Caipirinha Chicken Tacos
These chicken tacos are inspired by the Brazilian Cocktail Caipirinha
- Red Onion
- Grated Garlic
- 2 Pounds Chicken
- 3 Limes
- 1 Teaspoon Paprika
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin
- 2 Cloves Garlic (grated)
- 1/2 Cup Cachaca
- 2 Tablespoons Honey
- 1 Handful Chopped Mint
- Corn Tortillas
- Queso Blanco
- For the salsa - mango, jalapeno, red onion, grated garlic, mint, lime. The slaw was just very finely shredded lettuce and cucumber. No dressing and don't salt it or it will get all soggy.
- Slice chicken breasts into fours and prick with a fork. Make a marinade of the juice of 5 limes, a teaspoon each of paprika and cumin, a few cloves of garlic, ½ cup cachaca, few tablespoons of honey, and ¼ cup olive oil. Toss in a handful of chopped mint and mix well.
- there is a lot of booze in the marinade and it WILL catch fire on the grill or in the broiler. I would be more concerned about gas broiler, but in my electric one it caught for about 5 seconds before burning off. I wasn't to worried but kept a close eye on the situation just in case.
- Mix a few caipirinhas while the chicken is cooking. ½ a lime, squeeze of honey, shot of cachaca, few mint leaves. Enjoy this drink over ice with a splash of soda, but make a separate one with no ice and double the recipe. Chop up the chicken into more manageable taco pieces when it is done cooking and toss them in a bowl with the non-ice caipirinha. Serve with soft corn tortillas, the salsa and slaw, some guacamole, and crumbled queso blanco cheese.
It’s funny that some of the inspiration for booze week is coming from my time in Bermuda. I didn’t expect this to be the case, but I guess I should have considering that was like a 3 year vacation for me. The first time I drank a caipirinha was outside of a Latin themed after work spot on the island, and at that moment with the tropical weather and palm trees blowing in the breeze, the national drink of Brazil tasted like happy juice to me. I was hooked! A traditional caipirinha is only cachaca (a sugar cane based alcohol similar to rum), lime, and sugar, but this place had many variations including mango, cucumber, and the ubiquitous mint leaf in almost every drink. I used the many varieties of caipirinhas I drank that night as inspiration for these tacos.
Making the marinade for the chicken.
For some reason I have been dicing a lot of mangos lately, and I think this is the best way so I decided to share with you guys. Cut off the “cheeks” of the mango and score the flesh as seen in fig.1. Invert the skin (fig.2) and chop/scrape all the flesh off with your knife. yummmmmm. I choose very soft mangoes at the store so I don’t get that weird texture and sound when cutting except for close to the pit. If you hear that sound, you are too close to the pit and/or cutting unripe mango!
Then I remove the skin from the middle part (with a magic floating knife apparently?) and whittle away at the rest of the mango until I start hearing that sound I mentioned and getting the textural feedback from the knife. Then I shove the rest of the mango in my mouth and suck out any remaining delicious liquid (not pictured).
This might not be the traditional way to cut up a mango, but dicing 6 or 7 mangoes can be a daunting task. I’ve tried a few different approaches and this seems most efficient to me. Oh yea… some jalapenos, red onion, garlic, lime, and mint and this salsa is fantastic.
A simple slaw. I’m not sure this can actually be called a slaw since it isn’t dressed…
Ideally you want to grill this chicken, but the broiler was my only option. Damn you condo bylaws!
While the chicken is baking, make yourself a couple caipirinhas.
Then just dump your whole drink onto the cooked and chopped up chicken.
These tacos were super fresh and summery. And they should be, I used 9 limes and 3 bunches of mint after everything was said and done!
Light yet filling.
Make these on the next sunny and warm day and you won’t be disappointed. Wait isn’t it 60 and sunny out today in Boston?