Here’s a recipe to fall in love with – Chicken Tacos with Cherry Chipotle Salsa.
In this case, the Salsa steals the show. The Cherry Chipotle Salsa is deep, earthy, & smokey with just a bit of a bite. The caramelized onions add depth and those the cherries (I used the big, sweet ones, but any cherry will be good) add a touch of sweetness to play off the Chipotle.
Since the Salsa is really the star, and takes a bit of time, I kept the Chicken Taco Filling simple and straight forward. There’s a lot of room to play with flavors of the chicken.
I tossed cooked, shredded chicken (any leftover or rotisserie) with my home-made taco seasoning but a store-bought packet will work, too. If you wan to get fancier, try my shredded Chicken Tinga (which I think should always be in your freezer – yeah, it’s that good and make ahead) or my Instant Pot Chicken Tinga.
As long as you’ve gotten a good price on the key ingredients (like buying the chicken & cherries on sale) you’ll probably find that the biggest potential for savings is how you serve these and what you bring to the table. A taco or tostada and a few sides will help stretch the meal whereas a big ol’ burrito will need a lot more filling. We had a bit leftover – it made wonderful quesadillas. The salsa will freeze well if there’s any left.
Chicken Tacos with Cherry Chipotle Salsa
Note: this recipe uses precooked chicken. If you don’t have any, poach boneless chicken breasts (about a pound to a pound and a 1/4) in barely simmering water for about 10 minutes, until done, remove and shred when cool enough to handle.
Cherry Chipotle Salsa
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, cut in half, pole to pole, then into thin slices, pole to pole
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 cups cherries, pitted (if large, roughly chop)
- 1 chipotle chili in adobo from a can of Chipotles in Adobo, or to taste, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste (heavy on the pepper)
In a heavy saucepan, heat olive oil to medium high heat. Add onions and cover for several minutes, opening to stir, until onions have softened. Sprinkle with sugar and continue to cook, without the lid, stirring now and then and more often towards the end, until onions are soft, caramelized and towards the dark side of golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes total.
Add pitted cherries, the chipotle pepper, garlic and balsamic and cook until cherries have softened and when a spoon is run along the bottom of the pan, the mixture doesn’t fill in the trail, another five minutes or so, stirring often.
Taste and season with salt and pepper. Set aside. Mixture may thicken upon cooling and if it becomes too thick may be thinned with a bit of water.
Serve warm or cold.
Chicken & Garnishes:
- 2 1/2 to 3 cups shredded, cooked chicken
- 1 tablespoon (or to taste) of taco seasoning, preferably Smokin’ Chipotle Taco Seasoning or this milder family friendly Taco Seasoning, or your favorite home-made or store bought.
- 1/4 cup water
- Garnishes may vary but might include Sour Cream or Crema, cheese of you choice, cilantro and/or lime.
Add chicken, taco seasoning and 1/4 cup water to pan. Cover and heat over medium-low heat until warmed through, stirring once or twice. Remove lid and continue to cook until the mixture is dry (doesn’t fill in) when a spoon is run across the bottom.
Lid and keep warm for serving.
Be sure to join us at Fiesta Friday, an ongoing weekly link party (where bloggers post their best creations each week. This week, the co-hosts are Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Nimmi @ Adorable Life.