It’s no secret that we love a taco over here. And there are so many variations to love along with reasons to love them. They are usually pretty quick, super easy to throw together, and please the whole family. Especially when served with some tortilla chips and guac!
We’ve got a whole new chicken taco recipe for you today and you are going to love them! Chicken becomes super flavorful when marinated in garlic, lime, and mexican spices before cooking to perfection in a cast iron skillet. We like these simply topped with some onion, cilantro, and cotija cheese.
The Key to Street Tacos
The difference between regular tacos and street tacos is in the tortilla. Street taco tortillas are typically smaller and always made from corn. The corn accentuates the flavors of the filling, bringing the whole dish together. They are definitely worth seeking out! Though they aren’t hard to find. Most grocery stores carry them. But if you can’t find them, full-size corn tortillas work too!
For even better flavor, char your tortillas over the flame of a gas burner or under the broiler. You want spots of char all over, but watch them closely so they don’t burn. You will know it’s time to flip them, then time to remove them altogether, when you see them start to puff up a bit on each side.
Onions – We really love topping these with Quick Pickled Red Onions. They are so easy to do at home. Raw diced white or red onions are good too!
Cilantro – A classic taco topping, but the world is divided on this herb. Your genetics dictate whether you like it or not. We are 100% for cilantro and it’s a great complement to these tacos. But if you are among those who don’t like it, feel free to omit it. Your taco will still be amazing!
Cotija – This Mexican cow’s milk cheese is crumbly, salty, and milky in flavor. It adds the perfect hit of salt on the top of your taco. Different brands have different levels of salt, which means you might want more or less cheese depending on how much salt it will add to your taco. Taste it first so the flavors are well balanced when you put it all together.
Making Your Simple Chicken Street Tacos
We love this marinade and cooking technique, which allows us to use chicken breasts without them becoming dry. Cut them into pieces so that the marinade can make it’s way deeper into the meat in a shorter period of time. You’ll want to keep the chicken in the marinade for at least an hour for the best flavor. But feel free to leave it in a bit longer if you need to. The chicken can stay in the liquid for up to 4 hours.
Next, you want to cook the chicken pieces in a single layer in a hot skillet. This means you don’t want them sitting on top of each other, but instead cook in batches so every single piece gets nicely browned. When you add your last batch of chicken, also add the marinade and cook it down with the chicken to create a flavorful sauce. Throw all the chicken and that sauce together in a large bowl before serving.
Serving Your Tacos
Like I mentioned before, we love tacos. And we love a simple taco dinner even more. Serve these alongside some rice with black beans and corn mixed in. That is delicious, but so is a simple bag of tortilla chips and some guacamole or your favorite salsa.
Dessert options should be simple, too. Here are some good ones:
- Chocolate Mug Cake
- Easy Whipped Chocolate Ganache Tart
- Summer’s Best Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon Ice Cream
Simply Delicious Chicken Street Tacos
For the Marinade:
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons lime juice from one medium lime
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
For the Tacos:
- 1-1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 15 Corn or flour tortillas street taco size
- Pickled red onion or chopped white onion
- Cotija cheese
- Make the Marinade: Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients in a medium dish. Cut the chicken in ¼-inch slices and then into bite size pieces. Stir the chicken into the marinade so that every piece is coated, then cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- Cook the Chicken: When you are ready to cook, heat the vegetable oil In a large saute pan over medium to medium high heat. Cook the chicken in multiple batches, adding only as much chicken as will fit in a single layer. Saute the chicken for 2 minutes and stir to flip them over and cook for another minute or until the middles are no longer pink. Remove the cooked chicken to a clean dish, then repeat until all chicken is cooked, adding more oil only as needed. On the last batch add the rest of the marinade with the chicken. The marinade will thicken into a sauce while the chicken cooks. Add this last batch and all of the sauce to the previous batches of cooked chicken and stir to combine.
- Assemble: Serve immediately with tortillas, onions, cilantro, and cotija cheese.