, or ¼ of a red, yellow or orange bell pepper)
1 cup baby spinach, finely chopped
¼ teaspoon grated lime zest
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
3 tablespoons finely diced Poblano pepper (about ½ of a small Poblano)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon finely minced garlic clove (about ½ of a small clove)
3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
Chipotle Lime Sauce
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sour cream
1/8 teaspoon lime zest
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/8 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
Pinch of kosher salt and ground pepper
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
3 to 4 corn tortillas, warmed
½ cup of very thinly sliced red cabbage
9 to 12 slices (thinly sliced ) jalapeño for garnish
1 tablespoon cilantro leaves for garnish
Black Bean Salad: Add the black beans, red onion, bell pepper, spinach, lime zest and juice, cilantro, Poblano pepper, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper to a medium bowl and gently stir together with a spoon so the beans don’t break up. Let the salad sit for at least 15 minutes to let the flavors develop; can be made up to one day ahead – the beans will break down a bit from the lime juice but the flavors won’t be affected. Store leftover salad covered in the refrigerator, makes about 2 cups.
Chipotle Lime Sauce: Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix well. Let sauce sit for at least 15 minutes for the flavors to develop. Can be made up to 2 days ahead; store covered in the refrigerator, makes about 1/3 cup.
Assemble: For the rotisserie chicken, remove all of the meat off the bone and reserve 1 cup for the tacos. Store the remaining chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or bag the shredded chicken in 1 cup servings and freeze for later use.
Heat the oven, or toaster oven, to 350º and wrap the corn tortillas in foil. Let them heat in oven for about 5 minutes.
Thinly slice the red cabbage and jalapeño slices and gather all of the ingredients on the cutting board to start assembling the tacos.
When the corn tortillas are warm, fill each of them with about ¼ cup of the black bean salad, 1/8 cup of shredded red cabbage, ¼ cup shredded chicken, a few small dollops of chipotle lime sauce, garnish with the sliced jalapeño and cilantro leaves and serve immediately.
The Tulip Fence: Last September I planted over 100 tulip bulbs in planters and in the backyard (my first time ever), and they are starting to come up. Not surprisingly, I found a mule deer munching on the tender shoots this weekend and chased her away; David put up a quick fence for protection and it worked! Thanks, honey!
Here you can see she has returned and is trying to figure out how to get to them. No tulips for you, my deer!