Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tacos and Mexican Red Rice

Today is Thursday.  Do you know what that means?  Tomorrow is Taco Friday!  When my Mexican Sisi and I get together for dinners during the week, Friday's are always tacos and rice.  Now I've come to learn that the kind of tacos I grew up having are not the same as the tacos my Sisi makes.  Hers are much better!  Us suburban whitey's buy them in the freezer section of the grocery store in a box and call them taquitos.  But to have fresh, hot, amazing tacos...  WOW!  I could eat them everyday!  You throw them together with Mexican red rice, top it with fresh made salsa, pico de gallo, guacamole, cheese, sour cream, cabbage...  any combination of the that and BAM!  My mouth is watering right now...   LoL!  I've watched her make them for almost a year now and so I thought I'd take a stab at them myself.  I didn't do too bad at all, if I do say so myself.  I will do my best to tell you how to make the tacos and red rice the best I can.  There's not an exact recipe so just go with it the best you can.  Sometimes improvising gives you the best foods.

1.  Start with poaching chicken.  I used 3 decent sized chicken breasts to feed our family of 5.  I put the chicken in the pot and fill it with 1/2 water and 1/2 chicken stock, salt and pepper and a little parsley.  Season yours however you like.  Cook thoroughly, until tender and can easily shred.  Let cool.  Save your broth!
Chicken mixture
2.  Shred your chicken and season as you like.  Sometimes we just use it as is, other times she'll cook it in a little oil to "crisp" it a bit and when I did them I took inspiration from Pinterest and mixed the chicken with 4 oz cream cheese and 1/2 a 4oz can of green chilies and that was really good too.
3.  Next grab a package of corn tortillas (White or yellow, doesn't matter but they have to be corn.)  Heat a flat griddle skillet or pan to medium low heat and warm your tortillas.  You want to flip them once they are heated through on one side.  (Once they seem too hot to put your hand on top of them.)  You want them still soft.  Try to fold them lightly and if they tear then they aren't ready yet.  If they are hard then you did it too long.  For me, this is the hardest part.  I don't know why...
Cooking rice, heating oil, heating tortillas...  Just enough burners!
4.  Heat a skillet with about 1/2 inch of oil over medium heat.
5.  While your oil is heating, start to stuff your tacos.  Make an egg wash in a small bowl.  Grab a tortilla, swipe one edge of your tortilla with the egg wash.  Place a small handful, maybe 2-4 T, of chicken across the center/bottom of the tortilla and roll up towards the egg edge.  Press down slightly to seal and set aside.  Continue until you run out of chicken or tortillas.
Like so...
Taco assembly line...  Not going to lie, there are a lot of dishes
but it is totally worth it!
6.  Once your oil is heated and your tacos ready, place tacos seam side down in the oil in a single layer, not too tightly, but you can fill it up.  Let go about 5 minutes or so until they are nicely browned on that side and then flip to the other side until that side is also nice and golden brown.  Remove from oil and let drain on a paper towel.
Sizzling, frying goodness
7.  Eat!  Top tacos with your favorite toppings, salsas and such and get messy and down with those tacos!

Mexican Red Rice
1.  Heat a pot over medium heat with about 1-2 T oil, add in a 1 inch slice of onion and 1 garlic clove cut in half.  Add in rice, I used 1 1/2 cups.  Stir in rice and let cook until it begins to brown a bit and starts to have an almost "nutty" smell.  Kinda like what you do with rice pilaf. 
Can you see the rice has started to brown a little bit?
2.  Add in liquid.  You want double the amount of liquid that you put in of rice.  (Example: I did 1 1/2 cups of rice so I used 3 cups of  liquid.)  Add in 8 oz of tomato sauce (don't count this in with your other liquid measurement), then measure out the chicken broth you saved from poaching the chicken (be sure to strain it!), and use water for any more you may need.  If you didn't save your cooking broth add in 1-2 chicken bullion cubes in with the water. 
3.  Stir and cook until boils, then reduce heat, cover and let simmer over low heat until cooked and rice is soft.  If all your liquid has absorbed and your rice isn't cooked all the way, add in an extra cup or so of water until it is cooked all the way.  Keep tasting it to check.
Red Rice...  Gotta try this!
4.  Serve with your tacos or anything else!  So yummy!  So less processed then the packaged stuff and so much better!
Easy enough right?  If I could do it, you can too!  Get your Mexican on!  The taco's reheat in the toaster oven at 400 for about 8-10 minutes really great and the rice is great in the microwave...  if you have leftovers.  I sometimes steal them from Sisi's house....  Shhhh!
I was only missing Sisi's salsa and guacamole, but it
was still pretty darn good!


  1. Congrats, so happy for you, you are now in touch with your mexican side lol my sisi from another mother lol love you bff

    1. Love you! Thanks for teaching this white girl. :)

  2. Holy moly that would be one of my favorite meals right there! I love love mexican food and I miss tacos A LOT! These look awesome!

    1. Hey, there's always cheat days, right? Hehe! You're kids would love them I bet!