From the Tacos, New Mexico Style from the June 2017.



Chicken-Guacamole Fresh-Fried Tacos

Makes about 1 dozen tacos

In case the name trips you up, it’s the tacos that are fried, not the chicken. I recommend you use a store-bought rotisserie chicken for the filling here.



Filling




  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 2 to 2 1/2 cups finely shredded cooked chicken

  • Pinch of ground cumin

  • Salt, optional

  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro, optional



Guacamole and tacos




  • 1 large ripe avocado (preferably Hass variety), chunked

  • 1 tablespoon minced onion

  • 1/2 to 1 fresh jalapeño or serrano chile, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Juice of 1/2 lime or lemon

  • 18 to 24 corn tortillas

  • Vegetable oil for frying

  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

  • Norteño Salsa, or other salsa, optional



For filling




  1. Combine the filling ingredients in a medium saucepan. Over medium heat, cook down until no liquid remains but chicken mixture is still moist. Keep warm, or make up to 1 day ahead, refrigerate, then reheat before using.



For guacamole




  1. Mash avocado roughly in a small bowl, leaving some chunks. Stir in remaining ingredients. Use within about 30 minutes.



For tacos




  1. Heat 1–2 inches of oil in a skillet until the oil just ripples. With tongs, dunk a tortilla into the oil long enough for it to go limp, a matter of seconds. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and blot them, if you wish, with paper towels.

  2. Fill a tortilla with about 2 tablespoons of filling, fold in half, and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.

  3. Raise the temperature of the oil to 350º. Fry the tacos, in batches, until lightly browned and crisp. Drain well.

  4. Remove toothpicks and garnish the tacos right away with cheese so it melts a bit. Then add some guacamole to each and serve immediately, passing the salsa.