Crispy Chicken and Chorizo Tacos and Chile-Spiked Sorbet

By JeanMarie Brownson | May 1st, 2024

Perfect pairings for a taste of Mexico


Crispy Chicken Tacos: The doubled tortilla stack easily holds spoonfuls of the chorizo and chicken filling.

Tortillas can be filled with your favorite delicious ingredients, from meat to veggies, for a fun, hearty taco meal. Chef and cookbook author JeanMarie Brownson presents a recipe for Crispy Chicken and Chorizo Tacos, along with tips on creating the perfect Mexican-inspired meal – including Chile-Spiked Sorbet for dessert.


A certain young family member requests tacos for most meals. The cooks in her life happily oblige with everything from ground beef tacos to butternut and black bean versions. When spicy is requested, we suggest pork chorizo with a red chile sauce.

In Mexico, fresh chorizo sausage often gets paired with cheese — a rich coupling worth every calorie. For this Cinco de Mayo family celebration, the cheese will get tucked between two corn tortillas and melted on a griddle — a trick we learned from our favorite taco stand in Mexico City. This doubled tortilla stack easily holds spoonfuls of the chorizo and chicken filling.

Chicken thighs, diced for quick cooking, readily absorb the rich chorizo flavors; a chile-spike tomato sauce binds it all together.

Once the chicken and chorizo mixture is ready, gather all your accompaniments into small serving bowls. Have the filling, tortillas and shredded cheese near the cooking surface. Crisping the tortillas and filling them goes quickly, so resist the temptation to cook more than you can manage. Or, enlist a helper so you can serve the filled tacos as soon as they are ready.

Start the Cinco de Mayo party with chips and salsa. Or, perhaps a creamy corn chowder garnished with roasted green chile. Serve the rich tacos with fresh sides, such as sliced Mexican papaya with cucumber, lime juice and chili powder. A tossed green salad with a fresh lime vinaigrette would be welcome. Icy fruit sorbet sprinkled with chile seasoning and fresh lime ends the meal with a welcome thrill.

Crispy Chicken and Chorizo Tacos with Avocado

Makes 12 double-stacked tacos

Crispy chicken and chorizo tacos
The doubled tortilla stack easily holds spoonfuls of the chorizo and chicken filling.

Ingredients:

  • Vegetable oil for high-heat cooking, such as expeller pressed canola, safflower or sunflower oil
  • 1 medium-sized red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups plain tomato sauce or tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, about 1 1/2 pounds
  • 6 ounces uncooked Mexican-style pork chorizo (1/2 of a 12-ounce package)

For assembly and serving:

  • 24 fresh corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or queso Chihuahua
  • 1/4 cup very finely chopped red onion, well rinsed
  • 1/3 chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco or goat cheese
  • 1 or 2 small ripe avocados, halved, pitted, flesh diced
  • Sliced pickled jalapenos, optional
  • 2 or 3 limes, cut into wedges

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Add 1/2 of the red onion; cook and stir until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomato sauce, broth, chili powder, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the oregano. Simmer, stirring often, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, cut chicken thighs into 1/2-inch pieces. Put chorizo and remaining chopped red onion into a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook, chopping chorizo into small pieces, about 10 minutes. Stir in chicken. Cook and stir until chicken is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Stir 1 cup of the sauce into the skillet. Simmer over low heat, about 5 minutes. (Mixture can be made up to 2 days in advance; reheat before using.)
  3. For assembly and serving, have tortillas and shredded cheese near the cooking surface. Reheat the chicken mixture if necessary. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Set a baking sheet in the oven.
  4. Mix rinsed onion and cilantro in a small serving bowl. Put crumbled cheese, diced avocado, jalapenos and limes into small serving bowls. Reheat remaining tomato sauce in a small bowl.
  5. Heat a large griddle or nonstick skillet over medium heat until a drop of water sizzles on contact. Add a thin film of oil. Add 1 corn tortilla and warm it briefly. Flip the tortilla and top with 1 or 2 tablespoons cheese. Top with a second tortilla and flip the stack. Pile 2 to 3 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on one half of the tortilla stack. Gently fold tortilla stack in half to cover the filling. When crisp on the golden side, flip to crisp the other side; total cooking time is 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the baking sheet in the oven.
  6. Repeat to make 12 filled and folded tacos. Serve the hot tacos garnishes with chopped onion mixture and avocado. Pass remaining ingredients and sauce to embellish tacos as desired.

Chile-Spiked Sorbet

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint mango sorbet
  • 1 pint pineapple, raspberry or blood orange sorbet
  • 2 small mangoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
  • 1/2 cup candied pecans or crushed nut brittle
  • Tajin seasoning or chili powder
  • Fresh lime wedges

Directions:

Portion out small scoops of each sorbet into 6 serving glasses. Sprinkle with diced mango, candied nuts and Tajin seasoning. Squeeze a bit of lime over the top. Serve right away.

JeanMarie Brownson is a James Beard Award-winning author and the recipient of the IACP Cookbook Award for her latest cookbook, “Dinner at Home.” JeanMarie, a chef and authority on home cooking, Mexican cooking and specialty food, is one of the founding partners of Frontera Foods. She co-authored three cookbooks with chef Rick Bayless, including “Mexico: One Plate at a Time.” JeanMarie has enjoyed developing recipes and writing about food, travel, and dining for more than four decades.

©2024 JeanMarie Brownson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

For an irresistible vegetarian taco, try Chipotle Mushroom and Cauliflower Tacos
Or go catfishing, with Spiced Catfish Tacos with Pickled Shallots and Chipotle Crema

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