Recipe Box: Green Chili Chicken Tacos & Homemade Queso Dip

These green chili chicken double decker chicken tacos are crunchy and chewy at the same time, and they’re filled with the perfect mix of flavors thanks to the black bean filling, tender chicken, zesty lime crema and fresh pico de gallo. And don’t forget about the queso dip (let’s be honest, how could you?). Anyway, without further ado, here’s how to make green chili chicken tacos that will have your guests raving at your next Mexican food fiesta…

Green Chili Chicken Double Decker Tacos

For the black refried beans filling:

Makes enough for 12 double decker tacos (plus a little extra for late night munching!)

 Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon bacon fat
  • ½ cup yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ each jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1 can refried black beans (we like Goya brand)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lime juice
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions:
1. Heat the bacon fat up in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the onions and jalapeno and sauté for one minute.
2. Add the garlic and continue to cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft, translucent and just beginning to brown around the edges.
3. Add the beans and lime juice and stir to mix everything together.
4. Reduce heat to medium low and heat until the beans are hot, stirring occasionally.
5. Salt to taste. Then use the beans immediately to assemble the tacos, or store them in the refrigerator for up to one week. We recommend heating them up before using them.

For the crispy fried taco shells:

Makes enough for 12 double decker tacos

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen 3” corn tortillas (we like Ortega brand)
  • 4 cups canola oil
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions:
1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Using tongs, take one tortilla and dip it into the oil and bending it in the middle so it looks like a taco shell.
3. Hold the shell under the oil using the tongs to keep it in the taco shell shape until it does so on it’s own, about 1 minute.
4. Let the shell continue to fry on its own until it becomes a deep golden brown, about 2-3 minutes more. Begin to fry a new shell in the meantime.
5. Remove the cooked shells from the oil and let drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Sprinkle them liberally with kosher salt while they are still hot.

For the green chili chicken taco filling:

Makes enough for 12 double decker tacos, plus a little extra for snacking on 

Ingredients:

  • 8 each bone-on, skin on chicken thighs
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, skin on, left whole
  • 2 each poblanos, roasted, peeled and diced
  • ½ 10-oz can rotel tomatoes
  • 1 4-oz can hatch green chiles, diced and rinsed
  • 1 each lime, juiced

Instructions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375. Rinse the chicken thighs under cold water. Pat them dry and place them in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
2. Add the olive oil, cumin, chili powder, onions and garlic and season liberally with salt, then toss to coat the thighs.
3. Put the thighs into a 9×13” baking dish, skin side down, and bake them for about 30 minutes or until they a fully cooked through and their juices run clear.
4. Let them sit until they are cool enough to handle, then shed the meat from the bones and put it in a bowl. Include the crispy bits of skin and the onions in the meat. Reserve the juice in the bottom of the pan.
5. Squeeze the garlic out of the cloves into the meat.
6. Add the poblanos, rotel and green chiles to the chicken mixture and add the reserved juice 1 teaspoon at a time until the meat is nice and moist.
7. Add the lime juice and season with salt to taste.
8. Use the filling immediately for the tacos, or store it in the refrigerator for up to one week.

For the lime crema:

Makes enough for 12 double decker tacos

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions:
Whisk all of the ingredients together and set aside.

For the classic pico de gallo:

Makes enough for 12 double decker tacos

Ingredients:

  • 2 each ripe tomatoes (beefsteak or heirloom)
  • 1 each shallot
  • 1 each jalapeno or serrano chile
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions:
1. Quarter the tomatoes and remove the pulpy seeds (You can use them some other time to make a salsa or tomato sauce).
2. Dice the tomatoes into quarter-inch cubes and put them in a medium bowl.
3. Dice the shallot and pepper into approximately the same size as the tomato and add them to the bowl. If you don’t like spice, seed the pepper first, but we prefer to keep the seeds in.
4. Add the cilantro and lime juice. Give it a stir and season liberally with salt.
5. Serve it up as an accouterment to tacos or queso.

Now, let’s make those tacos!

For one taco:

Ingredients:

  • one 3” flour tortilla (If you can’t find the right sized flour tortillas, get the smallest ones you can and use a 3” round cutter to cut them into circles. Save the scraps to dip into queso!)
  • 1 tablespoon refried beans
  • 2 teaspoons raw onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoons Oaxacan cheese, shredded
  • 1 each 3” corn tortilla, fried into a taco shell
  • 2 tablespoons green chili chicken filling
  • heavy sprinkle pico de gallo
  • a drizzle lime crema
  • a few scoops avocado
  • sprig of cilantro

Instructions:
1. Smear the beans on the flour tortilla, then top with onion and cheese.

Recipe Box: Green Chili Chicken Tacos & Homemade Queso Dip

2. Put the flour tortilla on a pan over medium heat on the stove to warm the beans and melt the cheese.

Recipe Box: Green Chili Chicken Tacos & Homemade Queso Dip

3. Once the cheese has melted, put the crispy shell on top of the flour tortilla, using the beans and cheese as glue to stick them together, fill the crispy shell with the chicken taco filling.

Recipe Box: Green Chili Chicken Tacos & Homemade Queso Dip

4. Spoon lime crema, pico de gallo and avocado on top of the chicken filling, put a few sprigs of cilantro on top and call it a day!

Recipe Box: Green Chili Chicken Tacos & Homemade Queso Dip

Tex-Mex White Queso Dip

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds Land-O-Lakes extra melt Cheese (You can order this cheese from Amazon, but you have to buy it in bulk. Alternately, you can use any white American cheese, Land-O-Lakes is just our preferred brand.)
  • ¼ cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • 2 ¼ cups buttermilk
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Recipe Box: Green Chili Chicken Tacos & Homemade Queso Dip

Instructions:
1. Fill a pot with about two inches of water and put it on the stove to boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer.
2. Cut the EZ Melt cheese into one-inch cubes and put those cubes into a medium-sized bowl. Put the shredded Monterey Jack cheese in the bowl as well. Place that bowl on top of the pan of simmering water.
3. Pour the heavy cream and the whole milk into a small saucepan and heat it up over medium heat until the mixture is hot to the touch, but not boiling. Pour the hot milk concoction over the cubed EZ Melt cheese.
4. Heat the cheese over the pan of simmering water, whisking occasionally until the entire mass starts to melt together into smooth, cheesy deliciousness.
5. Pour in half of the buttermilk and whisk it together, then pour in the remaining buttermilk.
6. Whisk in the garlic powder and pour it into a large bowl.
7. Add the mix-ins of your choice—we recommend pico de gallo, but you can literally add anything. Avocado, beans, taco meat…whatever you want.
8. Serve with tortilla chips.

These tacos were honestly some of the best we’ve ever had. We were begging for more! If you decide to make them for Cinco de Mayo, you’ll see exactly what we mean.

What’s your favorite Mexican food dish?

XO Elizabeth

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