Chicken Taco Salad
Flavorful chicken thighs are oven-poached in an ancho chili powder-seasoned mixture of citrus juices before being pulled and shredded for topping on this hearty taco salad.
- Total Time:
- Servings: 4
Photography: Mike Krautter
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 1 1/8 teaspoons ancho chili powder
- Coarse salt
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 to 3 large limes)
- 7 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 4 ears corn, shucked
- 1/4 cup minced red onion
- 1/2 cup drained pickled jalapenos, plus 3 tablespoons pickling liquid
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 hearts of romaine, shredded (10 cups)
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, plus more leaves for garnish
- 2 cups tortilla chips
- 2 large ripe tomatoes (10 ounces), cut into small pieces (about 2 cups)
- 2 small avocados, peeled, seeded and cut into small pieces
- 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange chicken in a single layer in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Season chicken with 1 teaspoon ancho chili powder and salt. Stir together orange juice, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon oil, and half of the garlic; pour over chicken. Bake, basting occasionally, until chicken is cooked, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, 10 minutes; shred with two forks.
Meanwhile, char corn over flame of a gas stove, turning with tongs, until blackened and blistering, about 3 minutes per cob. Transfer to a plate until cool enough to handle. Remove kernels: Working 1 ear at a time, stand corn in a wide shallow bowl; with a sharp knife, slice downward to remove kernels. Season with salt.
Soak onion in remaining 3 tablespoons lime juice and pickling liquid, about 5 minutes. Whisk in 1/3 cup oil and remaining 1/8 teaspoon ancho chili powder. Season with salt. Set aside dressing.
In a medium skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil over medium. Add remaining garlic, cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add beans; toss to coat and heat through, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in 2 tablespoons lime dressing.
In a mixing bowl, toss lettuce and chopped cilantro with 6 tablespoons dressing. Season with salt. Divide lettuce among 4 bowls. Line half of each bowl with 1/2 cup tortilla chips. Divide chicken, corn, beans, tomato, avocado, and cheese among 4 bowls. Top with cilantro leaves and pickled jalapenos. Drizzle with additional dressing, if desired. Serve immediately.