In our younger years, we really loved our spicy foods and could tolerate serious levels of heat. Now that we’re older, our bodies can handle only subtler levels, but we still crave the wonderful fire of habaneros. These chile peppers have terrific floral and fruity notes, enhancing any flavors they touch. Life without spicy food would be extremely bland and boring for us, so the extra kick of habanero keeps us young. For these chicken tacos, add small amounts of habanero at a time; each chile can vary in spice level. But if you’re a spice addict with a strong stomach, go for a few whole chilies—at your own risk. Be as brave as you want with the chile, but don’t forget to preserve your taste buds for your next meal.

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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound (455g) chicken cutlets, cut into 1-inch (2.5-cm) cubes
  • 1 red (bell) pepper, seeded and sliced into 2-inch (5-cm) strips
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 habanero chile, seeded and thinly sliced
  • Tortillas
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Optional fillings: chopped red onion, shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced avocado, or Spicy Radish Salsa

Method

Directions

  1. In a large pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add the chicken, bell pepper, salt, pepper to taste, and Worcestershire sauce. Raise the heat to medium–high and cook for 10 minutes.
  2. Slowly add slices of habanero to reach your desired level of spiciness. Continue cooking for another 2 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  3. Warm the tortillas, wrapped in foil, in the oven or char them by holding them one or two at a time with a pair of tongs over the flame of a gas cooktop, flipping them over every few seconds until both sides are charred. Fill the tortillas with the chicken and top with the cilantro. If desired, add other fillings of your choice. Fold the tacos over and serve.

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