Thursday, June 5, 2008

Grilled Chicken Tacos with Avocado-Tomatillo Coleslaw

Recipe: Grilled Chicken Tacos with Avocado-Tomatillo Coleslaw

Soft tacos are one of my favorite dinners. Fillings can be chicken or fish, I always have corn tortillas in the refrigerator, and the toppings are endless-- so it’s no wonder these are a staple of my dinner menus in the summer.

For years I thought of soft tacos as only containing ground beef or shredded beef or, sometimes, shredded chicken. As I grew older and became more aware of alternatives to the beef/shredded cheddar/bottled taco sauce/sour cream version which I was introduced to, which was how I prepared them for many years, my taco repertoire grew. Several years ago, at a cooking club dinner, the host made fish tacos. I had read about fish tacos before and, even though I had long since changed beef taco filling for chicken, I just could not imagine tacos with fish. Silly me! I absolutely loved them, and added seafood tacos to my recipe binder.

I found a salmon taco recipe last year which featured a topping of coleslaw with an avocado-tomatillo dressing. It was excellent, so last night when I arrived home at 6:30 and saw what ingredients were in my refrigerator, I thought of this recipe. I needed to use some Napa cabbage, and a half avocado which I had used the other half in a sandwich the previous day, and some tomatillo puree which was in the refrigerator. This would be the perfect opportunity to make that coleslaw. Unfortunately I was out of salmon, except for a large fillet which is too big for both us and should be saved for entertaining. So I thawed a couple of chicken breasts, rubbed them with a chicken taco seasoning mix bought at Penzey’s last fall, grilled them, and served the slices in corn tortillas with the avocado-tomatillo coleslaw. It was delicious! The smoky, spicy grilled chicken slices topped with crunchy cabbage dressed with a cooling avocado/ sour cream sauce. And chopped tomatoes. Nothing goes better with avocados than tomatoes!

I remembered how darn much coleslaw the original recipe made, so I scaled it back and changed a few ingredients. This is an absolutely excellent summer meal!

* Exported from MasterCook *

Grilled Chicken Tacos with Avocado-Tomatillo Coleslaw

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings: 2

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

---------- ---------- ----------------------------------------

8 whole corn tortillas

10 ounces boneless skinless chicken breast -- (2 pieces)

2 teaspoons chicken taco seasoning -- (I use Penzey's; any seasoning or rub that is made from chili

powder, cumin, oregano, etc. can be used as well)

1 medium garlic clove

1/2 small jalapeno pepper -- seeded

1/3 cup tomatillo puree -- (or 2 large, cooked tomatillos)

1/4 cup cilantro leaves, whole -- loosely packed

2 tablespoons light sour cream

1 tablespoon plain nonfat yogurt

3 ounces avocado -- diced (about 1/2 of an 8-ounce, pitted, peeled avocado)

1/4 teaspoon salt

6 ounces shredded cabbage -- (finely shredded)

2/3 cup chopped fresh tomato

Preheat grill.

Warm tortillas and wrap in a clean towel to keep warm.

Rub taco seasoning into both sides of chicken breasts, spray with cooking spray, and grill until done. Prepare the coleslaw while the chicken is cooking.

In a blender or small food processor, drop the garlic clove and jalapeno pepper into the work bowl while the machine is running. Stop the machine and add the cilantro through salt. Process until creamy. Place shredded cabbage in a medium bowl, pour dressing over, and mix well.

Remove the chicken from the grill and slice into thin slices. Transfer chicken to a serving dish and cover to keep warm.

Spoon chicken onto each tortilla, cover with coleslaw, add tomatoes. Fold. Eat.

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Per serving: 486 Calories (kcal); 14g Total Fat (4g Saturated); (24% calories from fat); 37g Protein; 59g Carbohydrate; 81mg Cholesterol; 774mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 1 Lean Meat; 1 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

Occasionally, though, I still crave soft tacos made “almost” the way I learned how in college. Gone is browning the ground beef, then using the drippings to soften the tortillas (eek, what was I thinking?). I now use ground turkey mixed with veggie burger crumbles and the toppings are usually taco sauce, lowfat cheddar, light sour cream, and tomatoes. No, they don’t really taste exactly as I remember, but they are still pretty darn good! Placing a Pink Floyd album on the turntable will add to the effect, as well.

Oops, I'm dating myself... ;)