Ancho Chile Pulled Chicken Tacos in Homemade Corn Tortillas + a Spicy Michelada

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Tacos! A meal that we never fail to have once a week, usually with whatever meat is leftover from something that Robert repurposes with mexican spices. 

The ancho chile pulled chicken is incredibly flavorful, and doesn't need much in the way of toppings. The crumbled bacon adds just enough saltiness, and the radishes give it some necessary crunch and peppery flavor. It's not the most typical thing to have lying around, but if you have a tortilla press that needs to be put to work, make these homemade corn tortillas. We found ours at Kitchen Kapers for $20, not a bad investment if you think you'll use it. Making the corn tortillas is more time consuming than labor intensive, and makes you feel just a bit more accomplished once you put those tacos together. Now, I can't say we'll have the motivation to make them from scratch for every taco night going forward, but once in a while I think it's time well spent. 

Now, about that mason jar full of spicy goodness...micheladas aren't my thing, but Robert loves them. He made his own combination for the spice blend, and it was just that... really spicy. If you're into drinks with a kick, this ones for you. 

Ancho Chile Pulled Chicken Tacos

12 oz pulled chicken (recipe to follow)
1/2 cup chicken braising liquid
Homemade Corn Tortillas (recipe to follow)
6 oz bacon
1/2 avocado, sliced
4 radishes, sliced thin
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
1 tbs ancho chile powder

In a large skillet on low heat, cook bacon until fat is rendered and slices are crispy, flipping continuously. When bacon reaches desired doneness, remove from skillet and set aside on paper towels. Clean remaining bacon fat from skillet, reserving 1 tbs. Once cooled, crumble the bacon for topping.

Return skillet to medium heat and add reserved bacon fat. Add shredded chicken and ancho chile powder. Cook until chicken is crisped, about 5 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. Deglaze pan with braising liquid, reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is reduced by 1/2. Return chicken to skillet and toss to coat. Set aside. 

To serve, top a tortilla with shredded chicken, bacon, avocado, radish and cilantro.

Ancho Chile Pulled Chicken 

1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 qt chicken stock
1 onion, diced
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs ancho chili powder
1/2 tbs cumin
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375°. Trim excess fat from chicken thighs and season generously with salt and pepper. In a dutch oven over medium-high heat, warm olive oil until shimmering. Add thighs, working in batches to not crowd the dutch oven and sear meat on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. 

Remove chicken and set aside. Add onions, cumin and salt and pepper. Cook until onions are translucent, about 3 minutes. Deglaze dutch oven with chicken stock, making sure to scrape up and browned bits. Season liquid with chili powder and return thighs to dutch oven. 

Transfer to oven and braise until thighs are tender and pull apart easily, about 35 minutes. When cooked, remove thighs to cool and reserve 1/2 cup braising liquid.

Homemade Corn Tortillas
required tools: tortilla press

1 3/4 cup masa harina
1 cup + 2 tbs hot water

Combine masa harina and water in a bowl, kneading until thoroughly combined. Cover and let rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a griddle or large skillet over high heat. Uncover dough and gently squeeze - it should have the consistency of soft cookie dough. If it is too hard, add water by 1 tbs at a time, if it is too soft, add masa harina by 1 tbs at a time until desired consistency is reached. 

Divide dough into 16 equal portions and roll into balls. Lightly flour balls of dough and press between two sheets of wax paper on a tortilla press until thin. 

Cook the tortilla until brown spots appear on the bottom, about 45 seconds. Flip and cook other side for an additional 15-30 seconds. Remove and keep wrapped in a towel to keep warm. 

Spicy Michelada 
makes 1 drink

12 oz Mexican beer (Sol, Pacifico, Modela Especial)
4 oz Clamato or tomato juice
1 lime, juiced 
2 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 
2 tsp Maggi seasoning
salt and chili powder, for garnish
1 lime wedge, for garnish

ix salt and chili powder on a small plate. Rub rim of the pint glass with lime wedge and dip in salt mixture. Add clamato, lime juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and Maggi seasoning. Stir to combine and fill glass with ice. Top with beer and serve with remaining beer on the side.