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Credit: Hector Sanchez

Rick Bayless’ Chicken Tacos

½ head of garlic, separated into cloves
5 serrano chiles, stems removed
2 cups loosely packed cilantro, chopped (plus more for garnish)
2 cups loosely packed flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. olive oil Kosher salt
12 corn tortillas
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
¼ cup crumbled goat cheese or queso fresco

1. To make the adobo, place a large, dry skillet over medium heat. Add garlic cloves (with peels on) and chilies, and roast, turning often, until soft and browned in spots, about 10 minutes for the chilies and 15 for the garlic. Transfer onto a cutting board and let cool. Remove and discard skins from the garlic cloves, and roughly chop along with chilies. Transfer mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the chopped cilantro, parsley, 1 cup oil and 2 tsp. salt. Process, stopping to scrape down the sides if necessary, until nearly smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove 1/3 cup of mixture, stir in 2 tbsp. of water and set aside. (Cover the remaining adobo and store in the fridge for up to a week or the freezer for up to a month.)

2. Very lightly dampen 2 paper towels (stacked on top of each other), wrap them around the tortillas, and slide the stack into a heavy zip-top plastic bag. Without sealing the bag, microwave the tortillas for 1 minute. Let them sit in the microwave while preparing the filling.

3. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with a generous sprinkling of salt. In a large heavy-bottom skillet, heat 2 tbsp. oil over medium-high. Place the chicken in a single layer, and add the onions into the open spots. As the chicken cooks, nestle in the onions, turning as they brown. Cook chicken about 5 to 6 minutes on both sides until browned. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside. Continue cooking onions, stirring often, for 5 to 6 minutes, until caramelized.

4. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and cut into ¼-in. slices. Add the chicken back to the pan and stir in the reserved 1/3 cup green chili adobo. Cook, stirring often, until chicken is fully cooked through. Season to taste with salt, if needed. Serve the chicken with the warm tortillas, cheese and more cilantro.

Serves: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes