Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Baked Buffalo Chicken Tacos

Alright, I know a WHOLE lot of you who still do "Taco Tuesdays."  But it doesn't always have to be the same way, does it?  These baked buffalo chicken tacos kick some tail, y'all!  Big big BIG flavors!  And let's face it - it's something DIFFERENT!

I was driving Lovely Lily to to school one day, and it hit me.  The idea, that is.  I have no idea where it came from.  I blurted it out to her.  And she responded, "What, Mom?  No.  I don't think I want any of that."  Ha.  Well maybe it's not the kind of thing a 4 year old would eat.  But Brady and I sure did enjoy them.  As for Canon and Lily, she designed some plain chicken and cheese roll-up tacos for them later that evening.  They enjoyed them and life rolled along for everyone.

Print this recipe! 

Ingredients:  (about 12 tacos)
  • about 3 cups cooked chicken
  • corn tortillas (extra soft)
  • your favorite brand of buffalo sauce (I like Moore's) 
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • reduced fat blue cheese crumbles
  • very thin slices of purple onion
  • fresh cilantro
  • buttermilk ranch dressing
  • bagged cole slaw mix
  • fresh lime wedges
Step-by-Step:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

First of all, corn tortillas are not nearly as pliable as flour tortillas, so if you tried to bend these guys, they would just split.  So I'm going to start them off by wrapping them in a clean, damp kitchen cloth and steaming them for 30 seconds in the microwave.  I had a stack of 8 tortillas here.

Next, to help them brown up, I sprayed both sides of the tortillas with cooking spray.
We are going to set them directly over wires of the oven racks, spanning two wires for each tortilla. At first, they will stick straight out.  But as they warm up, they will drape down into position, as you can see here in the photo on the right.  Take care to make sure you get them centered or else your shells will be lopsided, like the one smack dab in the middle of my photo!  Haha!
I allowed them to bake about 7 minutes in the 375 degree F oven. At this point, they were still pliable, but held their shape.

Arrange them as you wish in a casserole dish.  See how they stand up on their own?  Nice that they don't fall over, isn't it?
Mix about 1/2 cup of your favorite buffalo wing sauce with about 3 cups of cooked chicken.  I'm totally fine with you using leftover baked chicken, or picking up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery on your way home.  Do whatever works for you.  Want more or less sauce?  You are the boss of the recipe!  Combine well.
Fill the shells with the chicken.   Sprinkle them with shredded cheddar cheese.  Now you can either pop them into the oven now or after adding the blue cheese.  I tried it both ways and they came out the same.  So finish them about 10 - 12 minutes, or until you get the desired amount of brown and crunchy on your tacos in the same 375 degrees F oven.

I need to take this opportunity to talk about texture with you.  There will be some of you who prefer a nice soft flour or corn tortilla.  There are some who prefer a nice crunchy fried tortilla shell.  If you fall into either category, please make yourself happy and purchase one of those.  The filling for your vehicle of choice will be the same; and you can pick up the story with the rest of us at that point.  It certainly won't hurt my feelings if you choose to eat them in a different way than I have presented them.  I made a baked shell to make this into a more figure friendly option.  Please understand the concept of why I presented them as such.   The texture of these is fairly crunchy, but somewhat chewy.  Not crunchy as in "these just came out of the deep fryer."  So I just want you to be aware of that.   But when I consider how much less fat there was, it made me happy.
Now lets add to our "big flavor, not big fat" by adding some reduced fat blue cheese crumbles.  Blue cheese and buffalo chicken is a classic pairing!  So good together!  And then a cool, creamy drizzle of buttermilk ranch (also available in a lower fat version), to balance the spicy tang of the buffalo sauce
Now we will add the bright flavor of fresh cilantro and the big fresh crunch of cole slaw mix.  This was super convenient as well, since it was already prepped in the bag!  Note - it is JUST the mix.  There is no dressing on the cole slaw.  The crunch is so perfect on here, though!
Now a big squeeze of lime juice, and super thin slices of purple onion that I shaved on the mandoline.  All these flavors build and balance each other and were just phenomenal!
WOW!!  We SO enjoyed our buffalo chicken tacos!  Hope you'll give them a try!

I so hope you enjoyed this recipe!
If you'd like to see what else I've been cooking up, hop on over to my Recipe Index.  You are sure to find something to get you and your kids up and going!  You can also visit my new page, Filmstrips for Pinning, where you can see whole recipes at a glance.  I'm still working on adding existing recipes to this collection.

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Here are some bonus recipes for you!
Fire Roasted Corn Guacamole

Secret Ingredient Mac-n-Cheese

Caprese Stuffed Burgers

High Class Shepherd's Pie

Ritzy Cheddar Baked Chicken

Hoisin Beef with Rice Noodles

Written Method:  
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

First of all, corn tortillas are not nearly as pliable as flour tortillas, so if you tried to bend these guys, they would just split.  So I'm going to start them off by wrapping them in a clean, damp kitchen cloth and steaming them for 30 seconds in the microwave.  I had a stack of 8 tortillas here.

Next, to help them brown up, I sprayed both sides of the tortillas with cooking spray.

We are going to set them directly over wires of the oven racks, spanning two wires for each tortilla. At first, they will stick straight out.  But as they warm up, they will drape down into position, as you can see here in the photo on the right.  Take care to make sure you get them centered or else your shells will be lopsided, like the one smack dab in the middle of my photo!  Haha!

I allowed them to bake about 7 minutes in the 375 degree F oven. At this point, they were still pliable, but held their shape.

Arrange them as you wish in a casserole dish.  See how they stand up on their own?  Nice that they don't fall over, isn't it?

Mix about 1/2 cup of your favorite buffalo wing sauce with about 3 cups of cooked chicken.  I'm totally fine with you using leftover baked chicken, or picking up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery on your way home.  Do whatever works for you.  Want more or less sauce?  You are the boss of the recipe!  Combine well.

Fill the shells with the chicken.   Sprinkle them with shredded cheddar cheese.  Now you can either pop them into the oven now or after adding the blue cheese.  I tried it both ways and they came out the same.  So finish them about 10 - 12 minutes, or until you get the desired amount of brown and crunchy on your tacos in the same 375 degrees F oven.

I need to take this opportunity to talk about texture with you.  There will be some of you who prefer a nice soft flour or corn tortilla.  There are some who prefer a nice crunchy fried tortilla shell.  If you fall into either category, please make yourself happy and purchase one of those.  The filling for your vehicle of choice will be the same; and you can pick up the story with the rest of us at that point.  It certainly won't hurt my feelings if you choose to eat them in a different way than I have presented them.  I made a baked shell to make this into a more figure friendly option.  Please understand the concept of why I presented them as such.   The texture of these is fairly crunchy, but somewhat chewy.  Not crunchy as in "these just came out of the deep fryer."  So I just want you to be aware of that.   But when I consider how much less fat there was, it made me happy.

Now lets add to our "big flavor, not big fat" by adding some reduced fat blue cheese crumbles.  Blue cheese and buffalo chicken is a classic pairing!  So good together!  And then a cool, creamy drizzle of buttermilk ranch (also available in a lower fat version), to balance the spicy tang of the buffalo sauce.

Now we will add the bright flavor of fresh cilantro and the big fresh crunch of cole slaw mix.  This was super convenient as well, since it was already prepped in the bag!  Note - it is JUST the mix.  There is no dressing on the cole slaw.  The crunch is so perfect on here, though!

Now a big squeeze of lime juice, and super thin slices of purple onion that I shaved on the mandoline.  All these flavors build and balance each other and were just phenomenal!

WOW!!  We SO enjoyed our buffalo chicken tacos!  Hope you'll give them a try!

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