Grilled Chicken and Avocado Street Tacos

I have several taco recipes on rotation, because, let’s face it: tacos. This particular recipe is especially good because it uses chicken thighs. They’re very moist and hold the marinade flavor especially well. It’s definitely been added to our list of usual suspects!

TIP: add a pinch of cayenne to the marinade to give your tacos a little kick!

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Grilled Chicken and Avocado Street Tacos
(Original recipe: Cooking Classy)

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 1/4 tsp ancho chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste

For serving
Corn tortillas
1 large avocado , cored and sliced
Pico de gallo
Cotija cheese

In a gallon size resealable bag, combine lime juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin chili powder, salt and pepper. Marinate chicken in bag for 3-6 hours. Season chicken lightly with salt and grill until chicken has cooked through, turning once halfway through grilling, about 4 – 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes. Dice grilled chicken into cubes. Build tacos with tortillas, fresh avocado, pico de gallo, Cotija, and any other taco fixing you prefer.


Thick and spicy chicken tortilla soup

This soup surprised me. I have an old standby recipe for Southwest Chicken Chili, but my husband asked for something spicier and a little more “like a soup”. I decided to try this unconventional recipe, trusting all the rave reviews. The unfamiliar idea of using corn tortillas as a thickener seemed awkward, but I gave it a shot anyway.

The soup looked unremarkable on the stove, but upon tasting it, my husband claimed it’s the best thing I’ve ever made. Ever. At first, the spice level caught my delicate palate by surprise, but then it grew on me. The depth of flavor is addicting! By the time we’d finished the entire batch, we’d decided this was an Always-Have-On-Hand recipe. I plan to make more very soon; four thumbs way up!

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

Thick and Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup
(Original recipe: Chowhound)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 small carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, but the cream balances the heat)
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup water
1/2 cup tomato puree
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 ripe, fresh avocado, cut into large chunks
Shredded cheese (Monterey Jack or sharp Cheddar recommended)
Sour cream

Saute onion, carrot, celery, and bell pepper in large saucepan over medium heat until softened, about 6 minutes.
Add the garlic, chili powder, coriander, cumin, oregano, paprika, and cayenne and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add broth, water, tomatoes, salt, and pepper; stir to combine, and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to low, add the cut tortillas pieces, and stir to combine. Simmer about 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
Use a handheld mixer to blend until smooth.
Add the heavy cream, cooked chicken, and chives. Simmer until heated through. Add more S+P if needed.
Serve the soup over chunks of fresh avocado and topped with shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

*Especially excellent topped with crushed tortilla chips.

Mexican staples

Around here, pretty much any Mexican recipe includes two staple condiments: guacamole and salsa fresca, also known as pico de gallo. I make these any time I make any other Latin American, Tex Mex, or Spanish meal. Admittedly, these recipes aren’t spicy, but diced jalapeños can be added to give either dish a kick of heat.



3 avocados, seeded, peeled, and mashed
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced

Combine all ingredients and let them marry for at least one hour before serving. To keep avocado from browning, use cling wrap to ensure an airtight seal.



Salsa Fresca/Pico de Gallo

6 roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 white onion, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 lime, juiced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
Optional: 1 diced jalapeño

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Stir to combine. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.