Spiced Chicken Tortillas
Karen Martini produces some of my all time favourite recipes. Her flavour combinations are always spot on and almost without fail simple to put together. I only made this Mexican inspired recipe for the first time a few weeks ago.
OK, so it’s one of those lists of ingredients that makes you roll your eyes and finely chopping the chicken thighs is a bit time consuming, but it is soooo worth the effort. Perhaps best saved for a Sunday with (hopefully) leftovers for Monday or a portion for the freezer would be a fantastic quick meal on a week night. Just make sure you have everything ready before you start, because the adding of ingredients whilst cooking is fairly fast paced.
There are so many options for sides with this one – I did a simple guacamole with tomatoes and lime juice and a kale and apple salad with a mustard based dressing. As Karen suggests, charred corn would also be great, or just the standard taco sides – grated carrot, lettuce and tomato. I left the chilli out as usual, but the boy didn’t like this one – perhaps a little too rich, though he’s just as likely to love it next time I try it. Two year olds can be fickle fish at dinner time.
3 tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp celery seeds
1½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground white pepper
1kg skinless and boneless chicken thighs
60ml extra virgin olive oil
1 large brown onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely diced
3 bullet chillies, chopped
1 fresh bay leaf
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tbsp tomato paste
1½ tbsp dark cocoa powder
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
500ml quality chicken stock
coriander leaves, to serve
soft tortillas, to serve
creme fraiche or sour cream, to serve
guacamole, charred corn, chilli to serve
Add the cumin, coriander, fennel and celery seeds to a mortar and grind roughly. Add the ground spices and grind to combine.
Finely chop the chicken by hand.
Heat the oil for one minute in a saucepan or deep-sided frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and celery and cook for six to eight minutes while stirring frequently. Add the chilli and cook for two minutes. Add the ground spices and fry for 30 seconds. Add the chicken and cook for five minutes. Add the bay leaf, sugar, tomato paste and cocoa powder. Season lightly with salt. Add the vinegar and chicken stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring often. Cook until the sauce is quite thick and starts to glaze. Adjust the seasoning.
Serve with coriander leaves, soft tortillas, creme fraiche or sour cream, guacamole, charred corn, chilli, kale slaw or anything else that takes your fancy.
Tip: Be careful not to season too heavily (and don’t use stock with salt or sugar in the ingredients), as the sauce reduces a lot. Just correct at the end.