Tammy's Taco Box
My friend, Amelia, had her fourth baby a couple days ago and was home the next day, driving the carpool the day after that, no doubt. She is one of those super alpha moms that really has her shit together. She requires zero assistance in this endeavor. She's got it like whoa. However, I helped a sister out regardless of her protests.
I saw the Taco Box idea from The Kitchn and instantly loved it. Everybody is bringing lasagna (not that there is a damn thing wrong with that saucy, melty goodness) but I like to get outside the box or in this case inside. Ha! I couldn't pass that one up. I present my version of their genius idea, Tammy's Taco Box. My mom is Tammy and she makes a delicious taco, known far and wide. I had to tweak her original just a smidge for transportability and ease of assembly. My mom fries up a corn shell for her tacos, in canola oil, until it is just shy of hard but holds it's shape, still tender and chewy but not raw. That wasn't doable for this application. The shells tend to get soggy and gross if not enjoyed fresh out of the fry oil. I opted for flour tortillas but the rest remains the same.
I also included a six-er of Corona and a couple limes, because I don't care who you are, after pushing out a baby you deserve an ice cold beer. The inspiration taco box included Guinness, I think it's proported to increase milk supply. Well, Amelia has that department covered and in my opinion nothing goes better with Mexican food than Mexican beer. I'm sure her husband Neil enjoyed the majority of the brew in all reality.
Nothing I included needed to be returned to me. I used a few random mason jars, I had lying around. The cheese, sour cream and shells were left in their original packaging. I tossed in a couple garden tomatoes, freshly picked, shredded romaine lettuce, guac (despite the avocados giving me hell) my husband Jason's salsa and tortilla chips with which to enjoy both. They are a family of six now, I hope there was enough food!
A taco is the sum of it's parts. I make the parts mostly from scratch, ensuring the highest quality taco your mouth ever met.
For the Chicken:
- 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 1 tbsp. ground coriander
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- s & p to taste
- 1.5 cups chunky salsa (store bought or homemade)
For the Frijoles:
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can cannellini beans
- 2 tbsp. cumin
- 1 tbsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- ½ cup chicken broth
Rub chicken breasts on both sides with coriander, cumin s & p and olive oil. Roast on a parchment lined baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for 35-45 minutes depending on thickness, allow to cool before handling. Shred or finely chop the chicken breasts and combine with salsa in a baking dish, return to oven until heated through.
Meanwhile, on the stove top, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a 1.5-quart saucepan over medium heat. Cook first the onions until translucent, then add garlic and the spices to toast for about one minute. Next pour in chicken broth and scrape the bottom of the pan. After another minute or so add both cans of beans and the can juices, bring up to a bubble over high heat and then reduce to simmer, scraping the pot every couple minutes. The mixture will begin to thicken after a minimum of 20 minutes (but could go as long as you want) smash the beans with a potato masher or run an immersion blender through them until they reach desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. If the beans are organic and/or low sodium they will require quite a bit of salt.
Additionally, I use:
- Shredded romaine
- Chopped garden tomatoes
- Sour cream
- Queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese)
- Deep fried corn tortilla is best but warmed flour tortilla is fine in a pinch
Layer the frijoles, chicken, sour cream, lettuce, tomato and queso fresco, top with additional salsa if you wish, enjoy!