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Monday, August 26, 2013

Chicken Calabacitas Tacos

Tom made these one summer for the entire family, while we were at my grandfather's cabin in Pine Valley. Pine Valley is a place of refuge for us, a quiet valley with many family memories. The tacos are even tastier for this pleasant association.

Calabacitas is a Mexican vegetable dish with squash, corn, chile, and often tomatoes. A Google search reveals a number of variations. Corn sweetens the squash, and chile can give it a kick. On that note: I have bought what I thought were poblanos from at least two grocery stores. They have been labeled pasilla. They have no heat whatsoever, so I'm not sure what I'm really using. These tacos are delicious without the heat, though. 


Chicken Calabacitas Tacos

Adapted from a Rick Bayless recipe in Authentic Mexican: Regional Cooking from the Heart of Mexico
Serves 4

1 lb zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I often split this between zucchini and yellow squash, for the color variety)
1 scant teas salt
1 T unsalted butter
1 T vegetable oil
kernels cut from one large ear of fresh sweet corn (or 1 c frozen corn, defrosted)
1 fresh poblano chile
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
2/3 c whipping cream or crema
1-2 c cooked cubed or shredded chicken, amount to taste

Toss zucchini with salt in colander and let sit for 30 minutes. Rinse zucchini then dry on paper towels. 

Roast the poblano under the broiler, turning occasionally, until the skin is entirely blackened. Depending on the distance of the chile from the broiler, this can take 20 minutes or so. Cool briefly, then peel the chile, remove the seeds, and slice into thin strips. 

Heat butter and oil over medium-high heat in a skillet large enough to hold zucchini in single layer. When hot, add zucchini and fry for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently until zucchini is browned and tender. Remove zucchini, draining as much butter and oil back into the pan as possible. Reduce heat to medium. Add corn, chile, and onion to skillet. Stir regularly until onion is lightly browned, 8-10 minutes. Stir in cream, zucchini, and chicken. Simmer for a few minutes until the cream is a thick glaze.

Serve on warmed corn tortillas. 

1 comment:

  1. Maybe you should buy chile at your local Mexican market. There are several in Provo, including one that is almost on your way home from work.