Hard cider braised chicken tacos with avocado apple pomegranate salsa

Another Tuesday. Another taco dinner. But these ‘no ordinary tacos’ were by far one of the best I’ve ever prepared.

Ohhh the avocado pomegranate salsa! It’s like ” Hey Summer, meet fall.”  This gorgeous salsa (and I rarely use the word gorgeous) is great for dipping, topping, or just looking at!

Chicken loves hard apple cider, especially when braised in it. And the chicken turned out as tender as crockpot pulled chicken without having to let it sit in a crockpot overnight. In order to achieve all the gloriousness of braising,  you must deglaze the pan and scrape up all the browned bits. Don’t skip this step. The bits are full of flavor that you want to incorporate into the sauce.

Can we talk about this salsa some more? How can three ingredients get along so well? Avocado, apple, and pomegranate with a little help of Poblano pepper, green onions, cilantro and lime juice. That’s it! So simple and yet so frigging good. I don’t consider my kids picky eaters, but I totally thought this salsa was not going to impress. Boy was I wrong. We ended up fighting for the leftover on a epic tortilla chip battle where everyone won.

Hard cider braised chicken tacos with avocado apple pomegranate salsa

  • Serves: 4
  • Category:

Ingredients

For the Chicken

  • 3 chicken breasts (aprox. 2 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 small onion (chopped)
  • 2 chipotle chilies in adobo (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • salt to taste (I used aprox 2 tsp)
  • 1 1/2 cups hard apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon molasses (optional)

For the salsa

  • 1 chopped apple of your choice (I used Fuji)
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 chopped green onions (white and green part)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Poblano pepper (can substitute for green bell pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon or more of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • juice of 1 lime

Instructions

  1. Add the chicken to a bowl. Add the minced chipotle, smoked paprika, cumin, and salt. Toss and coat chicken with seasonings.
  2. Heat a dutch oven over medium high heat. Add the chicken and sear on both sides until browned. Remove and reserve. Reduce the heat slightly and add the onions and garlic cooking it slightly.
  3. Pour in the hard cider. Scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, add the chicken breasts, cover and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
  4. As the chicken braises, make the salsa. Add all the ingredients to a bowl. Toss well to combine, taste and adjust if needed. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
  5. When the chicken is done cooking, remove it from the pot and shred it. Add the shredded chicken back to the sauce in the pot and toss.
  6. Add the shredded chicken to a warmed tortilla (I used corn tortilla and warmed it directly in the stove burner) and top with the salsa. Sprinkle chopped cilantro.

 

 

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