Last night I had Mexican on the mind…
I knew I wanted some sort of saucy chicken all wrapped snug in a tortilla with veggies & cheese and nothing else was going to cut it!
Then I remembered that I had some ancho chiles that needed using so I knew that a homemade sauce was in order.
So I got to cookin’
Homemade Ancho Chile Sauce and Chicken Soft Tacos
- 3 ancho chiles (dried poblano)
- 1 onion, quartered
- 2 cloves garlic, quartered
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sugar
Remove the stems & seeds from the ancho chiles, then add to a hot pan to toast for a few minutes and bring out their flavor.
Then add the vegetable broth, onion and garlic plus S&P to taste and bring to boil. Turn heat down to about medium and cover, letting the peppers rehydrate and the veggies soften (about 20 minutes).
Towards the end of this cooking time add in the cumin and oregano as well.
Once this has a minute to cool down, use an immersion blender to turn into a beautiful smooth sauce. I added in the small amount of sugar & olive oil at this point as well.
I let the sauce cool down a bit before marinating some skinless chicken thighs in a little over half of it, setting the rest aside for later.
The dark meat of the chicken thigh is definitely my preference for Mexican dishes like this, the chicken breast just doesn’t do this kind of sauce justice and the richness of the thigh tastes fantastic.
And although the thigh is fattier than the breast, seriously friends, it’s still only 5g per 4oz. serving (skinless) – not going to break the bank!
After marinating for about an hour or two in the fridge, I baked the chicken at 375F for about 20-25 minutes until done.
I removed from the pan and then used my favorite 2-fork shred method to shred it up. And remember the sauce I set aside earlier? I used that to mix in with the cooked & shredded chicken.
I also whipped up some fun toppings for our chicken soft tacos including a tomato/onion “salsa-like” mixture
Sauteed onion & red bell pepper w/ fresh lime juice, S&P
Then set everything out so we could build our own!
Wheat tortilla, ancho chile chicken, sauteed peppers & onions, tomatoes & onions, lettuce, Monterey jack cheese, additional ancho chile sauce to top.
Heaven in my mouth.
Cooking with dried peppers like this used to intimidate me so much, but once you try it you’ll be surprised at how easy it really is!
And the flavor you get from a sauce like this just doesn’t compare to anything out of a can/jar/you know what I’m sayin’ so it is totally worth the effort.