It has become a tradition to celebrate Cinco de Mayo here in the United States with delicious food and drink. These Lime Chicken Soft Tacos with Homemade Tomato Salsa and Cilantro Lime Rice are a favorite in our house. This Mexican inspired dinner is perfect for Cinco de Mayo!
Cilantro is one of my favorite herbs. With cilantro, you either love it or hate it! Some people detect a soapy flavor in the leaves and won't go near them, but I get an earthy flavor with hints of citrus. The flavor it imparts is so distinct, it really adds a nice touch to many different recipes. Cilantro is actually the Spanish word for coriander, but cilantro seems to be the more commonly used word for this delicious herb. So what do you say? Love it or hate it? I think you know where I stand on this debate <wink>
I topped these delicious soft tacos with some chopped spinach, because I love sneaking spinach in where I can, and it works great on these tacos! I also added some Homemade Tomato Salsa. All of the fresh flavors in the tacos paired so nicely with the Cilantro Lime Rice.
Don even likes to just mix the taco ingredients with the rice and have an all-in-one meal. He'll eat it just like that sometimes, or he'll put it all in a wrap with some cheese and guacamole. No matter how you eat this meal, it's delish! I love how versatile it is!
Cook time: 20 mins.
Cinco de Mayo Lime Chicken Soft Tacos with Cilantro Lime Rice
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup long-grain white rice, rinsed
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 fresh lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime zest
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- salt to taste
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- salt and pepper
- 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 fresh lime, juiced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freahly ground black pepper
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Flour Tortillas - I used 4 soft taco size tortillas (8")
- Fresh spinach, chopped
- Homemade Tomato Salsa
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
- In a saucepan over mid-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter and add a pinch of salt to the melted butter. Add 1 cup white rice and cook until very lightly toasted. This will only take a minute or 2. Add in 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to mid-low, and allow to simmer for 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. When most of the liquid is absorbed, remove from heat and uncover. Allow to sit while you get the tacos ready. When ready to serve, mix in juice from 1/2 lime, 1 teaspoon lime zest, 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, pinch of cayenne pepper, and salt to taste. Give it a taste and adjust the flavors to your liking. Don't be afraid to add a little more lime juice or cilantro if you want stronger flavors :)
- While the rice is cooking, heat a skillet over mid-high heat. Season the diced chicken pieces with salt & pepper. When the pan is good and hot, add the chicken pieces in a single layer and let them cook, undisturbed, for about 3 minutes until they are nicely browned on one side. Yes, we are adding them to a dry pan. This helps to get a good sear on them for maximum flavor. It's important to not stir the chicken pieces for about 3 minutes. If you stir too soon, they will stick to the pan and make a mess. Once they are nicely browned on the one side, give them a good stir and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes until cooked through. Cooking time will vary depending on how big your chicken pieces are and how hot your pan is, so be sure to check to make sure they are cooked through. I recommend using a cast iron skillet or stainless steel. Using a non-stick skillet will not sear the chicken as nicely, so I try to avoid that.
- Reduce heat to medium and add 1/2 tablespoon freshly minced garlic to the skillet. Cook for about a minute and add 1/8 cup red wine vinegar, juice from 1/2 lime, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to the skillet and give it a good stir to combine and coat the chicken. Add the green onions and simmer a minute or two. The liquid will reduce and coat the chicken pieces nicely. Remove the chicken pieces to a serving dish and set aside.
- Wipe out the skillet. Be careful not to burn yourself. Heat the skillet over medium heat and place a tortilla in the skillet to warm it. Turn it to warm both sides and repeat with all tortillas you'll be using.
- Divide chicken mixture evenly among warmed tortillas. Top with chopped spinach, Homemade Tomato Salsa, and shredded cheddar cheese. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with the Cilantro Lime Rice. Enjoy!
Total time: 35 mins.
Tags: Celebration, Cilantro Lime Rice, Cinco de Mayo, Lime Chicken, Mexican, Soft Tacos, Spanish, Tomato Salsa, Tradition, Wraps
Recipes adapted from allrecipes.com Lime Chicken Soft Tacos and Lime Cilantro Rice