Chipotle Chicken Meatball Tacos

Total Time:
50 min
15 min
35 min

6 servings

  • 2 thick slices white sandwich bread, torn into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 pound ground chicken
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 chipotle chile pepper in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped
  • 1 14 -ounce can diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Hard taco shells and assorted toppings, for serving
  • Combine the bread and egg in a large bowl; add 1 tablespoon water and mash with a potato masher or fork to make a paste. Add half each of the onion and garlic, then add the cilantro, chicken, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; mix with your hands until just combined. Brush a large baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Shape the meat mixture into 12 meatballs and place 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate 15 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 475 degrees F. Combine the remaining onion and garlic, the jalapeno, chipotle, tomatoes, thyme and cinnamon in a blender; pulse until smooth. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Pour in the tomato puree, then add the bay leaves and cook until the sauce thickens, about 6 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups water, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 more minutes; season with salt.

  • Bake the meatballs until they just start to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer to the sauce and gently simmer, spooning the sauce over the meatballs, until cooked through, about 7 minutes. (Add a few tablespoons of water if the sauce gets too thick.) Remove the bay leaves. Cut the meatballs in half and serve in taco shells with assorted toppings.

  • Photograph by Andrew Purcell

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    This recipe is featured in:

    Cinco de Mayo