“I made these tacos for my good friend, actor and director, Dexter, who first fell in love with tacos on a trip to Playa del Carmen in Mexico. Shredded roast chicken and all the trimmings, stuffed into homemade tortillas with a drizzle of super-fresh, zingy, spicy salsa – this epic taco recipe is perfect when entertaining a crowd. ”
- 1 x 1.8 kg whole free-range chicken
- 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
- olive oil
- 1 lemon
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 500 g plain flour , plus extra for dusting
- 1 cos lettuce
- 250 g ripe cherry tomatoes
- 2 ripe avocados
- 100 g mixed seeds
- 200 g feta cheese
- 2 fresh red or green chillies
- 500 g tomatillos or green tomatoes
- 1 bunch of fresh mint , (30g)
- 1 bunch of fresh coriander , (30g)
- 2 spring onions
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- extra virgin olive oil
- 1 splash of quality tequila
- Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Remove the chicken from the fridge and leave to come up to room temperature.
- Pick the thyme leaves and bash in a pestle and mortar with a good pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then rub all over the chicken with a lug of olive oil. Halve the lemon, peel and bash the garlic bulb, then stuff inside the chicken cavity.
- Place the bird in a snug-fitting roasting tray and pop in the hot oven for around 1 hour 30 minutes, or until cooked through. To check, insert a knife into the thickest part of the thigh – if the juices run clear and the meat pulls away from the bone, you know it’s done.
- Meanwhile, place the flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl, then gradually add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 150ml of cold water, stirring continuously until the mixture comes together to form a rough dough.
- Transfer to a flour-dusted surface and knead for around 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, then shape into a long sausage shape, roughly 45cm in length. Slice the dough into 16 equal-sized pieces, roll into balls, then set aside for later.
- To make the salsa, preheat a griddle pan over a high heat. Prick the chillies all over with a small sharp knife, remove and discard the papery skin from the tomatillos, then place on the griddle. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until blackened all over, turning occasionally.
- Trim the spring onions and peel the clove of garlic. Pick the mint leaves into a food processor and add the chillies, tomatillos, spring onions, garlic and the remaining salsa ingredients with a couple of generous pinches of salt, then whiz until smooth.
- Once cooked, allow the chicken to cool slightly, then strip away the flesh, shredding it as you go (wear rubber gloves if it’s too hot).
- On a flour-dusted surface, roll the dough balls into circles, roughly the thickness of a playing card. Preheat a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat, then add the tortillas (you’ll need to do this in batches) and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly golden, turning halfway. Wrap the tortillas in tin foil to keep warm as you go.
- Meanwhile, shred the lettuce, quarter the cherry tomatoes, then halve and destone the avocados. Pick the mint and coriander leaves.
- To assemble the tacos, pop some shredded chicken onto the middle of a tortilla, top with some lettuce, herbs, a few tomatoes and a sprinkling of mixed seeds. Scoop over the avocado flesh, crumble a little feta on top and finish with a drizzle of salsa. Roll up and tuck in.
Source: Jamie Oliver