Back in January, a good friend of mine posted this article on Facebook about Taco Bell’s Fried Chicken Taco Shell, coming soon. My immediate reaction was ‘I am going to make a Paleo version asap!’. I might have even said that in the comments.
For this recipe, I used the same breading as I do for my chicken tenders. You can either use plantain chips or chicharrones. I tried it both ways, and I think the chicharrones work a little better, but if you can’t find any, plantain chips will do. I buy my pork rinds from a local butcher. I’ve also made this recipe using these salt and pepper pork rinds from Epic.
The ingredients don’t really vary from my chicken tenders recipe; it’s all about the technique to fry them up into this shape.
(makes 2-3 fried chicken taco shells)
3/4 cup pork rinds, ground (or you can sub ground plantain chips)
3/4 cup tapioca flour (I use this kind)
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs, lightly beaten
coconut oil for frying (I highly recommend using this kind) (or sub palm shortening, duck fat or avocado oil)
1 lb. organic chicken breast
- Blend pork rinds or plantain chips in the food processor until it has the consistency of flour.
- In a shallow bowl or a plate, combine 3/4 cup ground plantains or pork rinds, tapioca flour, salt, pepper, cayenne, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper.
- In a shallow bowl, beat the eggs together.
- Butterfly the chicken breast, to get it thinner. Keep that edge intact and, using a sharp knife, open the breast along the “fold.” Next, cover a cutting board with parchment paper. Lay down the butterflied breast, fold it open, and cover it with another sheet of parchment paper. Use a meat mallet to pound the chicken to get it as thin as possible.
- Fold the chicken breast in half like a taco; using sharp kitchen shears, cut the breast into a taco shape.
- Dredge the chicken breasts one piece at a time in the flour mixture. Shake off the excess flour, then dip the chicken tenders in the egg and again in the flour. Make sure they are very well-coated with the flour mixture.
- Set them aside on a clean dish.
- Heat the coconut oil in a heavy-bottomed pan like cast iron over medium-high heat. Start with 1/4 cup coconut oil and add more if needed. You want enough oil in the pan so the chicken tenders are halfway submerged in the oil.
- Use tongs to place one breaded chicken breast at a time into the oil. It should start to sizzle. Cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip over and fold the breast in half, holding in place with the tongs until crispy. Flip one last time to cook the remaining part of the “taco shell.”
- Fill them with your favorite toppings and serve! I used lettuce, tomato and homemade ranch dressing!
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