Monday, April 22, 2013

roasted chicken tacos with goat cheese crema

I've been just loving tacos recently.  (This is for my sister Hannah:  stop laughing!)

Ok, so I only somewhat mean "tacos," as I don't mean those Taco Bell beef-and-cheese ones--not that I dislike those, of course--but more cultural-fusion-type tacos.  I mentioned in my cheesy "spring things" post that I really enjoyed Seoul Taco here in St. Louis, and this weekend I tried to recreate a chicken version of those for Nick's birthday, which I mentioned on the words & whisks Facebook page.

I even tried to recreate the "Seoul" sauce for those tacos.  They're spicy and they're wonderful and they have Sriracha in them.  I won't be able to help but share them with you soon.

These tacos, though, were part of the inspiration for those Seoul-inspired tacos.  They make a regular appearance in my meal planning (What?  You haven't had seen a Meal Plan Monday for a while?  Is it fair to say that weekend leftovers have made meal planning a little hectic?  Please say yes!)

The best part about these tacos is the lime; your hair, hands, and clothes will smell like lime all evening.  Which begs the question:  why are most cleansers scented with lemon over lime?

The goat cheese crema is really good, too:  it's a sophisticated sour cream, but it's that little something extra that makes the extra dish to wash worthwhile.  I promise.

And the last reason that these should also be a regular in your dinner rotation?  You roast the chicken (5 min prep), make the cheese sauce (10 min), and serve.

Adapted from How Sweet It Is.


for the roasted chicken & taco assembly
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon salt
½ + ¼ teaspoon black pepper
½ + ¼ teaspoon cumin
½ + ¼ teaspoon chili powder
1/4 + ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
3 limes, sliced in half
tortillas, tomato, avocado, crumbled goat cheese, spinach, sea salt, & lime wedges for serving

for the goat cheese crema
1 tablespoon butter
1 clove garlic, minced or crushed
1 tablespoon flour
⅓ cup heavy cream
6 ounces goat cheese

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together the paprika, salt, black pepper, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder to create the spice rub.
  3. Spray the bottom of a glass 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray (you can use any other baking dish as well).  Line the bottom of the baking dish with the sliced onion.
  4. Rub each side of the chicken thighs generously with the spice rub, then layer them over the sliced onion.
  5. Squeeze the juice from the three lime halves evenly over the chicken and then nestle the lime halves in between the chicken.  Bake the chicken for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the inside registers 165 degrees F.  Alternatively, you can use a knife to cut into the chicken to check and see if it is done.  Remove from the oven and roughly shred using two forks.  Sprinkle with sea salt before serving.
  6. About 10 minutes before your chicken is finished, start making the goat cheese crema.  Begin by melting the butter with the garlic in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat.  When the butter is melted, whisk in 1 tablespoon of flour to create a golden brown roux.  Whisk the butter-flour mixture for about 2 minutes before slowly pouring in the heavy cream.  After adding the heavy cream, continue to stir for 1 minutes, allowing the mixture to thicken.  Add in the goat cheese and stir until a smooth, creamy sauce has formed; it will be thick, much like sour cream.
  7. Assemble the tacos by layering the tortillas with the shredded chicken, goat cheese crema, avocado, tomato, spinach, avocado, and whatever else your heart desires.
Makes about 4 to 5 servings (excellent leftovers!).


  1. how much do you pay for a standard package of goat cheese? And would the cheese sauce be as good with queso fresco?

    1. at my schnucks, it's a little less than $4 for 4 ounces of goat cheese and more along the lines of $7 I think for 8 ounces. I bet you could substitute in queso fresco (i've read on chowhound that sometimes people sub one for the other). honestly, you could probably even add add any drier cheese, too, like white cheddar since the butter + flour + heavy cream really is just your standard cheese sauce base. alternatively, you can just crumble queso fresco on or add shredded cheese to these tacos and go with sour cream.

    2. and... i'd probably just use white cheddar if goat cheese weren't one of my major weaknesses!