While I was making blueberry muffins with my daughter last weekend, I began thinking of what I could make in the muffin tin. I think the only thing I have ever made with those muffin tins, are, well, muffins. Go figure. But as I look at them, and looked on top of my counter, I noticed some corn tortillas that I needed to use up, and just like that, an idea sparked.
In anticipation of Cinco de Mayo, I figured that I would use the muffin tin as a vessel to hold corn tortillas, and fill them with whatever I had in stock. In my case, I was going to make chicken taco cups, some filled with beans, and other just straight up chicken and cheese. After all, I have to please everyone when it comes to dinner, right?
Let’s get started:
Dry Rub Ingredients for the chicken:
- 4 large chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup of light brown sugar
For the Taco Cups:
- Corn tortillas, warmed, cut into smaller rounds
- Cooking spray
- Refried beans, cooked
- Head lettuce, shredded
- Avocado, cut into small cubes
- Shredded Colby Jack cheese
Start by marinating your chicken. Mix the dry spices together and rub it all over the chicken breasts. Let these marinate for about 30 minutes.
Spray your muffin tin with cooking spray, and preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
While the chicken marinates, warm your tortillas in microwave, or in a skillet on medium heat until they are nice an pliable. Keep them warm in a tortilla warmer, or in a towel until you are ready to cut and place inside of your muffin tin.
Now you need to figure out how to best cut your tortillas. You can use a large cup, place over the tortilla, and use a sharp knife to cut the rounds, or you can use one of the best things I probably ever purchased, and use the round cutters, and cut into perfect rounds. Place each round inside a muffin tin. Repeat until your muffin tin is full.
Heat a large non-stick skillet on medium high heat. Add the chicken breasts, and cook for about 6 minutes per side. Once the second side is cooked, add about 1/2 cup of water into the skillet, cover, and remove from the heat.
Place your muffin tin inside the preheated oven and cook the tortilla cups for about 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside.
Remove the chicken from the skillet, and cut it into small, bite-sized cubes. Your goal will be to have small enough chicken bites to fit inside a tortilla cup.
Ok, now we are ready to assemble.
Add about a tablespoon of cooked, refried beans to the bottom of each taco cup. Add chicken to to top of the beans, and top with the shredded cheese. Pack it in there, and press gently into each cup. Add more cheese if necessary.
Place the muffin tin back into the preheated oven and cook another 6 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted.
Remove the taco cups by running a knife around the tortilla cup, and place on your serving dish. Top with shredded lettuce, and avocado cubes.
Let me just say this. My wife made me make this twice last week they were that good, and I even served them for dinner for the kids (making some without the beans), and they loved them as well.
What was great about these taco cups, were that they were bite sized, did not fall apart, and were just the perfect bite. I think taco night now will get replaced with taco cup night, they were that amazing. Oh yeah, that extra cheese crisps up around the cup while cooking, and is just an added bonus. Hope you enjoy, and happy Cinco de Mayo!