Can you believe it? Christmas is over! I’m doing the I’m-so-glad-it’s-over-dance because, to be honest, Christmas stresses me out. The traffic, the crowds of people everywhere you go, and the insane amount of money that we all end up spending makes me sweat a little. However, for the first time in years, I really relaxed my way through the season and didn’t get too worked up about anything. Perhaps it’s because my son is 16 months now (I can’t even believe it) and he really makes Christmas so much more of a joyful experience. We also managed to host an EPIC Christmas Eve dinner party with family that included a full on French-inspired menu with Julia Child’s cassoulet recipe (a rustic stew/casserole of navy beans and slow-cooked pork and lamb) that took hours and hours of simmering and braising, but was so totally worth it!! I also managed to make the most incredible upside down cast iron roasted chicken that was incredibly easy and amazingly delicious (I will never roast a chicken any other way). Considering that I’ve hosted and attended plenty of parties (and I’ve still got a few more), I have been needing some simple and light dinners to enjoy in between those heavy-hitting and waist-expanding food extravaganzas. Chipotle Orange Chicken Tacos are super easy to make, require only a few inexpensive ingredients and are utterly delicious!!
If you have been reading along in the past few months (I heart you!) you would know that I would put chipotles on my rubber shoe and eat it. Case in point: Chipotle Chicken Nachos and Chipotle Sweet Potatoes. Chipotles in adobo are available in every grocery store, usually in the “ethnic” or latin food aisle. Chipotles are smoky and spicy and they keep really well in the fridge even after opening the can because they are preserved in an adobo sauce. Smoky chipotles balanced with the natural sweetness of orange juice make this a mouth-watering taco dish! All you need for this recipe are chipotles, chicken thighs (my favorite cut of poultry because they stay so tender), and orange juice, along with a few toppings for your tacos. Voila, dinner is ready in under 30 minutes!!
First, brown your chicken thighs in a large dutch oven or deep skillet on both sides. Depending on how many you make and how big your pan is, you may need to brown them in two batches. Next, deglaze the pan with orange juice and add a chipotle (or two if you like it spicy) and a little of the adobo sauce and simmer slightly covered until the chicken is cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.
While your chicken is cooking, grate the cheese, cut some limes for extra flavor, tear some cilantro leaves, and heat your tortillas. BOOM, dinner is done!!!
Make sure to spoon a little extra sauce over the tacos before diving in! A little sour cream wouldn’t hurt either.
Bon Appetit Ya’ll,
Easy Chipotle Orange Chicken Tacos
For the Chicken
- 6-8 chicken thighs
- 1-2 tsp . olive oil
- 1 cup orange juice
- 1 Tbsp chipotle plus 2 . adobo sauce (or two chipotles if you like it spicy)
- salt to taste
For the tacos
- corn or flour tortillas
- shredded monterey jack cheese
- lime wedges
- sour cream
Heat a dutch oven or large deep skillet over medium high heat.
Add the olive oil and chicken thighs and brown on each side. You may need to brown the chicken in two batches, depending on the size of your pan.
Deglaze the pan with the orange juice and scrape the brown bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the chipotle and adobo sauce and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and partially cover and cook the chicken until it's cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, grate the cheese, slice the limes, and tear cilantro leaves.
If using flour tortillas, heat them on each side in a small skillet with a little bit of oil. You can also heat them in the microwave, but they won't crisp up that way.
Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. If the sauce is still runny, simmer it for 1-2 minutes until it's thickened. Otherwise, pour the sauce right over the chicken. Let cool for a few minutes, then shred the chicken and layer your tacos with the toppings. Serve with extra sauce from the chicken and top with sour cream.