“I made these tacos for my good friend, actor and director, Dexter Fletcher, who first tried these in Playa del Carmen in Mexico. Shredded roast chicken and all the trimmings, stuffed into homemade tortillas with a drizzle of super-fresh, zingy, spicy salsa – this epic taco recipe is perfect for feeding a crowd. ”
Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Remove the chicken from the fridge and leave to come up to room temperature.
Pick the thyme leaves and bash in a pestle and mortar with a good pinch of sea salt and freshly ground black 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.
Trim the spring onions and peel the clove of garlic. Pick the mint leaves into a food processor and add the chillies, tomatillos, spring onions, garlic and the remaining salsa ingredients with 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. Pick the mint and coriander leaves.
To assemble the tacos, pop some shredded chicken onto the middle of a tortilla, top with some lettuce, herbs, 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.
The zingy salsa makes a great dip for corn chips and is delicious with grilled fish or meat, so if you’ve got any left over don’t be afraid to be adventurous with it.