Chicken Tacos
Chicken Tacos Photo: Liz Andrew/Styling: Erin McDowell

It happens every time: We bite into a hard-shell taco and the filling immediately falls out the other end. (Womp, womp.) Since those premade shells don’t cut it--ever--we asked our recipes editor to share her taco-making tactic. Fill a corn tortilla with chicken and cheese, fold it in half, and then fry the whole thing. The tortilla will crisp up around the filling to keep the goods in place. Best of all, you don’t need any fancy equipment, just a deep pan and a pair of tongs (and a little bit of faith).

RELATED: 12 Taco Recipes That Will Make Your Tuesday (or Any Day) Infinitely Better

Makes 4 servings
Start to Finish: 1 hour

Ingredients

Tacos

Oil (such as corn or vegetable), for frying

1½ cups store-bought rotisserie chicken, shredded

2 tablespoons taco seasoning

1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

8 (6-inch) corn tortillas

Coarse salt

To Finish

Salsa, for garnish

Sour cream, for garnish

Chopped cilantro, for garnish

Minced red onion, for garnish

Lime wedges, for garnish

Directions

1. Heat 4 inches of oil in a deep medium-size pan over medium heat until it reads 350°F on a thermometer.

2. While the oil heats, prepare the filling: In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with the taco seasoning to coat. Add the cheese and mix to combine.

3. Spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of filling into the center of each tortilla. Fold the tortilla into the classic taco shape, then grab it with long-handled tongs, holding it firmly at the base.

4. Carefully insert the whole taco into the hot frying oil. Hold the taco in place for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the tortilla begins to crisp and hold its shape. Once the outside structure is set, release the taco from the tongs so it can continue to cook (it will float to the surface of the oil), then add another taco. Fry each taco until the shell is crispy and golden, 3 to 5 minutes.

5. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Use the tongs to remove the tacos from the oil and drain on the prepared baking sheet. Season the outside of the warm tacos with coarse salt. Garnish with salsa, sour cream, cilantro, red onion and lime wedges to taste. Serve immediately.

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