Remix: Moroccan Chicken Tacos with Fennel & Carrot SlawWednesday, April 18, 2012
Two of my latest obsessions are Taco Tuesdays and Moroccan cuisine. Both lend themselves to creativity and bold flavors so in my world it's a happy marriage. Once again I was able to utilize leftovers to create a brand new meal, this time using Harissa-Orange Roasted Chicken as the main ingredient. Any cooked chicken that can be easily pulled or shredded will do though, so this is great for leftover baked chicken breasts or rotisserie chicken. Fennel is a vegetable I've only recently begun to use in my dishes. It has a slight licorice flavor, which made me nervous to use it the first time, but I've since become amazed to learn how well it compliments Moroccan spices. The sweetness and crunch of the fennel bulb made it the star of this slaw, and the bright green fronds of the fennel were a perfect finishing touch. I encourage you to give it a try, but if you aren't able to find fennel, cabbage would be a good substitute. This is one of those recipes that you don't have to worry about exact measurements and the seasonings are easy to adjust to your liking.
2 cups Harissa-Orange Roasted Chicken, skin removed and shredded
Moroccan Harissa (any red chile paste can be substituted, or try making your own)
Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Handful of fresh cilantro and mint leaves
1 fennel bulb + fronds
1 large carrot
1 small red onion
1/2 c. plain Greek Yogurt, drained
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 tsp honey
8 small corn tortillas
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Equipment Needed: Small frying pan or griddle, medium to large frying pan, blender or food processor (optional)
Start by making the slaw as it's better to let that sit for a few minutes before serving. The sauce will be slightly runny; but if you prefer a creamier sauce you can add more yogurt or decrease the orange juice. Remove any stems from the cilantro and mint and add to a blender or food processor, along with the yogurt, lemon juice, orange juice and honey. Blend well and add salt and pepper to taste. If you are doing this manually, you will want to finely chop the herbs ahead of time and whisk ingredients until well blended.
Wash, peel, and shred the carrot. Wash your fennel and cut the stalks off, leaving the white bulb. Save the fronds (the green ends which look almost like dill.) Shred the fennel bulb. Thinly slice the red onion.
In a small bowl, mix together the shredded fennel and carrot. Leave the red onions to the side for now. I've found that adding the onions at the end works better so as not to turn the slaw purple. Add the yogurt sauce to the slaw, mix to coat well and allow to rest in the refrigerator until you're ready to plate your tacos.
Heat the larger frying pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil. I used a turmeric infused olive oil for additional flavor, so feel free to use what you have on hand. Gently warm the chicken, adding a good teaspoon or so of smoked paprika and cumin, and a pinch of cinnamon. Not important to measure here, so season liberally.
Mix to incorporate the seasoning evenly and add Harissa paste. The amount needs to be relevant to how mild or spicy you want your chicken to be, since Harissa varies widely in temperature. I only needed to add a spoonful.
Mix again to incorporate the Harissa paste, turn off the heat and squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime over the chicken. The lime juice will also help to deglaze the pan which picks up any crispy bits of chicken and seasoning stuck to the pan. At the same time, begin warming your tortillas in a small ungreased frying pan or griddle on medium low heat. I recommend trying La Tortilla Factory's hand made style corn tortillas for all your taco needs. Thank me later.