Monday, April 29, 2013

Taste & Create: Chicken Acapulco

(sorry guys, this is super late)

For Taste & Create this month, my first in aaages I was paired with Sid of Sid's Sea Palm Cooking. SSPC is a really interesting blog with an eclectic collection of recipes from the Southern USA, Mexico and Denmark... I really enjoyed looking through the Danish recipes and trying to work out what they were for without first clicking the link for a translation. Swedish and Danish are quite similar, and I was fairly successful! :D

Ultimately though, I chose to make a Mexican recipe: Chicken Acapulco with Pico de Gallo!

(thank  you, blogger for re-flipping my images. I am most grateful. Not.)
Mexican recipes are kinda hard to get right in my neck of the woods (suburban NZ) because we simply don't have access to authentic ingredients... But I love almost anything that comes in a tortilla so I chose to give it a whirl! And I'm glad I did!

At it's most basic, this is what I would call a chicken burrito with cheese melted over the chicken while it was still in the pan... but the result is so much more than that!

Cheesy, cheesy goodness!

I had a slight issue in that Sid called for a specific meat marinade but I was able to google the name of the company and check it's listed ingredients... I made my own marinade using the ingredients listed and although the result might not be the same as the packet (I have no way of knowing!) it was still pretty darn good! Kinda sour and salty with a bit of heat from the mustard powder and paprika.

Soy sauce, paprika, mustard, lemon juice, garlic and onion whizzed together with cider vinegar, oil and water; it's a winner!
And that Pico de Gallo! Wow! It was so fresh and fantastic! And perfect accompaniment! Don't do as I did thought, and attempt to whizz it all up in a too small blender - be intrepid and cut your own... I ended up with mush. It didn't detract from the flavour any, but the texture was kinda weird.

Thanks Sid and Min ; this was a lot of fun!

Raw chicken will never be the prettiest; but it turns into some pretty tasty things!

You'll need:

To make McCormick's Mean Marinade Equivalent

1 onion
2 cloves garlic
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp mustard powder
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
salt/lemon pepper to taste
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1/4 cup water

Whizz all together in a blender and season to taste.

Pour Marinade over:

2 chicken breasts, sliced into strips

And allow to marinate for as long as possible...

You'll also need:
2 Tbsp olive oil, for pan frying
1 cup grated cheese

Heat oil in a massive frying pan until super hot! Drain the chicken strips of their marinade and brown first on one side and then stir-fry until evenly browned... Pour in the rest of the marinade liquid and turn heat down to a simmer to reduce.

Once the liquid is all but gone sprinkle the grated cheese over top and turn heat to low until cheese is melted.

At this point the chicken can be served in warmed flour tortillas with fresh Pico de Gallo and any other toppings to taste.


Sid recommends browning the chicken in batches in one pan and keeping it warm in a second... I have access to a paella pan at home so I didn't need to do that - but if your pans are smaller it's a good tip as the chicken will braise in its own liquid rather than browning if it doesn't have enough space... 


  1. Thanks for the kind comments. And I just googled the mix for the marinade and now I realize I could probably make it as well. Nah, easier to just buy it, at least it is here.
    And glad you enjoyed the recipe, personally, I think it's pretty darn good.