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Chicken Taco Salad

Chicken Taco Salad
This recipe calls for queso fresco, a soft, tangy, lightly salted cow?s milk cheese that is made from fresh curds pressed into round molds. (Queso fresco means "fresh cheese" in Spanish.) Feta cheese is an acceptable substitute.

Ingredients:

For the chicken:

  • 2 Tbs. canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock or water

  • Canola oil for frying
  • 6 flour tortillas, each 8 inches in diameter
  • 3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 2 cups cooked black beans or pinto beans
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese
  • 3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 6 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and sliced
  • 3/4 cup Frontera fire-roasted tomato cilantro
     salsa, plus more for serving*

Directions:

To prepare the chicken, in a large fry pan over medium heat, warm the oil until almost smoking. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the chicken, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, tomatoes, cilantro and oregano and stir to combine. Season with salt. Stir in the stock and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the tomatoes are soft, 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt. Set aside.

Line a baking sheet with paper towels. In a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat, pour in oil to a depth of 3 inches and heat to 360°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Using a tortilla basket according to the manufacturer's instructions, fry the tortillas 1 at a time until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.

Place each fried tortilla on an individual plate. Top with lettuce, beans, chicken, cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado and salsa, dividing equally. Pass additional salsa alongside. Serves 6.

Williams-Sonoma Kitchen

* Available at Williams-Sonoma stores.