Chicken Carnitas Daikon Tacos

Chicken Carnitas Daikon TacosTrying new recipes is really the main purpose of this blog. Every week, I rummage around the web looking for new recipes for our meals. Sometimes we find a recipe that we use over and over, though even the most repeated of our recipes has only been re-used 4 times. I am constantly amazed by the variety of recipes out there, and that we’re closing in on 4 years of menus and there’s always more recipes to try.

When we find one that turns out well, I’ll make a note of it, perhaps snap a photo and, for some really great ones, write up the recipe, especially if I’ve modified it a bit. This recipe is one that I almost skipped over because the original is a pdf file (often problematic) and is written to make 48 tacos by a chef at a restaurant–all flags that this could go badly in my hands. But what we ended up with was so delicious that it had to be written up! The flavors and textures were amazing! The recipe below is probably a poor rendition of Richard Sandoval’s Duck Carnitas Daikon Tacos, but wow, they are delicious!

I simplified this a lot–perhaps too much?? Be sure to look at the original recipe and follow it where you want. I am sure duck would be delicious, and I’m not sure what Peking duck is, but sounds like it’s kind of orange-flavored, so I opted for chicken thighs and brushing with marmalade since we had some. You could steep the sauce overnight, but hadn’t read that part and it was fine without it, plus we used ground coriander, and finally grated orange zest, so no need to remove the solids.

Anyway, enjoy and let me know if you try it. I am sure we will do them again and I’ll update the recipe and add some more photos–this was a cell phone shot taken at the table when we realized just how delicious these were.

Chicken Carnitas Daikon Tacos
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 8 Boneless/skinless chicken thighs
  • ¼ Cup Orange marmalade
  • ½ Daikon sliced thin (~1/8 in) on a mandolin (probably even less--a few slices per taco is good)
  • 1 Green apple, sliced thin
  • Orange Coriander Sauce, below
  • Curry Aioli, below
  • ¼ Cup Cilantro, chopped
Orange Coriander Sauce
  • ½ Cup Sugar
  • ½ Cup Water
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • ½ tsp. ground corriander
  • ¼ cup Sweet Chili sauce
  • 1 Orange, cut the peal off, slice and remove seeds
  • 1 Tbs Corn starch
  • 1 Tbs water
Curry Aioli
  • 1 Tbs Curry powder
  • 1 Tbs Turmeric
  • 1 Tbs White balsamic vinegar
  • ½ Tbs Lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs Honey
  • ¼ Cup Mayonnaise
Instructions
Chicken
  1. Barbecue the chicken thighs, brushing with the marmalade in the last 5 minutes or so.
  2. Slice the daikon and apple with a mandolin
Orange Coriander Sauce
  1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil
  2. Stir in the orange zest and coriander powder
  3. Add the hot sauce and orange segments
  4. Make a slurry with the corn starch and water
  5. Add cornstarch slurry to the sauce and simmer until thickened
  6. Keep warm
Curry Aioli
  1. Combine all the ingredients and mix well.
Assembly
  1. On a tortilla, place a few pieces of daikon and then apple.
  2. Add half a chicken thigh.
  3. Top with Orange Coriander sauce
  4. Top with Curry Aioli
  5. Sprinkle with cilantro
  6. Serve warm
 

Simplified Korean Chicken Tacos with Sweet Slaw, Crunchy Noodles and Queso Fresco

Korean TacosI am sure the original recipe from Half Baked Harvest is better, but it looks a bit too involved for a weeknight dinner, and I am not sure what Gochujang sauce is, or if it’s safe for nut and fish allergies. Even with the simplifications we made, this was a definite hit with everyone and we’ll surely make it again.

Not sure what kind of noodles the original really called for, but the store bought fried chow mien noodles worked just fine and didn’t need frying again. Speaking of which, not sure what the deal is with frying the chicken twice as the original called for…we just did it once. And Sriracha sauce worked fine for some kick in place of the gochujang sauce.

 

Simplified Korean Chicken Tacos with Sweet Slaw, Crunchy Noodles and Queso Fresco
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Korean
Serves: 4
Ingredients
For the fried chicken
  • 2 cloves garlic grated with microplane
  • 1 Tbs fresh ginger, grated with microplane
  • 3 Tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1½ Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs Olive oil--original called for sesame, which is probably better, but we didn't have
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • ⅔ Cup Flour
  • 1 Tbs Cornstarch
  • 1 Lb Chicken breast or thighs, cut into bite size pieces
  • ½ Lb Chow mein noodles
Sweet Slaw
  • 1 pkg Coleslaw mix, about 3 cups
  • 2 Spicy red chiles, seeded + sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 tsp Fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 Tbs Soy sauce
  • 2 Tbs Honey
  • 2 Tbs Rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Olive oil
  • 1 Lime, juiced
Putting it all together
  • 8 warmed flour tortillas
  • queso fresco
  • fresh cilantro
Instructions
The slaw
  1. Mix the slaw dressing in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the coleslaw and red chills and toss to coat everything.
  3. Put in the fridge while you make the rest of the dish.
The Chicken Sauce
  1. In a large bowl (the cooked chicken will be tossed in this bowl later) mix the first 7 ingredients.
  2. Set aside.
The Chicken
  1. Heat an half inch of oil in a skillet.
  2. Whisk flour, cornstarch, and ⅔ cup water in another bowl.
  3. Add chicken chunks and toss.
  4. Working in batches, fry chicken until golden, 6–8 minutes.
  5. Drain on paper towels.
  6. Add the chicken to the bowl with the sauce and toss well.
Assemble
  1. Divide the chicken among the warmed taco shells. Top with slaw, crunchy noodles, cilantro and queso fresco.
 

 

Chicken Bulgur Skillet with Spinach

Chicken Bulgur Skillet with SpinachTrader Joe’s has come to town and, while there’s a LOT of stuff that that is not peanut/tree-nut/fish safe, there are many things that we’ve been able to find there. 10-minute bulgur and sunflower seeds being a couple. Now if only we could get them to be better about labeling! Unfortunately, there’s a bunch of stuff that has CYA labeling…salad greens with shared equipment warnings for all top 8 allergens??? And a lot of stuff that’s not labeled for may contains at all. But it’s a start…

I adapted this from this one on TasteOfHome.com: seemed like it needed some more veggies.

Chicken Bulgur Skillet with Spinach
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1 inch cubes)
  • 2 Tsps olive oil
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • ⅔ Cup Onion, diced
  • 1 bag (10 oz) Fresh spinach leaves
  • 3 Tbs Sunflower seeds
  • ½ tsp Caraway seeds
  • ¼ tsp Ground cumin
  • 1½ Cups Bulgur
  • 2 Cups Reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 2 Tbs Raisins
  • ⅛ tsp ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Heat large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the oil and then the chicken.
  3. Cook until meat is cooked through.
  4. Remove the chicken to a plate and keep warm.
  5. Add the carrots and onions.
  6. Add the sunflower seeds, caraway, and ground cumin.
  7. Cook until the onions start to brown.
  8. Stir in the bulgur
  9. Add the broth, bring to a boil and reduce heat
  10. Add the raisins, cinnamon and the cooked chicken.
  11. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the bulgar is tender.
  12. Stir in the spinach leaves and serve.
 

Orange Chicken and Vegetables

Orange Chicken and Vegetables

With nut allergies, Chinese restaurants are not somewhere we can go as a family. So when I find recipes that can be made relatively easily at home, I like to try them out. This recipe came from Mommy’s Kitchen, who adapted it from Jamie Cooks. It doesn’t take the long to make, and is really good. The chicken pieces are nice and crisp. There’s quite a bit of sauce, you could reduce the volume a bit if you didn’t like so much sauce.Orange Chicken with Vegetables

Orange Chicken and Vegetables
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Ingredients
For the chicken and vegetables
  • 4 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1in pieces
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 4 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 cups baby carrots, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 2 Bell peppers--try different colors--cut into chunks
  • 4 stalks celery, sliced
  • ½ tsp pepper
For the sauce
  • ¾ cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ tsp chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ tsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbs corn starch
  • 1 cup chicken broth
Instructions
  1. If serving over rice, start the rice.
  2. Combine the chopped chicken with the ¾ cup flour and the ¼ teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl.
  3. Toss to coat the chicken.
  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok.
  5. Cook the chicken in batches, until golden brown (about 10 minutes) and set aside.
  6. Add more oil if needed and then the chopped veggies.
  7. Cook over medium high heat until crisp tender--about 5 minutes.
  8. Make the sauce while the veggies cook.
  9. Whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
  10. Bring to a boil.
  11. The sauce will begin to thicken as it comes to a boil.
  12. Add the sauce and chicken back into the pan with the veggies and stir to mix everything together.
  13. Serve over rice.
 

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Sweet Potato Fries

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches in the dutch oven ready to serve

This recipe came from DinnerALoveStory.com, one of my favorite blogs. Her site posts a stead stream of simple, healthy, yummy meals along with humorous stories about all kinds of things. Sometimes I’m in too much of a rush to read the stories, and head straight to the recipes, but I try to get back and read the stories when I’ve got a few minutes.
This recipe was simple and delicious, and our family devours sweet potato fries, so I added them as a nice side dish.Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Sweet Potato Fries

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Sweet Potato Fries
 
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A simple, fast recipe for pulled chicken sandwiches, served with sweet potato fries
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course
Serves: 4
Ingredients
For the sandwiches:
  • 1 cup barbecue sauce
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 lbs Chicken Breasts, about 4
  • Potato Rolls
For the sweet potato fries
  • ~3 sweet potatoes
  • 2-3 Tbs Olive oil
  • Salt
Instructions
For the sweet potatoes:
  1. Preheat the oven to 450˚
  2. Slice the potatoes into ¼ inch stops
  3. Working in batches, place cut potatoes in a ziplock bag and add some oil
  4. Close the bag, shake to coat the potatoes
  5. Spread potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet, sprinkle with salt
  6. Bake for ~30 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned
For the sandwiches
  1. While the fries are cooking, get a heavy pot
  2. Add the bbq sauce, cider vinegar, onion, garlic, bay leaf to pot and mix
  3. Add the chicken to the pot
  4. Add 1-2 cups of water to cover the chicken
  5. Add the bay leaf
  6. Bring the chicken to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 15-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.
  7. Remove the chicken from the pot and turn up the heat a bit to cook the sauce down some more while you shred the chicken (10 minutes or so)
  8. Shred the chicken with two forks and return to the sauce
  9. Serve on the potato rolls with the sweet potato fries

Chicken Pesto Tart

Chicken Pesto Tart

The main downside of this recipe, adapted from TheKitchn, is that the kids devoured it and there were no leftovers for lunch! I was savoring my second piece, thinking that the kids surely would be happy with one and thinking of the yummy lunch I’d be having the next day, when they both asked for seconds. This is a quick and delicious meal, the puff pastry might not qualify it as supper healthy, but yum!

Chicken Pesto Tart
 
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A delicious, quick chicken pizza on frozen puff pastry
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 1-2 Tbs olive oil
  • ½ cup Fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 3-4 chicken breast (1lb), cooked and diced
  • 1 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 2 Tbs Parmesan , grated
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400˚F.
  2. While the oven is heating, thaw the puff pastry and peel the garlic. Put the garlic on a baking sheet and bake until soften and golden brown, 10-15 minutes.
  3. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Unfold the puff pastry onto the lined sheets and stretch it out a bit. Prick all over with a fork to prevent the pastry from rising too much.
  4. Brush the olive oil onto the pastry, then top with the chopped basil.
  5. Top with the diced chicken and then the mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes--until the cheese is melted and nicely browned.
 

Chicken with artichokes in creamy mustard sauce

Dinner a Love Story is one of my favorite sites for meal ideas. The recipes tend to be good, family friendly and relatively easy to make. The site also features stories of their lives, meals, readings, etc. This particular recipe caught my eye, not only because it looked yummy, but because it started with a note from one of the kids about the pains of being a child of a food blogger and having to wait another fiiiive hours for mom to finish taking photos of dinner before they could eat! As you may have gathered looking around my blog, I generally snap a quick shot or two before digging into a meal…Anyway it was yummy and fairly quick to make. I made a few substitutions based on what was on hand.

Chicken with Artichokes in Creamy Mustard Sauce

Adapted from Dinner A Love StoryChicken with Artichokes in Creamy Mustard Sauce

  • 1 1/3 pounds skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1 can artichokes (drained), cut in half
  • 1 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup cream
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • chopped parsley or thyme

In a large skillet, brown chicken pieces in olive oil over medium-high heat, about 2-3 minutes a side. (They do not have to cook through.) Remove, decrease heat to medium, and add onion. Cook a minute or two, scraping brown bits leftover from chicken. Add tomatoes, artichokes, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cook another 2-3 minutes. Nestle chicken thighs in the vegetables then add wine and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook another 10 – 12 minutes.

While it’s simmering, whisk together cream and mustard. Remove skillet from heat and stir in creamy mustard mixture.

Garnish with parsley or thyme and serve with a good crusty bread to soak up all the sauce.

General Tso’s Chicken

Frying chicken for General Tso's Chicken

The following is adapted from this recipe at Food For My Family. The coating on the chicken fries up nice and crispy. The original recipe didn’t have much in the way of veggies, so I added some red bell pepper and a bag of stir fry veggies (broccoli, snow peas, etc.). The recipe for the makes quite a bit, I keep cutting it down, and think this recipe has about the right amount, especially with a good amount of veggies. Sorry there’s no picture of the final product with all the veggies added in. Serve over rice–brown if you have time.

General Tso's Chicken
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
For the chicken:
  • 1.5 lbs chicken breast cut into 1-1/2″ chunks
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 egg
  • oil for frying
For the sauce:
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ tsp grated ginger
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 3-5 Tbs oil--for frying chicken
Some Veggies
  • 4-6 scallions, chopped
  • 10-15 dried thai or cayenne peppers--I left these out for the kids
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 bag stir fry veggies or whatever sounds good or is on hand
Instructions
For the sauce:
  1. Mix together cornstarch and ¼ cup of water.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, sugar, ¼ cup soy sauce, rice vinegar and the hot water.
  3. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
  4. Refrigerate until needed.
For the Chicken
  1. In a separate bowl, mix together the cornstarch and pepper.
  2. Add the egg and the soy sauce to the cornstarch.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Add in chicken pieces and stir to coat.
  5. In a wok or large skillet, heat oil on medium high and fry chicken in batches for 5-7 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  6. Set chicken aside and cover to keep warm
  7. Pour off excess oil, keeping about 1 Tbs of oil
  8. Add in scallions and sauté for a couple of minutes.
  9. Add in the peppers and other veggies and cook a couple more minutes.
  10. Add in sauce and hot peppers, if using, and cook for 5-10 minutes until sauce begins to thicken.
  11. Add in chicken and cook until sauce thickens and coats the chicken.
  12. Serve over steamed rice.
 

Japanese Inspired Quinoa with Chicken and Green Beans

I came across this recipe looking around on, Chocolate and Zucchini, a site I’ve used before. It sounded good at the time, but when I went to prepare it, it seemed a bit too spartan. I had already planned on adding chicken, but need some veggies. We had some green beans in the fridge, so I threw those in. We also didn’t have shallots, sesame oil, or sake, so I ended up doing a lot of improv on this one. The idea was a nice start though and the meal ended up being really good. This recipe takes only about the 20 minutes or so that it takes to cook the quinoa. It could also be made with tofu for a veggie option.

Japanese Inspired Quinoa with Chicken and Green Beans

Inspired by Chocolate and Zucchine

  • 1 cup Quinoa, cookedJapanese quinoa with chicken and green beans
  • about 1 Tbs fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 lb Chicken breast
  • 1 lb Green beans, ends removed
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 3 Tbs soy sauce
  • 2-3 Tbs rice vinegar
  • 1 tsb brown sugar
  • Sriracha pepper sauce

Cook the quinoa according to the package. Slice the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces. Heat the oil in pan over medium high heat, and saute the chicken until cooked through and starting to brown (~5 min). Add the ginger and cook a couple more minutes. Add the green beans, soy sauce, 2 Tbs rice vinegar and brown sugar. Cook until the green beans are the desired tenderness, adding a little more vinegar if needed to keep things from drying out.

Mix in the cooked quinoa and serve with sriracha pepper sauce.Japanese quinoa with chicken and green beans

 

 

Chicken and mushroom pasta

Rondele cheese was on sale last week, so I was looking for a recipe that included that. This Chicken and mushroom fettucini recipe at Just the Recipe looked like a good start. We added some spinach and used whole grain spaghetti instead of fettucini. This is also a fairly fast meal, taking only about 30 minutes or so to prepare.

Chicken and mushroom pastaChicken and mushroom pasta

  • 1 box of pasta, cooked according to box directions
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
  • 5-8 ounces Borsin or Rondele cheese or other creamy herbed cheese
  • 1 package frozen spinach

While preparing the pasta, cube the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Heat the oil in a skillet an saute the chicken pieces over medium-high heat until cooked through and starting to brown (5-6 minutes). Remove the chicken and add the mushrooms. Turn the heat down a bit and saute the mushrooms until they have released their water and started to brown (about another 5 minutes). While that is cooking, microwave the spinach to defrost. Drain the spinach in a strainer, using a spoon to press out the water.

Add the cheese, chicken, and spinach to the mushrooms and stir to combine. Continue cooking until heated through. Serve over the pasta.