Simple tacos made with crispy fried chicken skin dressed with a cilantro habanero salsa.
- Skin from a whole chicken or 5 chicken breasts or leg/thighs*
- 1-2 habanero chiles, seeds removed and chopped
- 4 green onions, white and light green parts only
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 Roma or other plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/4 small head of iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced, sprinkled with cider vinegar and salt
- 1 avocado, seeded, peeled, and chopped
- More chopped cilantro and green onion for garnish
- 4 or more corn or flour tortillas (use corn tortillas if cooking gluten-free)
*Pulling the skin off of chicken can be a little slippery, especially off of chicken legs. Get it started with your fingers, then grip the skin with a paper towel and pull.
1 Lay the chicken skin, fat side down, in a non-stick pan set over medium-low heat. Slowly crisp the skins, letting the fat render. Press them down with a wooden spoon if air pockets develop. Cook them for 5-8 minutes before flipping them over. Once you have turned the chicken skins over, salt them.
2 While the skins are cooking, put the habaneros, green onions, cilantro, tomatoes, and lemon juice into a food processor. Add a pinch of salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Set aside in a small bowl.
3 When the chicken skins are browned and crispy, remove them to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb the excess fat. Then place them on a cutting board and cut them into strips.
4 Pour off all but a thin sheen of chicken fat from the pan (do not discard down a drain or you may clog your drain). Heat the tortillas in the pan over medium-high heat, turning now and then, until they air pockets develop and the tortillas soften.
5 Assemble the tacos. Place lettuce, chopped avocado, crispy chicken skin, habanero salsa, and more cilantro or green onion on the heated tortillas. Fold and eat.
Yield: Makes about 4 tacos.