Coffee Brined Taco Party…

Coffee brined chicken tacos 1

Recently I can’t seem to shake this permanent state of exhaustion I have been experiencing…..hence the lack of blog posts. Has the fact that we have a baby finally set in, almost 7 months later??? The crazy part is, I’m actually getting more sleep now, than before we had a baby (like clock work we hit the bed by 10pm EVERY night). However, trying to keep someone stimulated 24-7 is quite the energy burner. It’s safe to say I have really gone on to embrace good quality coffee, and thanks to my awesome parents for the surprise anniversary gift, we are now owners of a fancy percolator. It truly puts our Keurig machine to shame. Our first go around we accidentally brewed way too much, which led us to our coffee inspired chicken tacos. We had some friends over on the roof to top off a great Memorial Day weekend and went to town on this delicious taco feast!!!

Below are a few pics recapping our great memorial day weekend out East with some friends. Charlotte had a great first beach experience, however, taking a baby to the beach isn’t exactly relaxing. She ate a lot of sand, screamed when the freezing water touched her toes, and spent most of her time perched under the umbrella. All in though, it was great to escape the city and get some fresh, salty air 🙂

Coffee brined chicken tacos 2

Coffee Brined Chicken Tacos:

Ingredients: serves 4-6

  • 1 hefty table spoon of ground coffee
  • 3-4 large, skinless chicken breasts, or 6-8 skinless chicken thighs (or any mixture of chicken pieces you want, really)
  • 2 tsp salt, white or brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp each cumin, chili powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, ground black pepper, fennel seeds.
  • 1 tsp each nutmeg, cinnamon
  • 3 garlic cloves (sliced thinly)
  • Juice from 4 limes (or ~5 tbsp of lime juice)
  • 1 small can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (most grocery stores have this in their “ethnic foods” section)
  • Various taco toppings (we used roasted red, green, yellow, and ancho peppers, diced iceberg lettuce, greek yogurt, diced tomatoes, salsa, and mexican rice)
  • Flour or corn tortillas

Instructions:

  1. In a saucepan, add all the spices (other than the garlic cloves) & ground coffee to 3 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  2. Chop 4-5 of the canned chipotle peppers, add to the mixture. Simmer for 4-5 mins, so the salt/sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool (approx. 1 hour, or until room temperature. You can put it in the fridge if you want to speed up the cooling, too.) Note that this mix will taste pretty gross on its own (because it’s very salty), but should smell good. You have to make a strong brine for it to really affect the meat.
  3. Add the lemon juice and garlic to the cooled brine, and pour into a large zip-loc bag. Add the chicken, seal the bag removing as much air as possible, then massage the brine into the chicken. We allowed the chicken to brine for 5-6 hours, massaging every few hours, although I’m sure it’d still be pretty good if you only have a few hours to brine (similarly, overnight might enhance the flavors more.)
  4. Once the chicken has marinated, remove from the brine and add to a medium-hot pan. It’s good if pieces of garlic/chipotle peppers are still stuck to the meat. feel free to add a little more paprika/cumin/black pepper to the chicken, but wouldn’t add more salt (the brine should make it salty enough). Cook until chicken is firm, ~12-15 mins. Let the chicken rest for 5 mins before serving.
  5. For the tortillas, we just started lightly charring them on the stove top, just putting them quickly on top of the gas range (maybe 10-15 secs each side.) We thought this added some nice flavor!
  6. IMG_3208IMG_3240IMG_3184

 

 

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