*Jerk Alert* These are not your typical tacos. I heard about this amazingly unusual food truck in LA that does Korean BBQ tacos (think short rib tacos and kimchi quesadillas) and a lightbulb went off. Tacos, like pizza and sandwiches, can be topped with just about anything. So I started making tandoori chicken tacos with raita yogurt sauce with tomato and cucumber salsa. And then I combined spicy jerk chicken and some sweet mango salsa to create a tropical inspired taco. Sort of like going to Jamaica and Mexico all in one bite.
Juicy marinated meat baked off easily in the oven and fresh salsa on top of a soft corn tortilla is all kinds of yummy and is easy enough to whip up during the week. I buy my jerk seasoning in a jar and marinate overnight if possible, or in a pinch, just coat the chicken thighs in the sauce before baking. While the chicken is in the oven, I get my dice on and prepare the salsa and in about 30 minutes, dinner is done. A summer time meal that almost makes me feel like I’m on vacation. Almost.
PS – Jerk sauce can be super spicy so reduce or add as much as you like. Also, I fully admit that this is by no means the traditional way to cook jerk. But then again, this isn’t really a traditional taco. Keep calm and taco on.
Jerk Chicken Tacos with Sweet Mango Pepper Salsa (serves four)
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of fat, rinsed and dried
- 1 Tbsp jerk chicken marinade (I used Grace brand)
- 1 tsp canola oil
Sweet Mango Pepper Salsa
- 1/2 large mango, finely diced
- 1/2 sweet pepper (yellow or red), finely diced
- 1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 3 Tbsp red or Spanish onion, finely diced
- 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- juice of half a lime
- pinch salt
Tacos & Garnishes
- Soft corn tortillas (2 to 3 per person)
- Corn tortilla chips
- Lime wedges
- Shredded lettuce
- Hot sauce
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. I a medium bowl, add chicken, jerk sauce, and oil and toss to evenly coat chicken. Marinate for 30 minutes up to overnight. Lay chicken flat in foil-lined baking dish and bake for 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Let rest five minutes before slicing.
- While chicken is baking, prepare salsa and set aside. Heat a small frying pan to medium heat and add tortillas to warm through. Once tortillas is heated, store on a plate lined with clean dish towel and cover, or add to tortilla warmer. Continue until all tortillas are warmed. Serve chicken, salsa, and tortillas with lime wedges, shredded lettuce, corn chips, and hot sauces.