wahaca ancho chicken tacos

With restaurants closed and much of the country staying indoors for who knows how long, the Mexican street food experts at Wahaca today launch Wahaca At Home, an online platform and ongoing content series created to bring a lively dash of Wahaca vibes into the nation’s homes.

Wahaca At Home will offer an ongoing stream of recipes, cocktail ideas, playlists, fun things to do with the family and news of the company’s charitable initiatives. And that’s just for starters.

Wahaca At Home is spearheaded by the restaurant group’s co-founder Thomasina Miers, who will be getting busy in the kitchen of her London home to film an ongoing video series of easy-to-cook Mexican-inspired recipes that will be shared online at wahaca.co.uk/wahacaathome as well as via the Wahaca Instagram feed and Facebook page.

Thomasina Miers commented: “We’re looking forward to welcoming all of our taco fans back to our restaurants as soon as we possibly can. But in the meantime we hope they’ll welcome us into their homes to shine a few rays of Mexican sunshine and, of course, help satisfy those cravings for delicious Mexican food at a time when so many of us need to stay indoors.”

We’ll be posting some of our favourite Wahaca at Home recipes in the coming weeks, starting right here with Grilled Ancho Chicken Tacos and Ultimate Guacamole.

Grilled Ancho Chicken Tacos

“The grilled chicken tacos we (normally) serve at Wahaca are a huge favourite, and luckily they’re also perfect for cooking up at home, especially with BBQ season upon us.

The combination of sweet ancho chilli, subtle Mexican spicing and crispy grilled chicken is a delight.  At home you can segment a whole chicken to have bones leftover to make a stock, or you can use chicken thighs.

 If you can’t get hold of whole ancho chillies, we’ve included a simpler dry rub using pimenton, a wonderful Spanish smoked paprika.”

Thomasina Miers, co-founder, Wahaca

Ingredients

1 chicken, segmented, or 8 chicken thighs

Ancho marinade (see below)

Corn or flour tortillas (2-4 per person, depending on size)

1 bunch spring onions

A small bunch coriander

2-3 limes, cut into wedges

Guacamole or a roast salsa, or ideally both

For the marinade

2 ancho chillies

1 tbsp black peppercorns

1 small cinnamon stick

1 tbsp cumin seeds

10-12 cloves

2 tsp sweet smoked paprika

2 large tbsp soft brown sugar

2 tsp salt

1 tsp dried oregano

2 large cloves garlic, or 3-4 smaller ones, crushed

4-5 tbsp vegetable or olive oil

Method

First, make the marinade. Open up the ancho chillies like a book and discard the stem and seeds.  Toast for 30-40 seconds a side in a hot dry frying pan until smelling fragrant, then cover with boiling water and leave to rehydrate for 10-15 minutes.  Meanwhile, get out all the spices.

Briefly toast the spices in the same dry frying-pan and then grind to a powder in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.  Work the salt, oregano and garlic into the spices to create a paste.  Now drain the ancho chillies and pound them in too (in the mortar, or a small food processor).  Finally add the oil.

Rub over the chicken pieces and marinate for a few hours, or overnight.  Heat the coals in the BBQ (or heat a char-grill).  Grill the chicken pieces for 20-25 minutes, turning to grill all over.  At the same time peel away the outer leaves from the spring onions and rub in oil, salt and pepper.  Grill over the coals for 5-8 minutes until beautifully blackened.  Arrange on a plate and squeeze over the juice of half a lime.  Heat up the tortillas on the BBQ, cut the chicken into slithers and put out on a table with the lime wedges, coriander, guacamole and salsas.

Tommi’s note: Do NOT worry if you are missing a few of the spice mix, just make the quantity up with what you have – i.e. fennel and coriander seeds are delicious; allspice if you are lacking clove or cinnamon – whatever mix you use will be delicious!

 Not able to get your hands on Ancho chillies? Try this simple dry rub alternative

Ingredients

1 tbsp ancho powder (optional)

2 tbsp hot smoked paprika

1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika

2 tsp cumin powder

½ tsp ground cloves

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1.5 tbsp soft brown sugar

1 tsp dried oregano,

Lots of freshly ground black pepper

Method

Mix together and set aside.  Combine with 3 tbsp vegetable or olive oil when you are ready to cook.

Ultimate Guacamole

MUST CREDIT PHOTOGRAPHER TARA FISHER

“Every good fiesta needs nibbles to kick things off. So here’s our recipe for the ultimate Guacamole, a twist on the recipe we’ve been making every morning at our restaurants since day one.

Guacamole in Aztec means avocado (from ‘guac’) sauce (from mole). The secret to a good guacamole is to use ripe avocados, masses of fresh coriander and really mash up the chilli to a paste before you even begin to think about adding the avocados.”

Thomasina Miers, co-founder, Wahaca

Ingredients

3 ripe Hass avocados

½ red onion, very finely chopped

1-2 serrano chillies or other fresh green chillies, finely chopped

A small handful of fresh coriander, chopped

The juice of 1-2 limes

1-2 teaspoons Maldon salt

Plenty of freshly ground black pepper

Optional Extras

1 small clove garlic

1 very ripe tomato, de-seeded and diced

Method:

Put a quarter of the onion and half the chilli and salt in a pestle and mortar and mash to a rough paste. Cut open the avocados, remove the stones and scoop out the flesh into the pestle (or into a large bowl if your pestle is small). Roughly mash the flesh with a fork, adding the half the lime juice as you go.

When you have a rough guacamole, stir in the rest of the lime juice and chillies, coriander and red onion. Season with plenty of black pepper and more salt if you think it needs it. If it doesn’t taste delicious by this stage, think whether it might need more lime juice or coriander.

Serve the guacamole with tortilla chips.

Variation:

Add the garlic in the first step and mash up with the chilli and onion, adding the diced tomato at the end.

Head to Wahaca at Home for more delicious Mexican recipes.