Persian chicken tacos. Hmm, this is a fusion few have dared to make. The greatest recipes, we believe, are those that also could be the worst recipes. That amount of risk that you take when fusing almost polarizing ingredients is such a hit-or-miss project that could easily scare you. But we are all about experimenting.
Besides, the way they slow-cook chicken with saffron in Iran is one of the biggest delicacies the world has to offer, and what better way to implement it as hand food by wrapping it in a taco? Since our last recipe, where we made the Argentinian classic choripan, we could not get the taste of the pickled red onions from our mind. This time, we pickled regular onions with beets to give it that extra redness, while maintaining a salty kick to accent the round flavors of the chicken.
The way the chicken meat melts off after an hour of slow cooking in saffron broth is simply to die for. The crème freche and cilantro means freshness across the board. Wrap it around some homemade tortillas and you got the definition of the best of both worlds.
If you decide on making this yourself, be careful not to drool over the plate when standing over the table with your phone. We almost forgot.
Serves 2 – depending on the hunger level
For the Tortillas
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
⅓ cup vegetable oil
1 cup warm water
For the pickled red onions with beet
1 medium red onion
1 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 medium beet, peeled
For the toppings
1 red onion, pickled (recipe below)
1 medium yellow onion
Another handful of cilantro
Creme fraiche to taste
0.5 teaspoon saffron
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons butter
500 grams chicken thighs
How to make the tortillas
Combine all the flour, salt, vegetable oil, and water until it forms a dough. Roll the dough into a big ball and take about an 1 to 2 inch pieces off. Pat the dough flat with your hands or take a rolling pin and roll into circles. Put the dough on a flat pan on the stove and let the sides cook until there are little brown specks on both sides.
How to pickle red onions with beet
Slice the onions. Start 2 or 3 cups of water on to boil in a kettle. Peel and thinly slice the onion into approximately 1/4″ moons. Peel and cut the garlic clove in half.
Dissolve the sugar and salt. In the container you will be using to store the onions, add the sugar, salt, vinegar and flavorings. Stir to dissolve.
Par-blanch the onions. Place the onions in the sieve and place the sieve in the sink. Slowly pour the boiling water over the onions and let them drain.
Add the onions to the jar and stir gently to evenly distribute the flavorings.
Store. The onions will be ready in about 30 minutes, but are better after a few hours. Store in the refrigerator. They will keep for several weeks but are best in the first week.
How to make the toppings
Season the chicken with salt. Melt your butter on medium heat. Add the diced onions. Cook until translucent, then add the cumin and cayenne pepper. Cook for another minute. Put the onions aside and brown the chicken on the same pot on both sides. Return the onion mixture into the pot . Mix the saffron with 1 cup of hot water, and pour it over the chicken and onions. Bring to boil, and put the heat on low, letting it cook for an hour until soft and falling off the bone. Let it cool. Remove from bones and shred into small pieces. Add the chicken together with creme fraiche and cilantro and enjoy!
Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour