OK, so the whole taco is not microwaved. I kind of cheated here. The CHICKEN is cooked in the microwave, but that’s it. YES, you can cook chicken in the microwave (any meat, really). If you aren’t concerned with your chicken being crisp or brown, microwave. It goes from raw to cooked in under 5 minutes. It is tender and moist. Good for chicken salad, shredding chicken (in sauce), or any other time you will be tossing it with other ingredients for flavor. I ALWAYS microwave chicken when I make myself a quick quesadilla on weeknights.
I took a big risk this morning because I constructed this recipe entirely in my head, printed it on 25 sheets, and presented it to my class as a tried and true recipe. I almost NEVER do this, but I thought it was basic enough that we couldn’t really go wrong.
I was right! These were delish. There was only one leftover (which means a recipe was a good one, as everyone was willing to try). I really count on the reviews. As certain kitchens are finishing up they are asking the one or two people sitting at the tables eating, “Are they good??”. If they got a nod in response, they are willing to try as well. Kids are so weird.
1 lg. chicken breast (approximately 6 oz.)
¼ c. enchilada sauce
½ of a ripe avocado
3 tbsp. sour cream
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1 green onion (or scallion, as you might know them), finely chopped
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1/2 c. shredded iceberg lettuce
1/3 c. diced tomato
1/4 c. roughly chopped cilantro (optional)
4 flour tortillas
1. Place chicken breast on dinner plate. Place in microwave and microwave (at normal high power) for 2 minutes.
2. Take chicken out, cut in half, and face the insides out. Microwave for another minute.
3. Let chicken have “standing time” in microwave for another minute.
4. Take chicken out and make sure it is cooked (white) throughout. If there is remaining pink, microwave in 30 second increments.
5. When fully cooked, shred chicken (shred by holding chicken with a fork while pulling against edges with a second fork.
6. When fully shredded, squeeze dry with hands. Place dry chicken in bowl with enchilada sauce and Tabasco and mix until combined.
7. Meanwhile, in a small bowl mash avocado with fork. Mix in sour cream until smooth. Stir in green onion, garlic, salt and pepper and mix well. Taste, add more salt if necessary. A word on the avocado cream. It rocked my socks off. I overheard a comment from the peanut gallery, “I just want to eat the green stuff in a big bowl with a spoon, and I hate avocado”. That’s as good as you can get with a high school aged reviewer.
8. Toast tortillas on both sides over gas burners set to medium heat. Watch carefully as to not burn. YES, put them right on the gas burner. Toasted tortilla is an ENTIRELY different thing than a plain tortilla. Whole different animal. They are toasty and delicious. The flavor actually changes! I flip them with my hands by grabbing the edges. The kids did this too.. no one got burnt! If you wanted to use tongs you could. Or you could be renegades like us. Just saying.
9. Lay out toasted tortillas. Spread avocado cream in a line down the center of each and top with chicken.
10. Top chicken with tomato and lettuce (and cilantro if using). Roll up and serve.
Messy but delicious. Enjoy!
PS. I left out cilantro with my students because I have found that MANY high school students are averse to it. I adore cilantro and would DEFINITELY have sprinkled some roughly chopped cilantro on top with the lettuce and tomato. A welcome addition.
By the way, did you know that we are biologically predetermined to like or hate cilantro. My mom abhors it, so I must have gotten the cilantro gene from my Dad. Interesting.
AVOCADOS- all you need to know
Avocados are pretty expensive around here, and this “cream” is a good way to stretch one.
Avocados should be bought when they are very hard, skin smooth and free of any weird looking spots. They will need about 3 or 4 days to soften up. This can be SLIGHTLY sped up by placing the avocado in a paper lunch bag with a banana. The gasses emitted encourage the ripening process.
If you find yourself with ripe avocado but you are still a few days away from the guacomole making day, then put them in your produce drawer in your fridge. They will stop ripening and be just fine for a few days!
Once an avocado is opened and either chopped or mashed, it won’t keep long. It will turn brown. Best way I have found to avoid the browning is to brush or sprinkle it with lemon or lime juice and then wrap with plastic wrap so that the wrap is directly against the avocado. Also, if you find your prepared guacamole turns brown, you can always scrape away the brown to reveal the green goodness underneath. The flavor won’t be affected. I love avocados. True, unadulterated affection and adoration.