A Sarcastic Appetite

Coriander Chicken Tacos with Spicy Refried Beans
January 25, 2011, 9:07 am
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Oh. Are you one of those people who doesn’t like refried beans? Then I’m afraid you’re going to miss out on something pretty delicious. Even Ninja described this dinner as “the bomb.” I don’t know why he’s decided to relive 1997, but that’s a topic for another day.

Anytime I make tacos I am reminded of Taco Night when we were little – my mother would set out bowls of salsa, sour cream, scallions, and shredded cheese and we would all go to town. Or, um, I would go to town, and heap inappropriate amounts of condiments all over everything. It was great. Taco Night has apparently stuck with my gringo self, since it was all I could do not to set out a bowl of salsa. These don’t need any of that, I assure you.

As usual I’ve changed the recipe around a bit – it calls for bashing coriander seeds and pressing them into flattened chicken breasts. I just rubbed ground coriander into each breast, though you could also use chicken cutlets if you wanted. I love the refried beans, and not just because you simply chuck a bunch of stuff into a food processor and then heat the results with some chicken broth. It’s very good and very flavorful; you can just taste the oregano under everything before the heat from the chipotles in adobo hits you.

Serve these with sliced radishes, diced avocado, and plenty of freshly squeezed lime juice. I kind of wish I could take a Hot Tub Time Machine back to my 8-year-old self on Taco Night; I have a feeling she’d probably think these were the bomb, too.

Coriander Chicken Tacos with Spicy Refried Beans

Serves 4. Adapted from this Bon Appétit recipe.

2 15 oz. cans pinto beans

about 1/2 of a good-sized onion, roughly chopped

2 tsp. dried oregano

2 garlic cloves, peeled but whole

1 tbsp. minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo – including sauce, though add more to taste

1 tsp. ground cumin

3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 c. chicken broth

3 tbsp. canola oil

plenty of salt and pepper

2 chicken breast halves

about 3 tbsp. ground coriander

6-inch soft corn tortillas

3 radishes, sliced thinly

1 avocado, diced

2 limes

a handful of cilantro, chopped

In a food processor, blend the beans, onion, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper, and cumin. Pulse, then add the olive oil. Taste and season as necessary. In a large saute pan, heat the beans with 1/2 c. chicken broth. Let that go while you do the chicken, but taste occasionally – you might want to add more chipotle in adobo sauce

On a small plate, add the 3 tbsp. of coriander and some more salt and pepper. Heat the canola oil in another large skillet. Press each side of each breast into the plate of coriander, then cook the breasts over medium-high heat, about 5-6 minutes per side. Set aside, let cool, and then dice. Heat as many corn tortillas as you want, one by one, in the skillet you used to cook the chicken (no need for oil or anything). Just give it a minute or two on each side.

Plate the tacos with refried beans, some diced chicken, sliced radishes, avocado, and cilantro. Finish with plenty of squeezed lime.