A taco salad is, basically, just an unstuffed taco. Which, when you think about it, is what happens after you take your first bite of a crisp-shell taco anyway. Napkins, however, are still recommended.
2 tbsp vegetable oil
500 g skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, diced (4 medium breasts)
1 596-mL can kidney beans, or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp Mexican chili powder
1/2 small red onion, chopped (optional)
3 medium tomatoes, diced
1/2 medium head lettuce, torn to bits
1/4 cup salsa, (mild, medium or hot)
1 ripe avocado, peeled and diced
1 cup shredded Monterey jack, or cheddar
1 340-g bag tortilla chips
Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the cubed chicken breasts and cook, stirring constantly, until they are cooked through - 2 to 3 minutes. Add the beans, salt and chili powder, lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring, for another 5 minutes or so.
In a large bowl, have your helper toss together the onion, tomatoes and lettuce. Have him dump this mixture into the middle of a large platter, then surround it with a lovely border of tortilla chips. (Nibbling on broken chips is mandatory.) Spoon the chicken and bean mixture onto the lettuce and top with dollops of salsa - you can use more (or less) than the ¼ cup (50 mL) if you like. Sprinkle the top with the avocado cubes and finally, festoon lavishly with shredded cheese.
Serve immediately with some additional salsa or a bit of sour cream, if desired.
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