chicken & black bean double decker tacos.

taco taco taco time.

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double decker tacos bring me right back to half-days or early-outs in high school when everyone would disperse and go get lunch at various fast food joints. my high school was way out in the country boonsville usa, and we had a closed campus for lunch and such. so half-days were the ultimate. 

what i'm getting at is that double decker tacos at taco bell were my jam. until one said half-day when i had like 3 of them and i don't think i went to taco bell pretty much ever again haha. 

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but as a texture freak, double deckers are genius. a plump & soft flour tortilla hugging a crunchy shell with beans in between! and then all the toppings within! yes please.

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[p.s.a....i made these with romaine before the e.coli outbreak warnings came out.. yipes.]

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turns out that brother phil's red pepper cashew sauce is PERFECT on these double deckers. it's so flavorful and creamy, i didn't think adding cheese was even necessary. but pleeez go ahead and add cheese because cheese makes life worth living.

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i hardly ever buy ground beef unless i have a deep winter's craving for a meaty lasagna or something like that. and i kinda think the light color of ground chicken & turkey is freakydeaky. so i disguised the chicken with the leftover black bean juice and some spices so it was parading as ground beef, lol. looks like it, eh? pete even thought it actually WAS beef. 

and these are soo much more substantial than you-know-who's double decker tacos and there's a lot more grown-up flavor represented. just one will really satisfy you. 

get your double decker on this cinco de mayoooooo, amigos!

Chicken & Black Bean Double Decker Tacos

Time: 40 minutes

Serves 2-4, with leftovers

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 6-inch flour tortillas, plump & flexible
  • hard taco shells
  • 1 can black beans (liquid reserved for cooking the chicken)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • red pepper cashew sauce (optional - but adds so much flavor and depth)
  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce or greens
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeño, sliced into rounds
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • fresh cilantro

Instructions-

Open the can of black beans and reserve the liquid in a small bowl. Heat a large pan or skillet to medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the ground chicken and turn to brown and break up into crumbles for a few minutes. Add about 1/2 cup of the black bean liquid, 1 TB minced garlic, salt, pepper, and paprika. Continue to cook the chicken on medium/high heat until it's very browned.

In a separate pan, heat the black beans on medium/low. Use a potato masher to smash the warmed beans until they look like refried beans. Add a pinch of salt and mash the beans until very smooth, adding a small amount of water here and there if they need some moisture.

Chop and prepare all the veggies and toppings as directed. Warm the flour tortillas on each side on the stovetop. 

Once all the veggies are prepared, chicken cooked, beans mashed, and tortillas warmed - begin building your double decker tacos. Use a spatula to spread a layer of mashed black beans onto the flour tortillas and wrap the flour tortillas around the hard shells. Add the red pepper cashew sauce and ground chicken on the bottom. Layer on lettuce, avocado, cabbage, tomatoes, jalapeños & cilantro. Sour cream or plain Greek yogurt would be delicious on top, too!

Serve immediately or build each taco as desired. The hard shell will soften quite quickly inside the soft shell. 

 

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