Halal Crispy Chicken Tacos with ChefSteps Joule

Salt. Fat. Acid. Heat.

No, this post is not about the Netflix show featuring Samin Nosrat, but this recipe does rely heavily on the fine balance between those 4 components in cooking.

#TacoTuesday is not a holiday I celebrate, because it’s against my belief in equality for all (days). I am, however, guilty of using the hashtag and referencing it for the ‘gram. But there’s no doubt that

I love tacos!

I figured out a very simple halal recipe for moist-but-crispy chicken tacos using my ChefSteps Joule sous vide. It has no lard (yay halal!), is pretty healthy (depending on your choice of wrap), and has the perfect balance of salt, fat, acid, and heat (thanks, Samin).

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless skinless chicken breast (can be a little bit frozen still—the beauty of sous vide!)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp cumin powder

  • 1 tsp chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder

  • 1/2 tsp paprika

  • A pack of small corn tortillas (street taco size is perfect)

  • Canola or Olive Oil (not too pungent)

  • Limes, quartered

  • Onions, diced

  • Cilantro

Salt: Chicken

Salt: Chicken

Acid: Lime

Acid: Lime

Fat: Oil (to crisp the tortillas and meat)

Fat: Oil (to crisp the tortillas and meat)

Heat: All the chili!

Heat: All the chili!

Recipe

  1. Fill a large pot about 1/3 to 1/2 of the way with hot water. Set up your sous vide to preheat the water to 146°F, which is the temperature I’ve found to be perfect for juicy chicken breast.

  2. Mix up all the powdered seasonings in a small bowl.

  3. Let’s prepare the chicken! Clean off any fat, and then drizzle the oil over both sides.

  4. Sprinkle half the seasoning on one side and pat gently to really get the spices in there. Flip and repeat!

  5. Place your seasoned chicken in a gallon size ziploc freezer bag and zip it 80% of the way. If you’ll recall from my cajun shrimp recipe, leaving about an inch or two of open space will allow for the excess air to escape when the hot water creates a suction around the meat. Also, the gap will kind of close up on its own (obviously not sealed) so don’t worry about steam and moisture escaping.

    THIS CHICKEN IS GOING TO BE JUICY!

  6. Ahem, once the water has preheated (the Joule app will tell you so!), go ahead and carefully dip the bag of chicken into the water. Use a large spoon to push the chicken down if necessary; it won’t float. If you have one, use a spring clamp to clip the sealed corner of the bag to the edge of the pot.

  7. Set the cook time to 2 hours. If frozen at all, cook for 2 1/2 hours.

    TORTILLAS

  8. When there are about 10-15 minutes left on the chicken’s cook time, heat up some oil in a skillet on medium heat.

  9. When the oil is heated and shimmery looking, carefully place a tortilla in the skillet. Use a large flat spatula to gently press down to ensure your tortilla will be evenly crisped. The goal here is not to make chips or tostadas,. We want the tortilla to fold without tearing and to be crispy enough to hear a “crunch” when you bite in to your taco. Not a hard shell taco, and not a soft flour one either.

  10. Take a peek at the underside of the tortilla after about 15 seconds; if it has transformed from pale to golden and has some hints of brown, it’s ready to be flipped. Flip it and, again, use your spatula to press down to get an even, fast cook without turning it into a tostada.

  11. Add a tsp or so of oil between each tortilla.

    CRISPING UP THE CHICKEN

  12. Keep the oiled pan on medium heat to sear the chicken. Once the chicken’s sous vide cook time is up, remove the chicken from the pot and carefully take the chicken breast out of the bag, shaking it a little bit to allow the liquid to drip off as much as it can (back into the bag).

  13. Place the chicken onto the hot, oiled skillet. The pan and oil should be hot enough and the chicken should be dripped off/dry enough (externally) to allow for an instant, loud spattery-sizzle sound. This is how you sear meat. If there is too much liquid on the outside of the chicken, it’ll boil rather than sear. The liquid inside the chicken would then come out, resulting in mushy chicken. We don’t want this.

    The key here is to apply heat quickly so as to dry out/crisp up the outside without losing the moisture that’s inside. Think of the sear as a seal on the chicken; a proper sear will help to seal in the moisture.

  14. Once you get a nice crisp layer on the chicken, flip and repeat. If your chicken breast is pretty thick, you can also sear the sides/edges.

  15. When you’ve got a nice, even sear all around the chicken breast, go ahead and remove it from the heat and place it on a cutting board. Gently slice the chicken into long ~1/4 thick slices.

  16. Grab two forks and shred these slices into long messy pieces. Basically stab the slice with both forks next to or above each other and tear apart. If you’re like my mom and your fingers have built up a tolerance to steaming hot roti, feel free to attempt to tear the chicken apart with your fingers. Please be careful.

  17. When you’re done shredding the chicken, pour the reserved liquid over it and mix it up. Disclaimer: this is not a recipe for a saucy chicken taco.

    ASSEMBLY

  18. Tortilla. Chicken. Diced onions. Cilantro. Squeeze da lime.

    Enjoy!

Sous-Vide-Crispy-Chicken-Tacos-Halal-Food-Recipes

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Refreshing Strawberry Freckled Lemonade

When I was in high school, my best friends and I frequently dined at the Red Robin at the nearest “hipster” shopping center. I’ve always loved potatoes, and their steak fries were (are?) amazing! Another one of their items that was a favorite of mine was their infamous Freckled Lemonade with the perfect blend of sweet sugary strawberries and sour lemon!

Lucky for you, I’ve figured out how to make it at home!

Strawberry-Lemonade-Summer-Drinks-Food-Stylist

Ingredients

  • 4-6 strawberries, washed

  • 2 lemons

  • 2 1/4 cups of water

  • ~3 tbsp sugar

Recipe

  1. Hull and cut the strawberries in half.

  2. Pour 1/4 cup water into the immersion blender cup (or a regular blender). Add the strawberries and 1 tsp of sugar.

  3. Blend! Pour this mixture into a large jug or bottle.

  4. Juice your lemons into the [immersion] blender cup using a wooden reamer or citrus juicer (to maximize juice).

  5. Stir in 2 tbsp of sugar and 2 cups of water. Pour this into the jug/bottle.

  6. Enjoy!!

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Gettin' Figgy With It: Galette with Fresh Homegrown Figs

A few weeks ago, I was watching an episode of Netflix’s The Chef Show featuring Jon Favreau and Chef Roy Choi and was inspired by the peach galette they made with Evan Kleiman. I was hungry and ready for my midnight snack two hours ahead of schedule, and I made a mental note to make my first fruity pizza (er…galette) soon.

Fast forward to last week when my mom and I were admiring our blessedly fertile fig tree, I miraculously refrained from eating them all in one sitting and decided to save the harvested figs for a recipe.

Summer-Galette-with-Figs-Halal-Food-Blogger

I found the recipe for a galette at NYT Cooking, and I modified it slightly based on what I had at home (as I always do). Here is my modified version—

The Dough

  • 1 1/3 cups of all-purpose flour

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • a pinch of salt

  • 1 large egg

  • 1-2 tbsp of heavy cream or milk (might not need it)

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, cut into little cubes

The Filling

  • 6-7 fat figs

  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup of brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)

  • 1 small lemon, juiced (about 2 tbsp of juice)

Recipe

  1. Let’s start with the dough. In a measuring beaker like this one, beat the egg. We want the liquid to be 1/3 cup, so if your egg isn’t at 1/3 cup when beaten, add a tad bit of milk to get it there. Whisk a bit more.

  2. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, and salt). Add the cold butter cubes and mix it all up, smushing the butter with your thumb and fingers. You still want there to be small chunks of butter, but it should be fully incorporated into the flour mixture.

  3. Pour most of the egg (and cream/milk?) into the flour mixture, but leave a decent amount for brushing over the galette later. Mix it up. It’ll still be chunky and very unlike bread dough.

  4. Sprinkle some flour over a sheet of parchment paper and smack the blob of galette dough onto it. Flatten it into a fat disk/circle and top with another sheet of parchment paper. Let the dough chill for at least 2 hours to relieve its anxiety.

While the dough is chilling…

  1. Rinse your figs and slice them up, not too thin! I accidentally sliced my figs vertically, but you’ll want to slice them horizontally (for bigger, more even circles). Enjoy my diagram example.

  2. Put the fig slices in a small bowl and sprinkle the brown sugar over them. Pour in the lemon juice and mix gently (but thoroughly) with a metal spoon, carefully scraping along the bowl but not mushing the figs.

  3. Pop in the fridge until you’re ready to revisit the dough.

When the dough’s nearly done with therapy…

Galettes are like pies without the top crust, or pizza without the savory. They’re easy to make and fun to customize!

Galettes are like pies without the top crust, or pizza without the savory. They’re easy to make and fun to customize!

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.

  2. Take the dough out of the fridge and, with both sheets of parchment paper still attached, begin gently rolling the dough out to a 12” circle. More important than the diameter/roundness is the thickness of the dough. You want to roll out the dough so that it’s 1/4 inch thick throughout the circle.

  3. Transfer to a baking sheet and take off the top layer of parchment paper.

  4. Carefully spoon the fig filling into the center of the rolled-out dough, leaving a 1 1/2 inch border to close up the galette later. Spread the figs out so that they’re in somewhat even layers.

  5. Pleat or pinch the borders toward the center of the galette, kind of like an open dumpling. Like the rest of this recipe, this step doesn’t have to be perfect. Asymmetrical work makes us human!

  6. Brush the pastry crust with the remaining egg mixture. Pop it in the oven for a total of about 25 minutes. Check the galette at the 15 minute mark to see how the crust is progressing. I checked mine every 5 minutes after the 15 minute mark. Take out the galette when the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbly.

  7. Let it cool a bit before serving. If your filling still looks a bit liquidy, do not fret! It will thicken as it sets (which is why I was fine without the cornstarch in the original recipe).

  8. Enjoy!!!

Fig Galette Halal Dessert Recipes
Summer Fruit Galette with Homegrown Figs