It’s no secret that COSTCO is one of my all time favorite stores. I mean, hey, it’s a single store where you can purchase bulk amounts of diapers, Advil, toilet paper, beer, books featuring Disney characters, a security system, jewelry, and shower heads, plus a shed to store it all in.
It’s often one of the main stops on our Sunday errands list, as it’s a great place to pick up food for the week (or year), and maybe get some cheap eats in the process. Among their many options, the rotisserie chicken is a versatile staple of our routine, and I have many a (simple) recipe to show for it. If nothing else, check out my simple pulled chicken sliders.
About a year ago, while heading for the chickens, I noticed that one of the coolers in my local warehouse was stocked with platters of kits promising “street tacos”. Not one to pass up a decent-looking easy meal, I scooped one up, and tried it out.
The platter is loaded as pictured here, with a healthy portion of chopped, pre-seasoned and precooked chicken, cabbage slaw, shredded cheese, limes, about 12 corn tortillas, and a packet each of (mild) salsa and cilantro-lime crema. It’s a decent amount of food, and easily feeds my wife an I, with plenty left over.
Frustratingly – and oddly – it does not come with instructions.
The first time I picked up a platter, I was in a bit of a hurry, so I ended up resorting to everyone’s old standby: the microwave. The result was a (tasty) disappointment. The chicken was dry, and had that weird, microwaved texture and flavor, and the corn tortillas easily split when folded. BOOOOOO
I resolved to try again, and make an easy to follow set of instructions that just about anyone can follow. Here goes.
First off, I’d recommend gathering the following kitchen tools and ingredients:
- Vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup of water or chicken stock
- A skillet with a lid (or some aluminum foil) in which to reheat the chicken
- A separate skillet to toast the tortillas
- A medium-sized bowl to make the slaw
- A pair of tongs (for both the chicken and flipping the tortillas)
- A large spoon for mixing
- Place the two skillets on burners on your stove, and turn both on medium heat.
- Place a tablespoon of oil in the skillet for the chicken, and let it heat up for a minute or two.
- Leave the tortilla skillet dry, and heat the tortillas one at a time (you can do this ongoing as you cook the chicken and prep the slaw), until they puff up and get a little toasty, at which point you flip them over and do it again on the other side. It should take no more than 20-30 seconds on each side for each tortilla.
Don’t worry if you overcook a couple, you should have plenty of tortillas, and after all, color is flavor.
- Place the chicken in the heated pan, and stir it around for 2-3 minutes. It’ll sizzle, the spices will start to waft, and some of the little pieces will begin to crisp up.
- Add the 1/2 cup of stock (more flavor) or water, and cover the pan with the lid or the foil for 3 minutes. This will create steam under the lid, and put some moisture back into the precooked meat.
- Remove the cover, and stir the meat every minute or so until the extra liquid has mostly evaporated (this didn’t take more than a few extra minutes for me). Remove the chicken pan from the heat.
- To make serving easier, I would recommend tossing the shredded slaw with the provided crema (and salsa) before putting the tacos together; it spices up the experiences, makes it all stick together, and gives everyone a shot at all the flavors before SOMEONE uses the whole packet of salsa on ONE TACO.
- Layer some of the chicken on a toasted tortilla (or two), with a bit of cheese and slaw, and a squeeze of lime.
- Enjoy (with or without – but preferably with – a cold beer)!