Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Blue-Be-Q Chicken Tacos

At this month's Alive After Five in Downtown Sanford, my friend Tommy is having the opening of his art show at Art Affair Gallery. I am making the food. We are having two things: Bleu-Be-Q Chicken Tacos and My Sangria's got the Blues. This article is about how I made the Blue-Be-Q Chicken Tacos.

Blue-Be-Q Chicken Tacos are my own invention, though based on various recipes and ideas I found on the Internet. But I have upped the ante and improved on the concept. And, lucky for you, I'm willing to share my secrets.

Blue-Be-Q Chicken Tacos consist of four distinct element, ranging in complexity from extremely simple to quite complex:
  1. a Tortilla (quite simple)
  2. Barbecued Chicken (very complex)
  3. Blue Cheese Coleslas (complex)
  4. Shredded Sharp Cheddar cheese (simple, unless you make your own cheese!)
1) For the tortilla, I wanted to make this an appetizer, a bite or two only. So I took a large flour tortilla and I used a 2-1/2 inch round cookie/biscuit cutter to cute seven rounds out of an approximately 10" tortilla. Quite simple with a bit of muscle

2) This is the complicated part. Smoke some chicken thighs, bone-in, skin on. The need to be smoked low and slow (250 degrees) for about 5 or so hours, until the meat is falling off the bone tender. You can, however, cheat. Put the bone-in, skin-on thighs on a half sheet pan, cover with strips of hickory smoked bacon, and cook in a 350-degree oven for 3-4 hours. Be careful so the grease and drippings don't overflow.

Once the chicken is cool, pick off the bacon and reserve, pick off the skin, and pull the chicken off the bones, discarding any gristle. Save all the meat.

Fry up some diced onions in a bit of fat or butter until soft, then add the chicken meat. Now's the time for the spices. Add the following (amounts are for about 5#--before cooking) of smoked chicken thighs:
  • Cumin - 2 Tablespoons
  • Chili powder -- 2 Tablespoons
  • Smoked Paprika -- 1-2 Tablespoons
  • Cayenne -- 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon
  • Cider Vinegar -- 1/2 cup
  • Vodka -- 1/4 cup
  • Tomato sauce -- 8 oz.
  • Ketchup -- 12 oz.
Meanwhile, chop the bacon up fine, and add this to the mixture as well. If you cheated using the bacon, you can also add about 1/4 teaspoon of liquid hickory smoke. 

Allow this to simmer on low heat for severa hours up to 8 hours, stirring occasionallyl

3) The coleslaw is easy if you buy a bag of mixed green cabbage, red cabbage, and carrots at Publix. Or buy those things and shred them yourself. For a 1 pound bag, make the dressing:
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Cider Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons grainly mustard (I recommend Silver Springs Beer & Brat Mustard if you can find it--its' the best)
  • About 1/4 of a fresh pineapple (cored and skinned of course), finely diced
  • 4-5 oz of crumbled blue cheese. Save your money here, you don't need the Maytag brand. Any good Wisconsin crumbled blue cheese (yes, even in a plastic container) will suffice.
Mix all the ingredients together. This is best done the night before to allow the flavors to blend

4) Buy a bag of shredded sharp cheddar, or shred your own. the cheese is optional.

To assemble:
  1. 1 Tortilla round
  2. Place about a Tablespoon of Chicken Taco mix on it (about an ounce)
  3. Place a half tablespoon of Blue Cheese coleslaw on that.
  4. Garnish with just a bit of cheese.
  5. Fold up like a taco and serve.
  6. Stand back and accept the praise--these are darned good.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe. It really is very easy to make. My best advice is to taste as you go along. Salt and pepper can be added if desired, but be careful, most chicken is already brined so you should have plenty of salt already.

That's all there is to it. Let me know what you think!


Post a Comment