Baked Chicken Tacos

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|by Erica

Tacos are a beloved dish worldwide, known for their versatility and delightful flavors. My Oven Baked Chicken Tacos recipe offers a unique twist on this classic, incorporating the convenience of rotisserie chicken with the richness of homemade seasonings and toppings. This guide will take you through each step of the recipe, offering insights and tips to ensure your tacos are not just delicious but also a joy to prepare.

Baked Chicken Tacos

Ingredients Needed for This Recipe

  • 12 regular-sized hard taco shells
  • 1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (or leftover turkey)
  • 2 ½ tablespoons taco seasoning
  • ¾ cup tinned black beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 ¼ cups grated cheddar (125g / 4.4oz)
  • ¾ cup grated mozzarella (75g / 2.7oz)

Chipotle Lime Crema

  • 1 medium lime
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 3-4 teaspoons minced chipotle in adobo, to taste

Other Toppings

  • 1 avocado
  • ¼ cup fresh coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, finely sliced
  • Lime wedges
  • Tomato, lettuce, and/or capsicum (bell pepper), finely chopped

Instructions for Making Baked Chicken Tacos

Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F / 160C fan forced.

Bake the taco shells: Arrange them in a 9×13 inch casserole dish, open side upwards, and bake for 5 minutes.

Prepare the filling: Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, then add garlic and cook for an extra minute. In a bowl, combine chicken and taco seasoning, then add to the pan along with black beans, tomato paste, and water. Cook until heated through and the water has evaporated.

Assemble the tacos: Fill each taco shell with the chicken mixture to about 2/3 full. Mix together the cheeses and distribute evenly among the taco shells.

Bake the tacos: Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cheese is melted and gooey.

Prepare the toppings: Make the chipotle lime crema by zesting and juicing the lime into a small bowl, then adding sour cream and chipotle. Mash the avocado flesh and finely chopped coriander together.

Serve immediately: Serve the tacos with the chipotle lime crema, avocado mix, jalapeno, lime wedges, and vegetables.

Tips for Perfecting Oven Baked Chicken Tacos

Choosing the Right Chicken: Opt for rotisserie chicken for convenience and flavor. If you’re using leftover chicken, make sure it’s not too dry as it forms the base of your taco filling.

Crisping the Taco Shells: Don’t skip baking the taco shells before filling them. This step ensures they hold their shape and don’t become soggy once filled.

Homemade Taco Seasoning: While store-bought seasoning is convenient, making your own allows you to adjust the flavors to your liking. Experiment with different spices to find your perfect blend.

Balancing the Cheese: Use a mix of cheeses for the best flavor and texture. A combination of cheddar for sharpness and mozzarella for gooeyness works well.

Chipotle Lime Crema: Adjust the amount of chipotle in adobo according to your heat preference. Start with a small amount and increase as needed.

Layering the Filling: Be generous but not excessive with the filling to avoid overstuffing the tacos, which can make them difficult to eat.

Baking Time: Keep an eye on the tacos while they bake to ensure the cheese melts perfectly without overcooking the shells.

Fresh Toppings: Prepare your toppings while the tacos bake. Fresh toppings like avocado, lime, and cilantro add a burst of freshness to balance the rich filling.

Serving Immediately: Serve the tacos as soon as they come out of the oven for the best texture and flavor.

Leftovers: If you have leftover filling, it can be stored in the refrigerator and used the next day, either for more tacos or as a topping for salads or rice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use soft taco shells instead of hard shells? A: Yes, you can use soft shells, but the texture and experience will be different. If using soft shells, you may skip the pre-baking step.

Q: How can I make this recipe vegetarian? A: Substitute the chicken with a mix of beans, lentils, or a meat substitute like textured vegetable protein (TVP) or tofu. Adjust the seasoning accordingly.

Q: Can I prepare the tacos ahead of time? A: You can prepare the filling ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Assemble and bake the tacos close to serving time for the best results.

Q: What are some alternative toppings I can use? A: Other toppings can include diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, diced onions, guacamole, salsa, or a sprinkle of fresh lime juice.

Q: How do I store and reheat leftovers? A: Store any leftover filling in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in a skillet or microwave. It’s best to enjoy the taco shells freshly baked, as they lose their crispness upon storing.

Q: Is this recipe suitable for a large crowd? A: Absolutely! This recipe is easy to scale up and is a crowd-pleaser, making it perfect for parties or large family gatherings.

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    Hi there! I’m Erica,

    A highly passionate individual with a deep love for creating delicious and creative recipes that are perfect for any occasion. With an extensive background in the culinary arts and a strong flair for experimentation, I strive to push the boundaries of traditional cooking and deliver exceptional dishes that not only satisfy the palate but also ignite a sense of culinary adventure.

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