Party-time Mexican tacos

Serves 16

  • 1 x 1.8 kg higher-welfare whole chicken

  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves picked

  • sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • olive oil

  • 1 lemon

  • 1 bulb of garlic

  • 500 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting

  • 1 cos lettuce

  • 250 g ripe cherry tomatoes

  • 2 ripe avocados

  • ½ a bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked

  • ½ a bunch of fresh coriander, leaves picked

  • 100 g mixed seeds

  • 200 g feta cheese

  • For the salsa:

  • 2 fresh red or green chillies

  • 500 g tomatillos

  • 2 spring onions, trimmed

  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled

  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • ½ a bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked

  • ½ a bunch of fresh coriander

  • 1 splash of good-quality tequila

I made these tacos for my good friend, actor and director, Dexter Fletcher, who first tried these in Playa del Carmen in Mexico. I've also knocked together a super-fresh, zingy, spicy salsa to drizzle on top – it's a great dip for corn chips or even with grilled fish or meat, so if you've got any leftover don't be afraid to be adventurous with it.



Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Remove the chicken from the fridge and leave to come up to room temperature.



Bash the thyme leaves in a pestle and mortar with a good pinch of salt and pepper, then rub all over the chicken with a lug of olive oil. Halve the lemon, peel and bash the garlic bulb, then stuff inside the chicken cavity. Place the bird in a snug-fitting roasting tray and pop in the hot oven for around 1 hour 30 minutes, or until cooked through. To check, insert a knife into the thickest part of the thigh – if the juices run clear and the meat pulls away from the bone, you know it's done.



Meanwhile, place the flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl, then gradually add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 150ml of cold water, stirring continuously until the mixture comes together to form a rough dough. Transfer to a flour-dusted surface and knead for around 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, then shape into a long sausage shape, roughly 45cm in length. Slice the dough into 16 equal-sized pieces, roll into balls, then set aside for later.



To make the salsa, preheat a griddle pan over a high heat. Prick the chillies all over with a small sharp knife, remove and discard the papery skin from the tomatillos, then place on the griddle. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until blackened all over, turning occasionally. Transfer to a food processor with the remaining salsa ingredients and a couple of generous pinches of salt, then whiz until smooth.



Once cooked, allow the chicken to cool slightly, then strip away the flesh, shredding it as you go (wear rubber gloves if it's too hot).



On a flour-dusted surface, roll the dough balls into circles, roughly the thickness of a playing card. Preheat a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat, then add the tortillas (you'll need to do this in batches) and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly golden, turning halfway. Wrap the tortillas in tin foil to keep warm as you go. Meanwhile, shred the lettuce, quarter the cherry tomatoes, then halve and destone the avocados.



To assemble the tacos, pop some shredded chicken onto the middle of a tortilla, top with some lettuce, mint and coriander leaves, a few tomatoes and a sprinkling of mixed seeds. Scoop over the avocado flesh, crumble a little feta on top and finish with a drizzle of salsa. Roll up and tuck in.

Nutritional Information

Party-time Mexican tacos

with zingy Mexican salsa

More Dinner Party recipes >
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Shredded roast chicken and all the trimmings, stuffed into homemade tortillas with a drizzle of Mexican salsa – this epic taco recipe is perfect for feeding a crowd.
Serves 16
2h
Super easy
Method

I made these tacos for my good friend, actor and director, Dexter Fletcher, who first tried these in Playa del Carmen in Mexico. I've also knocked together a super-fresh, zingy, spicy salsa to drizzle on top – it's a great dip for corn chips or even with grilled fish or meat, so if you've got any leftover don't be afraid to be adventurous with it.

Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Remove the chicken from the fridge and leave to come up to room temperature.

Bash the thyme leaves in a pestle and mortar with a good pinch of salt and pepper, then rub all over the chicken with a lug of olive oil. Halve the lemon, peel and bash the garlic bulb, then stuff inside the chicken cavity. Place the bird in a snug-fitting roasting tray and pop in the hot oven for around 1 hour 30 minutes, or until cooked through. To check, insert a knife into the thickest part of the thigh – if the juices run clear and the meat pulls away from the bone, you know it's done.

Meanwhile, place the flour and a pinch of salt in a large bowl, then gradually add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 150ml of cold water, stirring continuously until the mixture comes together to form a rough dough. Transfer to a flour-dusted surface and knead for around 5 minutes, or until smooth and elastic, then shape into a long sausage shape, roughly 45cm in length. Slice the dough into 16 equal-sized pieces, roll into balls, then set aside for later.

To make the salsa, preheat a griddle pan over a high heat. Prick the chillies all over with a small sharp knife, remove and discard the papery skin from the tomatillos, then place on the griddle. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until blackened all over, turning occasionally. Transfer to a food processor with the remaining salsa ingredients and a couple of generous pinches of salt, then whiz until smooth.

Once cooked, allow the chicken to cool slightly, then strip away the flesh, shredding it as you go (wear rubber gloves if it's too hot).

On a flour-dusted surface, roll the dough balls into circles, roughly the thickness of a playing card. Preheat a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat, then add the tortillas (you'll need to do this in batches) and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly golden, turning halfway. Wrap the tortillas in tin foil to keep warm as you go. Meanwhile, shred the lettuce, quarter the cherry tomatoes, then halve and destone the avocados.

To assemble the tacos, pop some shredded chicken onto the middle of a tortilla, top with some lettuce, mint and coriander leaves, a few tomatoes and a sprinkling of mixed seeds. Scoop over the avocado flesh, crumble a little feta on top and finish with a drizzle of salsa. Roll up and tuck in.

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:

Calories

Calories are just a unit of energy. If you eat more than you use you can gain weight, or lose it if you don't eat enough. How much you need depends on your weight, gender and how active you are, but it's around 2,000 a day.

Carbs

Carbs are a great source of energy and, excluding foods such as potatoes, are made from grains - like bread, pasta and cereal. We all need carbs, but try to make them all wholegrain by sticking to brown bread, rice and pasta - they are much more nutritious.

Sugar

We all deserve a treat sometimes, but try to limit your sugar intake. Most of your sugar should come from raw fruit and milk, because they give us lots of nutrients too. Always check food labels so you know how much sugar you're eating.

Fat

We all need to eat a small amount of fat because it protects our organs and helps us grow. But we need to be careful about how much fat we eat and what kinds of fat, because in higher levels it's associated with weight gain, diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Saturates

Saturated or "bad fats" are in beef, pork, chicken skin, butter, cream and cheese. Too much can be bad for our heart and cholesterol levels, but unsaturated or "good fats" in fish, nuts, avocados and some oils can help keep our hearts healthy if eaten in moderation.

Protein

Protein helps our muscles to grow and repair, as well as providing you with essential amino acids. When it comes to protein, try to eat leaner sources such as chicken and fish or non-meat sources such as eggs, dairy, beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and pulses.
  • Calories 335
    17%
  • Carbs 27.9g
    11%
  • Sugar 2.7g 3%
  • Fat 16.7g 24%
  • Saturates 4.4g 22%
  • Protein 19.6g 44%
Of an adult's reference intake

BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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