Puffy Tacos w/ Chipotle Chicken
Updated: Apr 14
Happy National Taco Day y’all! Yes, I’m using yet another “national day” to push my recipe - but then again, who needs a push to eat tacos..amirite? I bring you something different than your typical crunchy or soft taco, there’s a third type guys! Meet, the “puffy taco!” It’s a little soft and a lot crunchy. It’s so, so good..trust me on this one! If you’re Indian or know your Indian food then think puri but with corn flour and crispy.
The first time I had a puffy taco was when I was visiting back home, which is NC. If you’re from the Charlotte area, you’ve probably heard of a Mexican spot called Superica. They introduced me to my first puffy taco! I had ordered it as a side so when this fluffy, puri-looking taco that was doused in queso (drool) came out, I was intrigued. It was absolutely delicious, if you’re close to Charlotte and haven’t been yet then I suggest you go immediately!
Superica was the first and only place I’d ever heard of or had a puffy taco so I decided to do some background research on where this taco originated. With a little help from Google, I concluded that it’s most popular in San Antonio, TX, however I can’t say for sure that they’re the ones that invented it. There were conflicting stories that it is from Mexico. I guess we will never know!
This was my first time trying to make these taco shells and I am the worst when it comes to kneading doughs to the correct consistency but surprisingly it was pretty easy. Only the first one was a fail! I had left it too thick and with too much moisture so I added a pinch more of flour and flattened the next one out even more and voila! It puffed up!! I was so excited, or this would obviously not be a post. However, what did fail, was my queso recipe I’d been working on to go with this, lol! I wanted to serve it just like I had once eaten it but low and behold what I thought would be fail-proof was indeed a fail and shockingly, the puffy shells turned out perfect! Funny how things work out sometimes, and also how they don’t. I’m not giving up though, I will perfect a queso recipe and deliver one day!
I can’t believe I haven’t posted a Mexican recipe yet, seeing as it’s my favorite cuisine (after Indian food of course)! Clearly I’ve waited too long! There will be lots more coming soon, just need to find the time and some more mouths to feed other than mine and hubby’s lol!
I’ve paired these tacos with a spicy chipotle chicken but you can put pretty much anything you want in them. Whatever your usual taco filling may be, veggies, beans, tofu or even ground meat. I also have never worked with chipotle chili’s so again, I didn’t know how it would turn out but this chicken turned out sooo good!! It was hard for me not to just pick at it and eat it alone. To me, chipotle is kinda like a Mexican bbq sauce, agreed? It’s smoky, spicy and tangy, soo so good!!
Puffy Tacos w/ Chipotle Chicken
1.5 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast
3 chipotle peppers (chipotle chili adobo, I used Goya)
2 tbsp adobo sauce (from chipotle can)
5 garlic cloves
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp onion powder
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt to taste
For puffy taco shells:
1 cup masa harina (masa flour - this is not the same as corn flour)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp warm water
3 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese, onions, sour cream, hot sauce
For the chicken:
1. Add all ingredients listed after chicken into a blender and blend into a smooth paste. Remove 3 tbsp of marinade sauce and set aside, pour remainder of sauce over chicken and let it sit for at least 20 minutes up to 4 hours.
2. Heat grill pan on medium-high heat. Once hot, spray with cooking oil and lay chicken breasts flat to grill undisturbed for 4 minutes then flip. Cook for another 4-5 minutes until chicken is cooked through fully. Remove from heat and dice chicken into bite size pieces. Toss chicken back into grill pan with remaining 3 tbsp of reserves marinade. Cook on medium heat until some pieces get a little crispy. Remove from heat and set aside.
For the tacos:
1. Mix masa, salt and water all together and knead into a soft dough. It should not stick to your hands. If it’s a little sticky then add another tablespoon of flour. Roll dough into a log and portion into 8 equal pieces. Take one piece and roll into a ball between your palms then press flat. If you have a tortilla press then line each side with Saran Wrap and place the flattened dough ball in between the two plates then close and press. It should be about 4-5” in diameter and 1/8” thick. If you don’t have a tortilla press, then use any flat bottomed heavy pot or plate to press down.
2. Heat oil in a fry pan to 375°F. Carefully drop in one of the pressed tortilla shells. It’ll sink to the bottom the rise quickly. Let it fry on the first side for about a minute while it puffs up, then slowly flip. Press down with the back the spatula to help it puff up more. If yours isn’t puffing up then there’s too much water in your dough or it’s not rolled flat enough. Fry until golden brown then remove and drain on a plate with paper towel.
Once all shells are done, it’s time to assemble the tacos! Place a scoop of chicken on top of the puffy taco shell, you can push the bubble down to help create an indent. Add all your favorite toppings, carefully fold and devour!
That’s it! The ingredients are minimal so and steps are easy too. I hope you guys try this one, can’t wait!