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Shredded Chicken and Potato Taquitos served with Roasted Homemade Salsa

Cooking with Mexican Ingredients at Home – Shredded Chicken and Potato Taquitos

by Mary Chong
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First off, let me start this article about cooking with authentic Mexican ingredients at home by saying that I’m in no way an expert in traditional Mexican cuisine, Mexican food culture, or Mexican ingredients.

I travel (of course), I write (as you can see here), and I love to eat, and cook (as you shall soon find out as you continue reading).

Since I haven’t been travelling the world and eating out as much as I usually would, I’ve been spending more time at home cooking.

I’ve had cravings for Mexican dishes lately. With no trips to feast in Playa del Carmen Mexico, or adventures to San Antonio Texas for guacamole, or road trips to Amarillo Texas for enchiladas, or taco tours in Puerto Vallarta Mexico planned at the moment, I set out to quench that craving.  

I’m not one of those home cooks who can instinctively throw things together on a whim and come up with something tasty and fabulous with a little pinch of this and a dash of that. I’m a calculated cook in the same way that I’m a calculated traveller. I need a recipe – usually a few recipes – and I typically will consult an “expert”, a few cookbooks, or at least someone who has cooked the dish before to learn from their experience before I even venture into the kitchen. 

Luckily for me, Casa Bonita Foods is an expert in authentic Mexican ingredients, and they sent me a box full of their products to help me quench that craving. To be fully transparent, they are a graphic design client of mine and don’t know that they are in this article. But, suffice it to say they tick all the boxes when it comes to being authentically Mexican. Their products, especially their tortillas, are essential ingredients to any Mexican meal and are readily available in all major grocery stores within Canada.

What to look for when shopping for Mexican ingredients to cook with at home?

  • Fresh, locally sourced is always best. I look to ethnic markets versus a chain supermarket when looking for ingredients to ensure maximum freshness since there will be more variety in selection and a higher frequency of demand/turnover for these speciality items. For example, our Asian market carries a variety of different peppers whereas our local Walmart carries only a few.
  • Look for “produced in Mexico” on the label. Check the label and see where your food is produced. You are cooking Mexican cuisine, so you don’t want something produced in Sweden (unless of course, you live in Sweden).
  • Make healthy choices. Look for all-natural with no preservatives added. Casa Bonita corn tortillas are vegan, gluten-free, Trans fat-free and have no cholesterol.

Here is my attempt at cooking with Mexican ingredients at home with a recipe for Shredded Chicken and Potato Taquitos.

Cooking with Mexican Ingredients at Home – Shredded Chicken and Potato Taquitos

TIP: Check out a great guacamole recipe direct from San Antonio Texas here.

Step-by-Step Guide to Making the Taquitos

Taquito Ingredients

Start by boiling 6 cups of water over high heat and salt the water generously. Add the cubed potatoes to the boiling water and cook for five to six minutes. You want the potatoes cooked through, but they should still hold their shape. Remove from the water and set aside.

Next, mix the cayenne pepper powder, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, tomato bouillon, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a small bowl. Thoroughly cover the chicken with the spice mix.

raw seasoned chicken tenders

Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Fry the seasoned chicken in the pan for about three minutes on each side, remove from the pan and let cool before shredding the chicken into small pieces.

In the same pan, fry up the onions until they are slightly translucent. Then add the jalapeños to the pan and fry. At the last minute, add the garlic and fry for thirty seconds to a minute. Remove the veggies from the pan and set aside.

Smash the potatoes slightly, add in the shredded chicken, shredded cheese, cooked onion/jalapeños mixture, and a dash of salt and pepper. Mix the ingredients until well combined.

Shredded chicken taquito and potato filling

Heat the tortillas in the microwave so that they are pliable for about thirty seconds, then flip them over and heat again. If the tortillas are still stiff, heat them for an additional thirty seconds.

Heat a large deep-frying pan over medium heat and add the vegetable oil to the pan. Let the vegetable oil heat for a few minutes while you assemble the taquitos. (To test the oil, drop a small piece of tortilla into the oil, and if it bubbles immediately, then the oil is too hot, reduce the heat and wait for three to four minutes before adding any taquitos to it. If the tortilla bubbles after a few seconds, then the oil is ready.)

Corn tortilla being filled with the chicken mixture

Spoon 1.5 tablespoons of chicken filling down the centre of the tortilla. Roll the tortillas and close with two toothpicks each.

Taquitos filled and ready for frying

Fry them in the oil for about three minutes. Turn them over in the pan and continue frying until they turn crispy on the outside.

Remove taquitos from the oil and set on a paper towel or lined cookie rack to drain the excess oil.

Deep fried taquitos

Let the taquitos cool for two to three minutes. Remove the toothpicks before serving with homemade salsa (recipe to follow), shredded lettuce, and table crema.

For a little added lime and pepper – give it a couple of shakes of my ultimate favourite Mexican ingredient – Tajin seasoning. Muy delicioso!

Cooking with Mexican Ingredients at Home – Shredded Chicken and Potato Taquitos

Let me know if you make this Mexican Taquito dish; I’d love to hear how it goes.

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