“What is it about Buffalo sauce that we all love so much? I’m going to let you in on the secret. Come close. B-u-t-t-e-r. Yep, that creaminess that softens up the spice and melts in your mouth is butter- the base of all that is good and holy hot. Toss this easy homemade sauce with roasted pulled chicken thighs and veggies for a taco bar that brings the heat. Cervezas not included.”
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs*
- Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons neutral oil (such as vegetable, grapeseed or sunflower)
- 2 poblano peppers, seeded and cut into strips
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/4 cup white wine or chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup Louisiana-style hot sauce (your favorite brand)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Kosher salt
- 12 to 14 small (6-inch) flour tortillas, warmed just before serving
- 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- 1 small bunch cilantro, roughly chopped, for garnish
- Lime wedges, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Generously season both sides of the chicken thighs with salt, pepper and paprika.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs and sear until golden brown, 2-3 minutes per side. Arrange the chicken in a single layer in a 9x13-inch baking dish.
To the same skillet, add the poblanos and onions, and reduce the heat to medium. Season with the chili powder and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the wine or stock, and cook for an additional minute, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Transfer the veggies and liquid to the baking dish with the chicken and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven and use two forks to shred the meat. Return the shredded meat to the baking dish, toss it with all of the dish’s juices, and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
For the Buffalo sauce, in a small saucepan melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the hot sauce and lemon juice, and whisk to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes then season to taste with salt.
Drain the majority of the cooking liquid from the baking dish and then toss the chicken and veggies with the Buffalo sauce.
To assemble the tacos, top each warm tortilla with a scoop of the Buffalo chicken, some shredded cheese and lettuce. Garnish each taco with cilantro and a lime wedge.
*Fanfare Tip/Flippidy-Doo: Love the Buffalo spice but not the Buffalo? You know what I mean. Swap out the pulled chicken for some veggies—eggplant, zucchini, and squash do an excellent job of absorbing the sauce.