What’s not to love about a meal you can devour one-handed?
Mexico’s top street food is cropping up on menus all over SA. Cape Town’s El Burro has a glut of taco options, while Jozi’s Baha Taco truck roams the city’s markets winning fans over with its pulled-pork version.
The Taco Night food feature from our Jan/Feb issue earlier this year included this version of the versatile gourmet trend:
Southern Fried Chicken with Maple Bourbon Syrup
3 cups plain flour
1t baking powder
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup warm water
Combine the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the oil and water and mix until a soft dough forms. Transfer the dough to a well-floured work surface. Divide the dough into half, then in half again, continuing until you have 24 portions. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten with the palm of your hands, adding a little flour if the dough is too sticky. Cover the dough with a clean kitchen towel and leave it to rest for 15 minutes.
Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Roll each dough piece into a rough circle. Place the tortilla in the pan and cook for about a minute. Flip and cook the other side for about 30 seconds. The taco should be soft with a few small golden brown spots on the surface. Remove and stack in a covered container until all the tacos are cooked. This will keep them soft and pliable. MAKES 24
Southern fried chicken with maple bourbon syrup
For the chicken
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
1½ cups of buttermilk
2t sriracha sauce
2 cups rice flour
½ cup self-raising flour
1t onion powder
1t chilli powder
salt and pepper, to season
vegetable oil for cooking
for the maple bourbon syrup
1 cup of maple syrup
¼ cup of bourbon
½t vanilla extract
2T red wine vinegar
for the slaw
2 green apples, finely sliced and shredded
1 fennel bulb, finely sliced and shredded
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 green chilli deseeded and
⅓ cup Italian white wine vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
8 mini tortillas
For the chicken mix the pieces, buttermilk and sriracha sauce in a bowl and refrigerate for about an hour. Combine the flours and spices together and season. Remove the chicken from the buttermilk mixture, toss in the flour and then put back into the mixture, then again into the flour. Before cooking shake off any excess flour. Heat the oil in a large saucepan to 190°C (test with a small piece of bread which should turn golden in 40 seconds). Cook the chicken
for 3–4 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.
For the syrup, simmer the maple syrup in a pot for 10 minutes over medium heat. Remove from the heat, add the bourbon, vanilla and vinegar and stir through.
To make the slaw, mix the apple, fennel, spring onions and chilli in a large bowl. Combine the vinegar and olive oil together and pour over the slaw.
To assemble the tacos, place a little slaw in the middle, top with the crunchy chicken and drizzle with the maple bourbon sauce. Serve immediately.
Recipes and styling Brita du Plessis