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Ancho chili chicken tacos

Tacos have now become famous all over the world, from the basic street-side tacos to gourmet offerings in some of the best restaurants in the world. They can be made from almost anything, traditionally pork, but also beef, lamb, chicken, fish and even gourmet vegetarian options. Use the search term "tacos" for lots of great recipes on this blog. Some of the best tacos I have had are on street corners or little taquieras, in Mexico City and in the Bay Area, loaded with succulent meat that is perfectly spiced, loaded with cheese and accompanied by amazing salsas. With a few beers, this is one of my favorite dinners!

These tacos are relatively simple to make but always turn out beautifully and delicious. The slow cooked chicken has time to absorb the flavors of the ancho chiles and spices and are topped with the toasted flaked almonds that give them a nutty flavor. the sauce is almost like a deconstructed mole. Mild and delicate, these tacos are always a customer favorite and ones that I love. Although this recipe is for tacos, you can also make burritos, enchiladas or other dishes with this filling.

This cookbook is one that has every imaginable filling for tacos and burritos, from the classic tacos to gourmet options like this recipe, to contemporary Indian and Korean tacos. Filled with wonderful recipes this cookbook is one that I go to often.

For more amazing recipes from this cookbook, click here.

Photo credit: @Sankalp Vishnu


2 ancho chiles, soaked overnight in 1/2 cup water

6 chicken breasts or 8-9 boneless chicken thighs

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

A pinch ground cinnamon

A pinch ground cloves

4-5 tomatoes, chopped

2 cups water

Salt, to taste

1/2 cup almond slivers, toasted

To serve as accompaniments:

Avocados or guacamole

Scallions, finely sliced

Grated cheddar cheese

Salsa, see blog for recipes

Pickled jalapeños

Tortillas, heated briefly on a pan or hard taco shells

Remove the anchos from the water and discard the seeds and stems, keeping the soaking liquid. Strain the soaking liquid to remove any crud and seeds and purée the skins in the soaking liquid till smooth.

Cut the chicken into large chunks, and add to a stock pot with the rest of the ingredients except the almonds. There should be just enough water to cover the chicken. Bring to a boil and simmer open for 45 minutes. Make sure you have just enough water.

After the 45 minutes, remove the chicken pieces and continue to boil the liquids for an additional 20 minutes till thickened and reduced by half. When the chicken is cooled, shred, using your fingers is best, and add back to the cooking liquid. Cook till the mix is quite sloppy. Taste and adjust salt.

Serve Hot with all or your selection of accompaniments listed above.

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