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Chicken Al Pastor(ish) Cheese Skirt Tacos

With Pineapple Habanero Salsa!

Serves 2 to 4

Cook Time 30 Minutes

Prep time: 30 minutes, plus marinade time

For the tacos

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 cup guajillo chili powder
  • 3 tablespoon achiote (or achiote blend)
  • 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple (with juices)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound boneless chicken thighs
  • 2 cups shredded queso quesadilla cheese
  • 8 small flour tortillas – sometimes labeled “street taco” size

Pineapple Habanero Salsa

  • 1 whole pineapple, peeled and quartered
  • 1 medium sweet onion, cut into thick slices
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (with stems)
  • 1 teaspoon Red Tuxedo rub
  • 2 habanero peppers – finely diced
  • Juice of 2 limes

To make the marinade for the chicken: We are using a Rick Bayless method for creating marinades from powdered chili instead of whole dried chili. Heat a frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the garlic and cook for about one minute. Then add the ancho, guajillo, achiote, pineapple, water, and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5-8 minutes until it is reduced to a paste. Allow the marinade to cool, add it to the chicken, and place in the fridge for 4 to 24 hours.

 

To make the salsa: Liberally coat the onion and pineapple with our very own Red Tuxedo (available from Spiceology) and grill. Once you get a nice char on all sides remove from the grill. Dice the onion and pineapple and combine with the cilantro, habanero, and lime juice. Give it a taste and see if it needs more salt.

 

To cook the chicken: we preheated our Big Green Egg to a medium-high direct heat with FOGO Charcoal. Grill the chicken direct until 165º internal and a bit crispy on the edges. Dice the chicken and set it aside.

 

Place a comal (or plancha or griddle) on the grill and pre-heat it. We used the Made In Cookware comal. Do as many tacos as your pan fits at a time. Lightly brush the pan with oil. Then place 1/4 cup of cheese in a small pile where each tortilla will go. Place the tortilla on top of the cheese and add the chicken. Allow it to cook until the cheese has cooked into a golden brown crunchy crust.

 

Remove, top with chicken and salsa and serve!