Yucatan chicken puffy tacos with peanut-red chilli BBQ sauce and red cabbage coleslaw

  • Preparation Time110 mins
  • Cooking Time15 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyMedium

For the Yucatan chicken

120ml freshly squeezed orange juice
60ml freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tbsps ancho chilli powder
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
6 chicken thighs
2 tbsps rapeseed oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the mesa BBQ sauce

2 tbsps rapeseed oil
1 large Spanish onion, coarsely chopped
5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
720ml tinned plum tomatoes and juices, pureed
240ml water
60ml tomato ketchup
60ml red wine vinegar
60ml Worcestershire sauce
3 tbsps Dijon mustard
3 tbsps dark brown sugar
2 tbsps honey
60ml treacle
3 tbsps ancho chilli powder
3 tbsps pasilla chilli powder
2 tbsps chipotle chillies in adobo, pureed
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the peanut-red chilli BBQ sauce

1 tbsp rapeseed oil
10-cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely chopped
360ml mesa BBQ sauce
480ml homemade chicken stock or low-sodium tinned chicken stock
2 tbsps soy sauce
1/4 cup peanut butter
Salt and pepper

For the red cabbage coleslaw

1/2 head red cabbage, finely shredded
1 small red onion, halved, thinly sliced
60ml rice wine vinegar
120ml freshly squeeze orange juice
4 tbsps rapeseed oil
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsps finely chopped fresh mint leaves

For the peanut-coriander relish

1/2 finely chopped roasted peanuts
1 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsps finely chopped coriander leaves
Salt and pepper

For the puffy tacos

3 cups corn masa mix
1 1/2 tsps salt
520ml warm water
Vegetable oil, for frying
Shredded chicken, guacamole, beans and cheese or your favourite filling
1) Whisk together the orange and lime juices, chilli and garlic in a shallow baking dish, add the chicken thighs, turn to coat and marinate for 1 to 4 hours in the refrigerator.

2) Preheat the griddle to high or heat the griddle pan over high heat. Remove the thighs from the marinade and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Griddle for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until just cooked through. Brush with some of the peanut sauce during the last few minutes of cooking.

Place the tacos, chicken, peanut-red chilli sauce, red cabbage coleslaw and relish in bowls and on serving platters and serve.

Mesa BBQ sauce:

1) Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy-bottomed medium saucepan. Add the onions and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and simmer for an additional 30 to 40 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally.

2) Transfer the mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool at room temperature. The sauce will keep for one week in the refrigerator, stored in a tightly sealed container.

Peanut-red chilli sauce:

1) Heat the oil in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the ginger and cook until soft. Increase the heat to high, add the BBQ sauce and chicken stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half.

2) Whisk in the soy sauce and peanut butter and cook for 5 to 7 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.

Red cabbage coleslaw:

Place the cabbage and onion in a large bowl. Whisk together the vinegar, orange juice, oil and honey and pour the dressing over the cabbage. Add the coriander and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with mint. Let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving.

Peanut-coriander relish:

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl just before serving.

Puffy tacos:

1) Combine the masa mix, salt and warm water in a large bowl and mix until a smooth dough forms. Pull off pieces of the dough and roll them into balls about the size of a ping pong ball.

2) Cut a litre-size resealable plastic bag open down both sides, to form a rectangle. Use the bag to line the tortilla press as you shape the tortillas so they do not stick. Lay one side of the plastic over the bottom of the press. Place a ball of dough in the centre and fold the other side of the plastic over the dough. Shut the top of the tortilla and press firmly down on the dough to shape the tortilla.

3) Meanwhile, pour 10cm of vegetable oil into a large deep pot and heat to 180C.

4) Drop a tortilla into the hot oil and, using a metal spatula, repeatedly douse the tortilla with the hot oil until it begins to puff up. Flip it over and, using the spatula, make an indentation in the centre of the tortilla to form a taco shape. Transfer to paper towels to drain.

Fill each taco with 2 tablespoons of shredded chicken, guacamole, beans and cheese or your favorite filling.

Yield: 12 to 15 taco shells

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