Monday, March 31, 2014

Pineapple and Jalapeño Chicken Street Tacos


Yesterday as I sat staring at a pineapple on my kitchen counter and a random memory of a vacation I had last summer came to mind.  My husband needed to go to Santa Fe, NM for several weeks on military orders and me and the kids decided to tag along.  New mexico is definitely not on my favorites list as far as states go, but I thought it would be a fun adventure for the kids.  So the adventure mind set lasted for approximately 3 days and then the boredom set in.  When we checked into a hotel room with two double beds the reality of having 3 kids and one on the way had really set in.  When did my family get too big to share a room?  Anyway on week two of this cramped, hot, and terribly dull "vacation"  we caught wind of an ongoing treasure hunt in the area.  Apparently an eccentric old man (Forrest Fenn) hid over a million dollars in the Santa Fe area and it was ours for the taking if we could find it.  So for the next week or so me and the kiddos explored the valley, going to book stores, collecting old maps, and plotting away for the moment that Richard would be done with his training and we would pack up and head back towards our home in Utah...stopping on a detour to pick up our million dollars in gold coin and rare jewels of course.

Well the book that Forrest Fenn wrote about his treasure was called "The Thrill of the Chase"  and boy was that a perfect title.  We had such a blast on our treasure hunting detour.  We  saw parts of the southwest we probably would have never wanted to go to or even heard of for that matter.  We saw a brown bear drag an elk carcass of the road about 100 ft from us, we fished for brown trout in quaint little rivers and Richard almost plummeted to his death off a rocky cliff. ( The last part might be a slight exaggeration).  After 3 weeks in a tiny hotel room it was just what we needed to end our family getaway.

So what does all of that have to do with the pineapple on my kitchen counter you ask?  Well as we left our treasure hunting adventure we didn't really have a plan as to where we were going to stay on the way home to Utah.  We had figured we would just drive until we got tired and find some cheap hotel to crash at along the way.  We ended up driving over a hill and coming across the most adorable town called Pagosa Springs. It was one of those towns that make you feel like you stumbled back in time.   The streets were lined with twinkling lights, people were on the sidewalks laughing and holding hands and vintage cars filled the parking lots.  It was amazing.

We found a nice hotel and tucked ourselves in bed.  In the morning the concierge told us that there was a car show starting on main street and that we couldn't leave with out seeing what all the fuss was about.  We enjoyed our breakfast and headed out to the car show and to take in the scenery of the magical town we fell upon.  After hours of looking at cars and dancing in the streets we found ourselves parched and hungry.  We walked towards our car and saw a random taco truck and decided to give it a try.  We enjoyed delicious tacos of all kinds, but my favorite was the Grilled pineapple and chicken taco. This recipe comes extremely close to the awesome tacos I enjoyed that day, it takes me back to that memorable trip and all the thrills we chased!  We may not have come home with riches and gold but the memories we brought back were priceless!


Pineapple and Jalapeno Chicken Street Tacos

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 cup salsa verde
1 4.5 oz can green chilies
1/2 cup chopped fresh pineapple
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped jalapeno
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
corn tortillas
4 oz cotija cheese crumbled
sour cream ( optional)

Directions:
Place all the ingredients into a crock pot on low heat for 4 to 6 hours or until chicken shreds with a fork.  Shred the chicken in the crock pot and let it continue to cook for an additional 30 minutes to soak in the sauce.  Serve on warmed corn tortillas topped with cotija cheese and sour cream.  I also served a side of  Pineapple Salsa and blue corn chips!

On the hunt for treasure!
Pagosa Springs Car Show

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