Anyone have a recipe for cooking the chicken for tacos? I've had them in Mexican restaurants where the chicken has been cooked with celery, onion and spices, etc. Just not sure how to go about doing that.
Hopefully you'll get some replies for what you seek. I will offer a better way to do it, IMO, however:
Grilled dry rubbed boneless skinless thighs. Grill em, and chop em up. No contest, if you ask me.
My recipe may not be what you're looking for, but it is good. I boil a whole chicken in a comfortable size pot (but not too much swimming room) with a couple of quartered onions (leave the stem end on so they hold together), a handful of unpeeled garlic cloves, a generous toss of chile powder (often Gepbhardt's, but sometimes my own mix) and s good dose of cumin. When the chicken is near falling apart, remove it and cool enough you can debone it with your hands and not get burned. Discard the skin,or set it aside for another use (on toast for the cook?). Break the chicken, again with your hands, into generous bite size pieces, then add a can of drained diced and peeled Anaheim (Hatch) chiles and some onions from the broth. If they are too limp and squishy, you can saute some slice onions and add them. Toss to mix and use as a taco filling. This same mixture can also be used as an enchilada filling.
I serve my chicken tacos "family style" and let everyone assemble their own from a selection of the chicken, crumbled cotija cheese, sour cream, finely diced onions, diced tomatoes, a chiffonade of lettuce, avacado wedges and/or guacamole, and at least a couple of types of salsa. Oh, and a choice of soft fresh corn tortillas or crispy taco shells I fry myself.
The chicken stock can be used for delicious tortilla soup. Add a variety of diced or chopped vegetables to it (carrots, onions, celery, cabbage, whatever you can get) and cook until soft. If there is any chicken left over, add it back (it doesn't take a whole lot) or some chicken legs or thighs or whatever you happen to have in the freezer. If you're using leftover original chicken, add it after the vegetables are cooked, if it's raw chicken, add at the beginning and make sure it is well coooked before serving. Then slice a bunch of tortillas in thin strips and deep fry them until crisp. Drain well. Serve the soup garnished with a generous amount of the tortilla strips. If you want to go fancy, you can also add a dollop of sour cream. Two or three meals from the same pot! Enjoy!
I actually bake a couple of breasts/thighs with just some salt and pepper. After they're done, I shred them and put them in a heated saute pan with a little oil. Once the chicken is heated through, I add a homemade seasoning blend and let the spices warm up and toast. Lastly, I add some chicken stock to deglaze the pan and make a nice juicy sauce. I use this for both tacos and enchiladas.
Taco Seasoning Blend
2 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper