What a title, right? I tried to shorten it, but it’s kind of hard because there really is a lot going on in this taco. Oh my word are they good, though. The chicken gets braised in the the oven in a mixture of dried chili pods, garlic and onion, a little cocoa, and Mexican spices. I am mole-obsessed, which is why I added the cocoa powder, and these tacos know how to work it! The shells are fried and crispy, because, why not. The salsa here is made by roasting corn right on the cob, then tossing it it up with the usual suspects: onion, tomato, cilantro, lime juice, you know them all. And of course, we couldn’t leave avocado out, because that would be a taco crime. I also blended some up with sour cream and lime juice for a little squeeze of love aaaaaaaall over the top. Is it getting hot in here?
When it comes to the braising of the chicken. I have heard, that it’s not typical to braise chicken breast. And that’s probably true, but I also feel like, because we are shredding it, and combining it with the other dark meats, and plenty of liquid, I actually like the level of tenderness that results when using the breast also. So I use two breasts, and the other half thighs. If you have some drumsticks you need to use, go ahead. Just aim for about a 1:1 ratio, or, half white meat, half dark.
Using a pot that can go from stove to oven, is going to help you out here, and make this a one-pot deal. You will prep the liquid by adding the stock, the chili pods (de-stemmed and seeded), garlic, onion, and spices to the pot on the stove top, and reduce it to give the flavors a jump start. I also skip the typical searing that comes before braising, because this is skinless meat, and we are shredding it anyways.
The chicken will take an hour at the most to cook through, giving you ample time to make the toppings and fry the shells. This is one of my favorite dishes, and once you go through the recipe once, you will find it super easy to do next time.
Enjoy! Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear what you think 🙂Print
Crispy, shredded chicken tacos, cooked in mexican spices, topped with a roasted corn and avocado salsa, and avocado sour cream.
For the Chicken
- 2 lbs chicken breast
- 2 lbs skinless chicken thighs
- 1 medium onion (peeled and quartered)
- 4 cloves garlic (smashed and peeled)
- 2 dried ancho chili peppers
- 2 dried pasilla chili peppers
- 2 dried guajillo chili peppers
- 32 ounces chicken stock
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- 2 tsp sweet spanish style paprika
- 1 tsp salt
For the Salsa
- 3 ears corn on the cob
- 1 medium red onion (diced)
- 1 medium tomato (diced)
- 1/2 bunch cilantro (chopped)
- 1 1/2 medium avocados (pitted, cubed)
- juice of one lime
- pinch of salt and pepper
For the Avocado sour cream
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- juice of half a lime
For the crispy tortillas
- corn tortillas
- vegetable oil, for frying
For the Chicken
- remove the tops of the dried chili pods, and break the sides open all the way down to release the seeds.
- In a hot, dry skillet, toast the chili pods for about 60 seconds.
- Add them to a large pot, that is both stove top and oven safe. Add stock, garlic, onion, cocoa powder, cumin, paprika and salt. Bring to a high simmer, and simmer until reduced by half. Meanwhile preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Once reduced, remove chili pods with tongs. Add chicken to pot and cover, and cook for 45 minutes, to one hour, until chicken reaches 165 degrees. Make sure to spoon liquid over chicken every 15 minutes.
- Using tongs, place the chicken on a plate or large cutting board. The bones should easily pull right away from the meat. Use two forks to pull the meat apart and shred it. Return to pot and toss with the liquid that should now be thickened into a sauce.
For the Salsa, Avocado Cream and Shells
- Using the hot dry skillet used for the peppers, char corn (without oil), turning occasionally, until kernels become charred all around. Wait until cool enough to handle and slice kernels directly off of cob.
- In a medium bowl, combine chopped cilantro, corn, onion, tomato, juice of lime. Toss with cubed avocado and pinch of salt.
- In a shallow skillet, heat oil to medium heat and fry corn tortillas, on one side until edges begin to brown; flip and hold in a U-shape while frying the outer side. Lie on paper towel lined plates upside down until shape sets.
- For avocado sour cream, just combine the sour cream, avocado and lime juice in a blender or food processor and pulse until smooth.
- Line crispy taco shells with shredded chicken, top with corn salsa and spoon over avocado sour cream.