I’m sure the quotations around taco raised some eyebrows. They’re there because in no way is this a traditional or even Tex-Mex taco. I grew up and live in the Midwest, I cook a lot of Midwest food, these are Midwest tacos. What is great about this recipe is how simple the base is; you can add whatever you want to make it special for you. So let’s get cooking!
You Will Need:
Oven preheated to 350
Large cast iron pan
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast
Shredded Colby Jack cheese
2 packets low sodium “taco seasoning” (I like to use the spicy kind)
Salt and pepper to taste
Black beans, drained and rinsed*
To start, season your chicken with salt and pepper really well on both sides. Circle your cast iron once or so with extra virgin olive oil, get your heat to medium-high, and cook your chicken until it’s nice and brown on each side. Remove it, and let it cool until you can handle it with your hands without burning yourself. While your chicken is cooling, prepare any veggies you may be adding, turn your heat down to low, and toss those in the pan to soak up some flavor from any charred chicken bits there may be. Sprinkle the seasoning packets over the veggies and add as much water as the packets say, stirring it all together so it coats the veggies and makes a sauce. Let that sauce thicken up a little bit, shred the chicken, and add it to the pan. Mix everything together so the veggies and sauce are evenly distributed among the shredded chicken. To this, add a liberal dollop or two and mix it in to make it creamy and tangy, and then add whatever seasonings you like…Alex and I like the spicy and smokiness of Cayenne and Smoked Paprika, but use whatever tastes best to you.
Here’s where you have some options…You can remove half the “filling” and make a two layer bake, or you can just leave it as one layer. If you chose to make it two layers, sprinkle cheese over the filling, lay down the tortillas, more cheese, filling, cheese, tortillas, cheese sprinkled on top, and then bake. If you do just one layer, you just sprinkle some cheese, layer your tortillas, sprinkle more cheese on top, and then bake. Making two layers would require a separate little bowl, meaning more dishes, but it really does make for a pretty dish.
When you’ve constructed the bake to your liking, let it bake in the oven at 350. You just want to let it go long enough so the filling gets all bubbly and the tortillas on top just start to crisp up. It should only take 10-15 minutes.
I hope you make this dish for your loved ones. It’s absolutely delicious and great any time of year. Thanks for reading!