Tacos Al Pastor is one of my favorite things to get when I eat Mexican food. Usually this is a recipe made with pork, chiles and pineapple, but it can get a little on the greasy side… Traditionally the pork is grilled on a spit and cooked in the pastor sauce, rendering the fat. Sam and I don’t eat much pork, and I definitely never grill giant hunks of meat on a spit. So this is a simple recipe that you can make at home to mimic the flavors of the sauce and keep it on the light side.
If you don’t like spicy food, you can eliminate the jalapeno for a milder flavor. It’s about as easy as putting all the ingredients in the food processor and marinating the chicken. It turned out beautifully with a really smoky flavor, thanks to the chiles in adobo.
If you’re not sold on the corn tortillas because they fall apart, the secret is to grill them! I put a nonstick skillet on high heat and cook on each side until charred or a little brown. This keeps them intact when you eat tacos. The charred tortilla also goes really well with the smoky chicken.
This would also be a great slow cooker recipe if you prefer shredded chicken. In that case, do not chop the chicken and add to your crock pot with the sauce. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Then shred the chicken with forks.
CHICKEN TACOS AL PASTOR RECIPE
1 lb chicken breast
3 chiles in adobo
1 14 ounce can of pineapple chunks in pineapple juice
handful of cilantro, stalks and leaves
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
juice of half a lime
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt
cilantro and onion for topping
In a food processor, add the adobo chiles, jalapeno, onion, 1/4 cup of pineapple chunks, 4 tbsp of pineapple juice, a small handful of cilantro (stalks and all!), vinegar, lime juice, oregano, cumin and salt. Blend until pureed.
Chop the chicken breast into 1/2 inch pieces and put into a large bowl. Cover the chicken with the pureed chile mixture and mix to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least four hours (up to 24 hours).
In a grill pan or a large pan over medium high heat add the chicken mixture with all the sauce. Saute, stirring and turning the chicken, until chicken is cooked through (about 5-7 minutes). Wipe out the pan and add a few of the left over pineapple chunks to the grill pan, turning over until charred. You may want to chop these a little finer.
Heat a large nonstick pan over high heat. Grill tortillas in the pan, flipping over until each side has browned a bit or is a bit crispy.
Add the chicken to the tortillas. Top with diced avocado, chopped cilantro leaves, diced onion, and charred pineapple.