Chicken Kaarage Tacos with Chipotle Aioli

by Kristen on August 18, 2014

Chicken Kaarage Tacos with Chipotle AioliSo guys, these tacos. Where do I even start? Chicken kaarage is crispy fried (and naturally gluten free!) chicken that is so tender and juicy and flavourful that you might think you’ve arrived at some sort of heavenly destination. You’ll be transported to bliss x100 on your first bite.

Top this tasty chicken with some chipotle aioli and you won’t be able to wipe the smile off your face. What is it anyway about chipotle aioli that is just so darn good? If it wasn’t so wrong I could eat it by the spoonful.

Chicken Kaarage Tacos with Chipotle Aioli

He he he … so every time I type kaarage chicken my autocorrect switches it to karate chicken which, I’m beginning to think, is a really fun name for these tacos. I might start referring to them Karate Chicken Tacos from now on. Hi-yah!!

Chicken Kaarage Tacos with Chipotle Aioli

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Chicken Kaarage Tacos with Chipotle Aioli
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4 as a light meal
Ingredients
For the chipotle aioli:
  • ½ cup real mayonnaise (NOT Miracle Whip)
  • 1 teaspoon pureed chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I buy the peppers and puree them myself)
  • ½ teaspoon fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 small garlic clove, very finely minced
  • 4-6 drops liquid smoke, to taste
  • A pinch of fine grain sea salt
For the karate chicken:
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken thighs, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (gluten free if it's important to you)
  • 2 cups cooking oil (grape seed, canola or sunflower work great)
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 2 cups of shredded cabbage
  • Optional: fresh squeezed lime juice, sriracha, guacamole, sliced green onions
Instructions
For the chipotle aioli:
  1. In a small bowl mix together all the aioli ingredients. Cover and place the bowl in the fridge to let the flavours infuse.
For the kaarage chicken:
  1. Place the chunks of chicken into a resealable plastic bag and add the soy sauce. Close the bag and give it a little shake so that the soy sauce coats the chicken well. Place the bag in your fridge and let it marinade for at least a half hour.
  2. Attach an oil/candy thermometer to the side of a small pot with high sides - you'll want 3 inches of space above the oil so that it won't boil over when it bubbles up. Add the cooking oil and begin to heat it over medium high heat. Once the oil reaches 300 degrees reduce the heat to medium and let it continue to rise to 350 degrees.
  3. While the oil is heating prepare the chicken. Place the corn starch in a medium sized bowl. Remove the chicken from the bag and gently shake off the excess soy sauce. Dip each piece in the corn starch so that it is well coated. Repeat until all the chicken is coated in corn starch.
  4. Once the oil reaches 350 degrees carefully drop 3 pieces of chicken into the hot oil. Stir the pieces around very gently and continue to fry them for 4 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oil with a slotted spoon and place them on a paper towel lined plate. Make sure to keep the oil between 350-375 degrees while you are cooking the remaining batches of the chicken.
  5. While the chicken is frying wrap the tortillas in a clean tea towel and place them in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 minutes to gently warm.
To assemble the tacos:
  1. Place a small handful of shredded cabbage on each tortilla. Top with a few pieces of crispy kaarage chicken and drizzle with chipotle aioli.
  2. A little squeeze of fresh lime, some sriracha, guacamole and/or sliced green onions are also nice additions!

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