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

Braised Mediterranean Chicken

braised mediterranean chicken (2) WM

I have so many posts that I need to catch up on, it’s ridiculous.  I made this dish awhile ago, and as always it was pretty darn tasty.  And I always I made some substitutions from the original recipe and made it my own.

braised mediterranean chicken (3) WM

prep time: 25 minutes

cooking time:  75 minutes

Ingredients:

  • chicken thighs (enough to serve those who are eating, up to 6 pieces otherwise add more of the other ingredients)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves of smashed garlic (squeezed in a garlic press or minced)
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1 lemon, sliced + a couple of slices for garnishing when serving
  • handful of cherry tomatoes
  • handful of dried cranberries
  • small container of mixed olives from the olive bar
  • handful of sun-dried tomatoes, chopped coarsely
  • a few sprigs fresh thyme
  • extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

1. Combine the salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic.

2. Make a few cuts on the sides of the chicken.

3. Rub chicken with crushed garlic, paprika, salt & pepper.  Let sit for 15 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

5. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a cast iron pan on  medium heat; cook chicken with skin side down and brown for about 10 minutes.  Flip to cook the other side and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

6. Pour in the Marsala wine and turn up the heat to high until alcohol evaporates.

7. Add lemon slices, cherry tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, cranberries and thyme.  Reduce the heat to and simmer for 5 minutes.

8. Transfer pan to the pre-heated oven.  Cook for 45 minutes or until chicken turns golden brown.  While cooking, baste the sauce over the chicken.

9. Serve with regular or Israeli couscous and garnish with fresh lemon slices.

braised mediterranean chicken (4) WM

Grilled Chicken with Paprika Rub & Spicy Apple Glaze

Paprika Rub & Spicy Apple Glaze (4) WM

This recipe takes 2 prep days, but is well worth it!

chicken & corn:

a combination of chicken, however much you like – the brine, rub and glaze makes a lot!

corn on the cob, husks removed

for the brine:

2 quarts water

1/2 cup kosher salt

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon pickling spice

1/4 teaspoon peppercorns

for the smoked paprika rub:

3 tablespoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon salt

4 teaspoons onion powder

2 teaspoons garlic powder

2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

for the spicy apple glaze:

3 cups apple cider

1 cup cider vinegar

1 cup applesauce

1 cup granulated sugar

1/4cup light brown sugar

1/4cup thinly sliced fresh ginger

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 vanilla bean, split

6 cardamom pods

2 teaspoons minced garlic

2 teaspoons allspice

1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon salt Paprika Rub & Spicy Apple Glaze (2) WMDirections:

1. On the first night: Prepare the brine by combine all of the ingredients in a pot and bringing the water to a boil.  Once the water has cooled add a few trays of ice cubes, then add the chicken pieces.  Cover tightly and refrigerate over night.

2. On the second night: Remove the chicken from the brine and toss out the brine.  Paper towel dry the chicken and place on one layer on a plate – place the plate of chicken, uncovered, in the refrigerator being sure that the raw chicken isn’t touching anything else.  Refrigerate over night.

3.  On the third day, an hour before grilling mix all of the rub ingredients together and rub onto the chicken.

4. Bring a large pot of water to boil and once the water is boiling place the corn in the water and let boil for 35-45 minutes.

5. While the rub is sitting on the chicken and the grill is starting prepare the spicy apple glaze.  Combine all of the ingredients in a 6-quart saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often to dissolve the sugar.  Once the mixture has come to a boil reduce the heat to medium and cool until it is reduced to about 1 cup and has a glaze consistency, which will be about 35 minutes.  After the sauce is a glaze consistency remove the pan from the heat and strain the through a fine-mesh colander into a bowl.  Discard the solids.  Set the glaze aside.

6. Once the grill is ready, place the chicken on the grill and sear on each side for about 2 minutes.  Then, brush some of the spicy apple glaze on the side facing up on all of the chicken pieces; flip over and glaze the other side.  Continue doing this for several times until several layers of glaze are on both sides of the chicken.  You want the glaze to get nice and crispy.  Move the pieces of the chicken to the outer perimeter of the grill, place the corn in the middle and lightly brush a thin layer of glaze on the entire ear of corn.  Cover and cook for about 10 minutes each side.

Paprika Rub & Spicy Apple Glaze (3) WM

7. Remove the corn and chicken once the chicken is cooked through.  Serve with a side salad or the vinegar based cole slaw with cranberries (or another one of my salads!)

Paprika Rub & Spicy Apple Glaze (1) WM