Cake, Batter, and Bowl

BBQ Chicken Tacos

Main Dishes

I tune everything out when I’m reading, which can be a good or bad habit depending on the situation. Good because I can read in any environment and not get distracted, but bad for the same reason because I keep missing my bus stops! I have a 45 minute commute, and like many in Boston, take public transportation. Unlike most though, I miss my bus stops a couple times a month – it’s rather ridiculous, but I have no sense of time passing when I’m reading and regularly am completely disorientated when I peek up and realize we’ve gone much farther than I thought. It’s worse when it’s dark out and I’m heading home, but one time when I was taking the 47 bus to work at the Longwood Medical Campus, I ended up by Boston Medical Center, which is a good 20 minutes after my stop! I ended up just waiting until we hit the red line and then circled back on the T and was a good hour late for work. Oops.

Anyway, I was gobbling up the November issue of Food and Wine magazine on the bus recently and was struck by the description of the BBQ sauce at Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas – “a sweet-tart-bitter blend of ketchup, cider vinegar, and coffee.” It sounded so brilliant that I was inspired to make my own version with these ingredients as the base. I don’t think I’d be able to guess there’s espresso powder in the sauce I made if I didn’t know, but it has a level of complexity that I really enjoyed. I mixed my BBQ sauce with spiced rubbed chicken and served it on corn tortillas with sautéed red onions and crumbled queso fresco cheese. Very yummy. And now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to get back to my latest read!

BBQ Chicken Tacos
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:

Chicken:
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
1/2 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

BBQ Sauce:
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon espresso powder

For Assembly:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large red onion, cut into strips
8 corn tortillas, warmed (I used the small ones from Trader Joe’s)
6 ounces queso fresco, crumbled

Directions:
Heat oven to 350˚F. Mix ancho chile powder, oregano, brown sugar, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt in a small dish. Rub chicken breasts evenly with spice mix and place chicken breasts in a greased 13×9-inch pan. Bake chicken at 350˚F for 22 to 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in the center. Cool chicken 10 minutes, cut into small chunks, and place in a large bowl.

Meanwhile, place ketchup, apple cider, apple cider vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire, and espresso powder in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened. Mix BBQ sauce with chicken in the large bowl.

Heat canola oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat and sauté onion strips for 5 to 7 minutes or until tender.

To assemble the tacos, place BBQ chicken evenly in corn tortillas. Top with sautéed onions and queso fresco. Makes 4 servings of 2 tacos each.

Nutrition: 605 calories, 17.2g fat, 4.1g fiber, 64.2g protein per serving
Cost: $2.28 per serving

Mediterranean Portobello Mushroom and Eggplant Stacks

Although I make vegetarian meals a couple times a week, it’s usually because I’m feeling too lazy to really cook. I often whip up simple meals like pizza, tofu fried rice, or breakfast for dinner when I’m super busy, but I rarely put extra effort into making really...

Asparagus, Mushroom, Spinach, and Chicken Lasagna with Goat Cheese Sauce

Dinner party time! Shannon, Elina, and I decided to follow up our Spanish tapas party with a spring themed feast. Shannon rocked the appetizer course with a radish and polenta masterpiece and Elina’s scrumptious lemon strawberry shortcakes were the perfect sweet...

BBQ Chicken and Cheddar Baked Potatoes with Corn and Roasted Red Peppers

I’ve been unable to stop smiling lately. I just feel like we have so much to look forward to - we’re moving next week into a more spacious apartment and will finally have a grown up master suite with a walk-in closet. I’m already itching to organize our new kitchen...

Caramelized Pineapple Pulled Pork Flatbreads

I hope everyone is enjoying the long holiday weekend! Apolinaras and I are celebrating our seventh wedding anniversary with a mini vacation in Portland, Maine, and the eats have been phenomenal so far. I’ll have a full recap soon! In the meantime, I thought sharing...

Spinach, Bacon, and Blue Cheese Stuffed Pecan Crusted Chicken Breasts

I’m often asked how I manage to post original recipes so often while working long hours and hitting the gym the majority of the days of the week. Well, what I usually do is work in bursts. I may perfect three or four recipes in one weekend and then take a break. I...

Spring Goat Cheese Risotto

What’s one to do with leftover goat cheese and asparagus? Why make a goat cheese risotto with spring veggies, of course! Risotto has been a little controversial on Top Chef lately. Apparently, it’s supposed to spread on the plate and be a certain consistency to be...

Roasted Butternut Squash and Spinach Penne Pasta

I’ve been looking forward to this week for awhile now, because I get to see my good friend Susie not once, but twice, in two different cities! Susie is one of my best friends from college. We initially bonded as partners in organic chemistry lab, where we amused...

Pecan and Coconut Crusted Tilapia over Tropical Rice

Before we left for Florida over the holidays, I tried to strategically plan our meals to use up every last bit of food of in the fridge. It’s always so sad having to throw out spoiled ingredients when you get back! We also scrubbed the fridge and rest of our apartment...