Chicken Taco Diatribe

Posted by Brette in Food

chicken tacoI’ve got a bone to pick, but it’s not with Martha. It’s with the grocery store.

Earlier in the week, I went grocery shopping and bought ingredients for a few Martha dishes. I specifically bought avocado so I could made Roasted Chicken Tacos (Martha Stewart Everyday Food, September). There was a nice selection of avocados and some were marked “ripe”. Now, from what I could tell, none seemed ripe to me, but the ones marked “ripe” were closer than some of the other cement footballs in the bin. I brought my avocado home and let it sit out in the fruit bowl with the bananas (known to help ripen fruit) for two days. Finally, I was desperate for something to make for dinner. I had to rule out a salmon dish with a corn/tomato/avocado relish since I didn’t have any corn. I ruled out a fontina and mushroom turkey meatloaf because I had no mushrooms. My choices were dwindling and so I went with the chicken tacos. The sticker on the avocado says “ripe,” I rationalized. It must be at least close to ripe. Wrong.

I had some leftover fried chicken so I used that in place of the roasted chicken. This recipe has very few ingredients – cilantro ( had to use dried which is no real substitute but I was desperate for a dish I could make), onion, salt and pepper, lime juice and salt and pepper, and tortillas.  And of course the cursed avocado. I tried to cut the avocado in half. It was so hard it would not separate in the center. I ended up peeling the skin off and cutting avocado off around the edges. It was just nasty. It was woody and pulpy and awful.  The entire dinner I muttered under my breath about the ridiculousness of labeling this as ripe! I find they do this with other things too – peaches, nectarines, plums, etc. There is usually a bin of regular ones, then one marked “ripe now,” but they never are actually ripe. Nor are they close to ripe.I understand ripe fruit has a short shelf life. I understand they have to pick things unripe to allow for transportation time. I do know the reasons. But it doesn’t change my frustration.

The whole thing made me cranky and grumbly. How far in advance must one buy avocados?

Anyway, we went ahead and ate these, but they were not great. Even if the avocado had been ripe I would have given this a thumb’s down. It just needed something – salsa, cheese, tomato, sour cream, lettuce. Anything at all really would have helped.  It was very blah and did not feel like anything close to a real meal.

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5 Responses

  • Melissa says:

    At home in California, my mother puts unripe avocados in a paper bag for a few days. It works really well.

  • I’ve tried that with other fruit this summer and had absolutely no success. It has not worked for me with plums, nectarines or peaches. I’ll try it with avocadoes next time and see if it helps.

  • Jennifer says:

    When watching the show today for this recipe, Martha did talk about adding salsa. Instead the produce store I shop at often has fresh pico de gallo so I will be trying that. My daughter hates anything spicey so she will be adding sour cream. I think any of the toppings can be substituted to taste, I’m just worried the meat won’t have enough “zip” so maybe I’ll put some of the lime on the chicken as I’m tearing it apart. Hope I have good things to report tomorrow 😉

  • I saw that today. You just know Martha saw this recipe as it was written and told her staff it wasn’t going to cut it. I still believe Martha has impeccable taste and that it is not always carried through in the magazine. Let me know how it turned out!

  • sounds like this is something I will have to give a try.I have a cooking recipe site as well and I¡¯d like to exchange links with you. Let me know if this is possible. Thanks.