After spending almost the entire afternoon managing the traffic to and from the grocery and bakers’ supplies store, and my house, and still managing to sneak in a very late lunch, I got a text message that I would have some unexpected guests yesterday. These people are friends and family but their every visit to my house almost always results in some very good business ideas and opportunities. The bar is almost fully stocked; so are the fridge and pantry. But I had only an hour or two to come up with a dinner and after dinner menu. So it had to be something fast and easy to prepare, eye pleasing and, naturally, delicious — delicious enough to be talked about and recommended.
We had just bought soft flour tortillas, I had several chicken thighs thawing in the fridge, there was lettuce, tomatoes, herbs and spices. I seasoned the chicken with salt, pepper, cayenne, chopped tarragon and cilantro. I would broil them then shred them and make a chicken and vegetable salad that I would serve warm with soft flour tortillas on the side.
The intention? Serve a fabulous salad that, together with the tortillas, was filling enough to be a main dish. And there would be an array of cocktail drinks before and after the meal.
How to serve the dish? Let everyone make his own taco. Casual, fun and easy.
- 6 large chicken thighs seasoned with 1 tbsp. of rock salt, 1 tsp. of freshly ground pepper, 1 tsp. of cayenne powder, 1tsp. of dried tarragon and 1 tsp. of chopped fresh cilantro
- a large bunch of romaine lettuce
- 4 to 6 tomatoes
- a small handful of fresh cilantro, torn
- ¼ c. of sour cream
- juice of one lime or lemon
- more salt and pepper
- shaved cheese
- 4 to 8 (depending on their size) warmed flour tortillas
- Broil the chicken in a preheated 375F oven for about 25 minutes. Cool for ten minutes then debone. Shred the meat into fairly large pieces.
- Wash, rinse and dry the lettuce. Cut into two-inch lengths.
- Cut the tomatoes into half-inch cubes.
- Place the still-warm chicken, lettuce and tomatoes in a bowl. Sprinkle with some rock salt and freshly ground pepper. Pour in the lime or lemon juice. Toss lightly.
- Arrange the tortillas on the side of a large shallow bowl.
- Tip the chicken, lettuce and tomatoes into the bowl. Drizzle in the sour cream. Top with shaved cheese. Sprinkle in the torn cilantro. Add more shaved cheese.
- To serve, provide tongs and let everyone fill his tortilla with as much salad as he likes.