Being born and raised in Southern California, I’ve consumed many tacos. Many years back when my family prepared tacos, they were pretty simple – ground beef, cheese, lettuce and salsa on a fried tortilla. Over the years, my Mexican cooking has progressed tremendously and today, I use many different spices and rubs on various types of meat or vegetables to fill my taco recipes.
Annatto seeds or achiote seeds as they are often called, are used to flavor and color many foods. I find they make a great addition to a spice mixture because they add an earthiness that works well in Mexican cooking. This recipe combines ground annatto seeds with cumin, onion powder, paprika and cayenne, as well as the juice of a lime to form a paste like marinade to spread on the chicken.
These Grilled Chicken Tacos are super simple to prepare and make a fast & fabulous meal. You can either grill the chicken outside, or on an indoor grill pan, for an even quicker approach. I think you’re going to love these.
4-5 chicken thighs – boneless, skin on
2 teaspoon annatto seeds, ground
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder + 1/4 teaspoon for yogurt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cayenne pepper, optional
1 teaspoon salt
juice of 2 limes, divided
1 cup non-fat Greek Yogurt
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 head of napa cabbage, finely sliced
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup jack cheese – grated
black beans, optional
8-12 corn tortillas
1. In a bowl, combine ground annatto seeds or powder, cumin, onion powder, paprika and salt. Add juice of 1 lime to spice mixture and stir.
2. Spread mixture onto chicken and set aside. Add 3 tablespoon olive oil to a grill pan and place over high heat, or turn outside grill to 400 degrees. Add chicken to pan, skin side down and grill for 4 minutes. Flip chicken over and continue to grill for 5 minutes, using a lid to cover for the last 5 minutes.
3. While chicken is cooking, prepare the condiments to serve on the tacos. In a bowl, mix together yogurt, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon honey and juice of 1 lime. set aside. If using black beans, slightly mash and heat on stove.
4. Remove chicken from grill and rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes, covered with foil. Slice chicken into 1/2 inch pieces for tacos. Toast tortillas over open flame or on grill, and fill with sliced chicken, cheese, cabbage, beans, avocado and yogurt. Enjoy!