Crispy Chicken Tacos
"There's never a bad time for a taco." My mom said it very well, and I would have to agree. Mother does know best in this case. I'm not sure of a day (except in times of illness) where I have ever thought "I'm not really in the mood for tacos." It's just one of those things you can always count on to be a good idea.
I will say that not all tacos are created equally. The shell has to have a bit of crunch and the filling needs to be juicy and tender as well. I'm sure someone has come up with a scale that measures goodness in the amount of juice that's running down your arm. That's important, too.
You may be wondering why you should fry your own taco shells when the packaged kind are already so good. I have to agree, I would take a crispy packaged shell over a floppy home fried one any day. However, when you get the golden crispy crunch of a home fried taco right, there are few better things in life. Scout's honor.
2-3 chicken breasts
1/2 large can of red or green chile sauce (you can freeze the rest)
salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon of each)
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
You could also use my Chile BBQ Chicken recipe post
6 to 8 corn tortillas
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
salt for sprinkling
I typically cook the chicken and sauce in the slow cooker until the chicken shreds easily. You could also take leftover chicken and just add the sauce to it. Once you have your chicken and sauce looking like this, add the cheese. I drained off some of the chile sauce so it would not make the tacos soggy. You can reuse the sauce for salsa on top of the tacos when they are done. Keep warm and off to the side while you make the shells.
Heat the oil until it looks shimmery and feels warm when you hand is placed above it. Make sure your fire extinguisher is near. Safety first, friends. Gently place the tortilla in the oil. Turn it over when you see a few bubbles and the edges start to brown slightly. Brown the other side slightly as well.
When both sides are light brown, gently fold the shell in half. This part may take a bit of practice. You have to find the sweet spot of browned but not so browned the tortilla refuses to bend without breaking.
To be on the safe side, I fry them very lightly and then let them crisp up while they are folded.
Drain off most of the oil and sprinkle liberally with salt. If you are doing a lot of the shells, you can keep them warm in a 200 degree oven until you are ready to serve them all.
Fill the shells with the meat and serve with salsa, cheese and certainly a few napkins!