Crispy Potato, Duck and Chorizo Tacos

Crispy potato and chorizo are a classic taco combination—and I added just one more ingredient- duck breast, that elevated this taco to the next level. The ideal potato and chorizo taco should be deeply browned and flavorful, each crisp cube of potato coated in a thin layer of bright red fat packed with spicy, meaty flavor. The chorizo itself should have a range of textures from tender and moist to crisp. It’s a very straight-forward process to get there, but it does take a bit of time.

To get the perfectly crispy cooked potatoes, par-cook your potatoes in vinegar-spiked water. This technique will help the potatoes in achieving that  extra crispness when subsequently fried in hot fat in a cast iron skillet.

For the best results, use fresh chorizo. In cooking chorizo, just when you think it is past point of being done, cook the meat just a little bit longer, browning it to a deep dark almost black color, but not brunt. The chorizo will be  crisper, better browned,  and much more tastier in the end.

DSC01457

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

3 large Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Kosher salt, to taste
1 Tablespoon white vinegar

One 8-ounce D’Artagnan Rohan Duck Breast in Southwest-Style Marinade (click here for the resource)

6 Tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 pound fresh Mexican chorizo
12 to 16 warm soft corn tortillas, for serving
cojita or goat cheese, for serving
1 white onion, minced, for serving
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for serving
Homemade or store-bought salsa verde, for serving
2 limes cut into 8 wedges each, for serving

DIRECTIONS:

For the Potatoes:
Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Add vinegar and 2 tablespoons salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until potatoes are just cooked through, about 5 minutes after coming to a boil. Drain potatoes and let rest over sink until mostly dry.

Heat 4 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until lightly smoking. Add potatoes, shake to distribute around the pan, and cook, tossing and stirring occasionally until very crisp and golden brown on all sides, about 15 minutes.

For the Duck Breast:
With a knife, score the skin of the duck breast in a cross-hatch pattern, making the squares as small as possible without cutting into the meat. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Place in a hot skillet skin side down and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 8 minutes, while continuously draining off the rendered fat.

Flip over and cook for 4 minutes on the meat side. On a heated grill, finish cooking on the meat side for 4 minutes.

Cover the duck breast with foil to keep warm  and allow to rest rest for 10 minutes, then slice it very thinly across the grain. Cover again and set aside.

Drain fat from pan.

For the Chorizo:
Heat remaining oil in a medium non-stick or cast iron skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add chorizo and cook, stirring, until heated through. Continue cooking, stirring and tossing frequently, until all the liquid has evaporated, some fat breaks out, the chorizo starts sizzling, and eventually is quite dry and well-browned, about 15 minutes.

Transfer cooked  duck and chorizo to pan with potatoes. Toss to combine and season to taste with salt.

For the Tortillas:
Warm the tortillas with a little heat to make them soft and pliable.  Place the tortillas in a dry (no oil) stainless steel skillet over medium heat and cook them for about 30 seconds on each side.

Alternatively, you can also do away with the skillet and char the tortillas directly over the gas flames for a few seconds using tongs. These stove-top methods work best when the tortillas are very fresh.

Serve the meat and potato mixture immediately with tortillas, onions, cilantro, salsa, and limes on the side.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

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Día de Muertos

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico, in particular the Central and South regions, and acknowledged around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died, and help support their spiritual journey. In 2008 the tradition was inscribed in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.

In our household we kept it pretty simple this year with Chili Con Carne and Cheese Stuffed Tamales. We also had a cake, just for the kids. I know, it is right after Halloween, as the Holidays start rolling in one after another!

Recipes will  be soon to follow! Stay Tuned!


Chicken with Pumpkin and Ancho Chile Mole Sauce

Photo Credit: Williams-Sonoma, 2015

During October, the seasonal menu is filled with pumpkins and this classic Mexican sauce has a unique spin when combining pumpkin and almonds with cocoa, chiles, allspice berries, cloves and cinnamon. The mole sauce can be made ahead of time, and for a super-quick supper, simply combine the sauce with browned chicken thighs and then simmer. Dress up the dish with chunks of fresh pumpkin and crunchy pepitas (toasted pumpkin seeds) to create a beautiful yet easy one-pot dish that will turn heads at an autumn dinner party.

Chicken with Pumpkin and Ancho Chile Mole Sauce
(Pollo con Mole de Chile Ancho y Calabaza)

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
For the Pumpkin Mole:
1/2 white onion, peeled, charred
6 garlic cloves, charred, peeled
3 ancho chiles, stemmed, seeded and opened
1/4 cup slivered almonds
5 whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
8 whole allspice berries
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (about 1 3/4 cup)
3 cups chicken broth
Kosher, to taste
3 Tablespoons brown sugar, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cocoa powder

Directions:
Place the onion and garlic in a baking sheet under the broiler. Char for 9 to 10 minutes, flipping once in between. Once they are soft and charred, remove from the heat. When the garlic is cool, peel.

In an already hot skillet or comal set over medium-low heat, toast the ancho chiles for about 15 to 20 seconds per side, until they brown and crisp without burning. Place toasted ancho chiles in a bowl covered with boiling water. Soak for 10 to 15 minutes until they are plumped up and rehydrated.

In the same skillet, toast the cloves and all spice until aromatic, about a minute. Remove from the heat. Toast the almonds and cinnamon, stirring often, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes.

Place the onion, garlic, chiles, 1/2 cup of chile soaking liquid, almonds, cloves, cinnamon and allspice in the blender and puree until smooth.

In a soup pot or casserole, heat the oil and pour the pureed mixture over medium heat. Add the salt, brown sugar and cocoa powder. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to help prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan. The color will darken considerably.

Add the pumpkin puree and chicken broth to the sauce. Stir well until the pumpkin puree has dissolved, it will have a silky consistency. Continue to cook for about 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. If using immediately set aside.

For the Chicken:
4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound pumpkin or winter squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
6 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
15 ounces pumpkin ancho chile mole sauce
1 lemon, quartered
2 cinnamon sticks for garnish
2 Tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
Cilantro leaves, for garnish

Directions:
In a large fry pan over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the pumpkin and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin is slightly tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the pumpkin pieces to a plate and set aside.

Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. In the same pan, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Add the chicken, skin side down, and cook until browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and pour off the excess fat in the pan.

Return the chicken, skin side up, to the pan and add the simmer sauce. Return the pumpkin to the pan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through and the pumpkin is tender, about 20 minutes.

Garnish with lemon quarters and cinnamon sticks. Sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds and cilantro and serve immediately.