Smoked Paprika Chicken Tacos with Spicy Goat Cheese

Smoked Paprika Chicken Tacos  (22) WM

I love tacos.  I love smoke paprika and I really, really love goat cheese!  This recipe combines all of these wonderful ingredients into an amazing taco (another one of my favorites – I could eat tacos all of the time!).

Serves 4

Time: 1 hour + a little extra

Chicken Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1.5  teaspoons smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 limes, sliced into wedges
1 sweet onion, sliced thickly into 8 slices
Spicy Goat Cheese Queso
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 jalapeño pepper, diced
2garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup milk
6 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Taco Additions
corn tortillas for serving
chopped tomatoes
sliced avocado
cilantro, de-stemed

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.

2. Combine the smoked paprika, salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and garlic powder in a small bowl.

3. Place the sliced onion all over the bottom of the baking dish, rub the chicken with the spices and then place the chicken on top of the onions.  Set the lime wedges in between the chicken. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove chicken and let cool slightly, then shred.

4.  For the spicy goat cheese queso, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and add the diced jalapeño and garlic.  Simmer, without burning, for about 1 – 2 minutes.  Once the butter mixture is slightly boiling whisk in flour to create a roux.   Turn to low and let simmer for another 1-2 minutes until the roux is golden brown and bubbly.  Then, pour the milk in whisking until smooth and combined (keeping heat on low).   Once the roux has slightly thickened add the goat cheese and stir until the cheese melts and is creamy. Taste and season with salt and pepper to your liking.

5. Slice the tomatoes and avocado and tear off the cilantro leaves from the steam.

6. Once the chicken has cooked shred into bite sized pieces.  Heat up the tacos until soft, scoop out some chicken onto each taco and add the vegetables and place a dollop of the goat cheese queso on top.

 

Smoked Paprika Chicken Tacos  (12) WM

Smoked Paprika Chicken Tacos  (5) WM

Balsamic Vinegar & Honey Chicken Skewers

Balsamic and Honey Chicken Skewers (9) WM

My car needed new front brakes so I took it to the mechanic today, and brought my bike to ride the 6 miles home.  The guy at the front desk asked if I needed a ride, I said ‘no, I’m going to ride my bike’ – he replied with, ‘next time you can use one of ours!’.  How very cool (and very Boulder) that my mechanic has several bikes that their customers can use!!

Onto this recipe.  As I’ve been saying in post after post, it’s summer so I have been grilling & using summer fruits and veggies – this recipe is no exception.  The balsamic vinegar & honey added a nice light touch of flavor to the chicken, and the quinoa & strawberry, goat cheese and nut salad were both a perfect compliment.

Balsamic and Honey Chicken Skewers (4) WM

serves 4

time: about 1 hour (marinade the night before)

Chicken Marinade Ingredients:

2.5 good sized boneless & skinless chicken breasts
4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, minced, plus more for garnish
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Salad Ingredients:
strawberries
spinach
goat cheese
mixed seasoned/sugared nuts
I also used a cup of dried quinoa, cook according to package directions.

Directions:

  1. The night before.  Cut off any extra fat from the chicken breasts and then cut into 1 inch chunks and place in a gallon ziplock bag.
  2. Mix all of the remaining ingredients together and pour into the gallon bag with the chicken.  Mush around and refrigerate overnight.
  3. The day of.  Soak 3-4 wooden skewers in a shallow dish filled with water while getting the grill, quinoa and salad ready.
  4. Right before the grill is ready, thread the chicken pieces onto the water-soaked wooden skewers.
  5. Place the chicken skewers on the grill and cook until no longer pink, turning over so all sides get charred.
  6. Wash and slice a good few handfuls of ripe strawberries, place on top of washed spinach.  Crumble goat cheese and throw a handful of mixed seasoned/sugared nuts on top
  7. Eat with your favorite beer, because it’ll make it that much better!

 

Balsamic and Honey Chicken Skewers (18) WM

Cilantro Ginger Chicken Thighs with Cauliflower “Rice”

Asian chicken thighs & cul (26) WM

Chicken can be boring, unless you get creative with the marinade, and this is one recipe that makes chicken pretty good!  As always it’s best to let the chicken sit in the marinade for a few hours and overnight if you can – that way the flavors of the marinade get soaked up.  My friend made me cauliflower “fried rice” at her house and I thought it would be good with this chicken and a side salad, it was!  If you are following the Paleo diet you can eat this “rice”.

Serves: 4

Chicken Marinade

  • chicken thighs, about 2 a piece
  • 1 bunch green onions, cut into thirds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1″ piece of fresh ginger, cut into fourths
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper to taste

1) Mix all of the marinade ingredients together and place in a gallon ziplock bag with the chicken thighs.  Mush the marinade around the chicken so that it is coated well.  Refrigerate for at least a few hours, and overnight if you can.

2. Heat up your BBQ coals, once they are ready pull out the chicken from the marinade and place on the grill.  Cook the chicken until it is no longer pink inside.  While the chicken is cooking make the cauliflower “fried rice” (recipe below) and a salad.

 

Asian chicken thighs & cul (5) WM

Cauliflower “Fried Rice”

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • salt & pepper
  • coconut oil

1) Cut up the cauliflower into bite sized pieces, place in a microwave safe dish, add a tad bit of water and cover.  Microwave until the cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes.

2) Once the cauliflower is tender mash with a potato masher (you want the pieces to resemble rice, so don’t go overboard with mashing), then place in a colander to drain excess water.

3) Heat up your skillet and add a scoop of coconut oil, add the cauliflower “rice”, crushed garlic, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the cauliflower has browned all over.

 

Asian chicken thighs & cul 15 WM Asian chicken thighs & cul (2) WM