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Spice-Rubbed Chicken Tacos with Shredded Napa Cabbage, Cilantro and Monterey Jack Cheese

A combination of smoky spices and fresh jalapeño impart delicious heat to these hearty chicken tacos.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons (10ml) dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 teaspoon (5ml) chili powder
1 teaspoon (5ml) ground cumin
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) chipotle chile powder
1 teaspoon (5ml) salt
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) ground paprika
1½ pounds (680g) skinless and boneless chicken thighs,
6 tablespoons (90ml) safflower or canola oil, divided
3 medium red tomatoes, each cut into eight wedges
3 large fresh jalapeño chiles, cut in half, seeded, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons (45ml) minced garlic
12 (6-inch/15 cm) white corn tortillas
2 cups (8 ounces/225g) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 cups (180g) thinly sliced Napa cabbage
2 cups (30g) lightly packed cilantro leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Makes 12 tacos



Directions

Mix the oregano, chili powder, salt, cumin, chipotle chile powder, and paprika in a small bowl.

Coat the chicken pieces with the spice mix.

Heat 2 tablespoons (30ml) of the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet heat over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook for 8 minutes on each side. Remove the pan from the heat and turn each piece of chicken once again. Cover the pan and let rest for 5 minutes.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board, leaving juices in the pan.

Preheat the oven to 400° F (200° C).

While the oven is preheating, add the tomatoes, chiles and garlic to the chicken juices in the pan and cook over medium-high heat, just until the tomatoes soften, about 4 minutes.

Scrape the tomato mixture into a serving bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Coat 2 baking sheets each with 2 tablespoons (30ml) of the remaining oil.

Place six tortillas on each cookie sheet.

Top the tortillas with cheese, dividing it equally. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly. Slice the chicken into 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) strips.

Top the tortillas with chicken strips, followed by a scoop of the tomato mixture.

Sprinkle with cabbage and cilantro, and then serve.

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