Posted by: lornasass | January 14, 2009

SOFT CHICKEN TACOS WITH SMOKED PAPRIKA SOUR CREAM

The Washington Post is running a weekly series of 6 of my quick-cooking whole grain recipes.  Here’s the one that’s running today, from my new book WHOLE GRAINS FOR BUSY PEOPLE.

wgbp-1In this recipe, highly seasoned ground chicken makes a tasty filling for corn tortillas. Spiced sour cream is the base for an irresistible sauce, giving the taco filling just the moisture it needs. One small whole-grain tortilla (about 1 ounce) provides one-third of an adult’s daily whole-grain servings, as recommended by the most recent dietary guidelines for Americans.

422310527_5589e5c8d9_mFood for Life brand corn tortillas are made from sprouted organic whole-kernel corn. Trader Joe’s brand is also good. If you have trouble finding wholegrain corn tortillas,  substitute whole-grain wheat tortillas.  Just make sure that the first ingredient on the label is a type of whole-grain flour; the fiber and protein content should be 5 grams each.  Many multi-grain tortillas out there have no whole grains.

Round out this chicken-stuffed taco meal with a side of spicy black beans or a salad of diced avocado tossed with slivered red onion and a lemon juice-olive oil dressing.

Soft Chicken Tacos with Smoked Paprika Sour Cream

Makes 8 soft tacos (3 to 4 servings)

For the smoked paprika sour cream:

2 to 3 limes

1 cup low-fat sour cream

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

For the tacos:

1 medium onion

1 1/2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons chili powder

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder

1 pound ground chicken (may substitute ground pork or turkey)

1/2 cup water

8 6-inch soft corn tortillas (may substitute whole-grain wheat tortillas)

For the smoked paprika sour cream: Squeeze enough juice from the limes into a medium bowl to yield 1/4 cup. Add the sour cream, paprika and salt, stirring to combine.

For the tacos: Cut the onion into small dice (about 1 cup total). Cut the tomatoes into halves or quarters, as desired.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned; then add the chili powder, oregano, cumin and garlic powder, mixing to coat the onion evenly.

Add the ground chicken, using your fingers to break it up into small pieces as it falls into the skillet. Stir to combine, then add the water and half of the tomatoes, breaking up the chicken further with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium; cover and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Use the spoon to break up any large clumps that might remain.

Add the rest of the tomatoes, stirring to combine; taste and season with salt as needed. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

To assemble: Have a clean kitchen towel ready. Heat a separate dry skillet over medium heat. Working with one at a time, place each tortilla in the skillet and heat for 1 minute, then turn the tortilla over and heat for 1 minute. Wrap it in the towel to keep it warm. (Alternatively, stack the tortillas, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel and heat them in the microwave for 1 minute.) Place a generous 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture on one half of each tortilla. Distribute about 2 tablespoons of the smoked paprika sour cream on top. Fold the tortilla over; serve immediately.


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