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Beard House Recipe: Chicken Wing Tacos with Salsa Macha

Maggie Borden

December 28, 2015

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Photo by Ken Goodman

Chicken Wing Tacos with Salsa Macha​ / Inspired Mexican

Okay, I’ll confess—when I hear peanuts and chicken wings, I’m more likely to think of Thai food than tacos. Fortunately, chef Alex Stupak of the acclaimed Empellón restaurants wrote his new cookbook, Tacos: Recipes and Provocations, exactly for those of us who are curious about but admittedly a little limited in our knowledge of the wide world of Mexican cuisine. At his recent Beard House dinner, Stupak showcased an assortment of the book’s recipes, including this addictive appetizer that the chef asserts deserves a space on your next game-day menu. This taco was at once exotic and deeply familiar, grounded by pieces of crisp-skinned, moist chicken that evoked your best basket of buffalo wings. The wings were slathered with the seductive salsa macha, full of sweet, spicy, and nutty notes, then topped with roasted peanuts and some funky blue cheese. These tacos have officially joined my roster of party snacks, whether the game’s on or not. With such an irresistible combination of flavors, Stupak makes a convincing argument that by no means does southeast Asia hold a monopoly on poultry panache.

Want to take on these tacos at home? Get the recipe.

View all upcoming Beard House event menus and book your seat at jamesbeard.org/events.

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Maggie Borden is assistant editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.