Chicken Birria Tacos

We recently tried a new taco restaurant! While there, we decided to try something we’d never tasted before – Chicken Birria Tacos!

They were delicious, and we knew we had to find a recipe to try at home – and, of course, share with you!

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Chicken Birria Tacos Served on Wooden Serving Tray

Why You’ll Love This Chicken Birria Taco Recipe!

  • Flavorful! – Juicy meat, warm tortilla tacos, flavorful broth. The ingredients in this recipe combine wonderfully into a delicious meal for special occasions.
  • Authentic! – How about a traditional twist on the typical ground beef Taco Tuesday? This ultimate taco recipe will taste like the real deal!
Chicken Birria Taco Being Dipped in Sauce
  • Set And Forget! – While this isn’t a slow cooker recipe, it basically cooks up like one! Once you get the vegetables chopped and the chicken thighs seared, it simmers away for over 3 hours. Perfection!
Two Chicken Birria Tacos Sitting on Wooden Serving Tray

What Are Chicken Birria Tacos?

If you’ve never tried Chicken Birria Tacos, you may be at a loss for what they are.

Birria is a traditional Mexican dish, typically made with goat meat or beef.

It’s slow-cooked with an assortment of chili peppers and other vegetables, and then served with corn tortillas and a flavorful sauce.

Love tacos?

The flavors of birria tacos takes things to a whole new level!

Chicken Birria Tacos on Wooden Serving Board

Ingredients Needed For These Delicious Chicken Tacos

  • 3 Pounds of Chicken Thighs – Choose juicy chicken thighs, with the bones still in them. This will give you the most tender chicken for your tacos. Chicken breasts will work in a pinch, or a whole shredded chicken, but for this recipe, the flavor of dark meat chicken thighs can’t be beat.
  • 1 Large Onion – For this step, a white onion is usually best.
  • 1 Garlic Bulb – Yup, a whole bulb! As you prepping to get started with this recipe, go ahead and peel the garlic cloves.
  • 1 Large Carrot – For an earthier flavor, leave the peel – just be sure to scrub it well.
  • 5 Bay Leaves 
  • 14 Ounces of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce – Typically, 14 ounces is the size can you’ll find in the grocery store. This sauce will add the bulk of the heat to this recipe.

If you want more heat, I have suggestions further on in this post!

  • 2-3 Cups of Hot Water – The consomme that is served alongside the birria tacos is basically the cooking liquid from braising the chicken and all of the vegetables. This water will be the base of that.
  • 3 Tablespoons of Chicken Bouillon – The bouillon turns the water into chicken broth. You can also swap out the water and bouillon cubes for actual chicken stock. I often times do this to simplify a recipe for our family mealtimes.
  • 1 Teaspoon of Chili Powder 
  • 1 Teaspoon of Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 14 Corn Tortillas  On taco night, our family typically uses flour tortillas, but the crispy corn tortillas are key to this dish. 
  • 2 Cups of Mozzarella Cheese – Mozzarella is a super good melting cheese, and that’s what we’re looking for here. 
  • Cilantro – Fresh cilantro adds a nice brightness to the flavor profile!
  • Chopped Onion – Earlier in the recipe, I suggested a white onion, but for topping your taco, uncooked red onion will be perfection.
Ingredients for Making Chicken Birria Tacos - Sitting on Marble Counter Top

How To Make This Chicken Birria Tacos Recipe

  1. Cut up the garlic, carrots, and onions. You’ll be pureeing them later, so they don’t have to be chopped finely. Place the vegetables in a large pot or Dutch Oven over medium-high heat, and sauté until they begin to soften.
  2. In a large pan on medium heat, melt a tablespoon of oil or butter. Sear the chicken thighs on both sides, until they reach a golden brown.
  3. Add the chipotle peppers and bay leaf to the softened vegetables. Let them continue to cook together until the chicken thigh have finished cooking in the hot skillet.
  4. Add the chicken thighs to the pot with the peppers and vegetables. Pour in hot water, bouillon cubes, and all of the spices and seasonings.
  5. Keep the pot on medium high heat, and wait until it comes up to a boil. Let the pot boil for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove the braised chicken from the pot, strain out the vegetables, and place the chicken back in the both with the strained broth.
  7. Put the vegetables in a blender and blend until smooth. Add this vegetable puree back into the pot with the broth and the chicken.
  8. Let the pot simmer over medium heat for 3 hours. Remove from heat.
  9. Shred chicken while it’s still in the pot, using two forks. Once the chicken is shredded, strain it from the sauce and remove the fatty pieces and bones.

Now it’s time to start building the tacos!

  1. Heat a large skillet, and prep the ingredients for the tacos nearby. This includes the birria sauce, the shredded chicken, the corn tortillas, chopped onions, chopped cilantro, and cheese.
  2. Add a tablespoon of olive oil or vegetable oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. Dip a tortilla into the sauce, making sure both sides are fully coating. Place the tortilla in the hot pan. Fill one half of the tortilla with chicken and the other half with cheese. Sprinkle on a few onions.
  3. Use a spatula to flip half of the tortilla on top of the other half, making it a taco shape. Use the spatula to press the taco down, searing it well and melting the cheese.
  4. Continue making tacos until the chicken is used up, and then serve the the remaining dipping sauce sprinkled with cilantro.

Perfect Pairings For These Birria De Pollo Tacos

  • More Heat! – Traditional birria is filled with dried peppers! If you want to up the heat on this recipe, add a teaspoon ancho chili powder (or whole ancho chiles), guajillo chiles, a dash of red chile sauce, or a teaspoon of cayenne pepper.
  • Change Cheeses! – Most any type of melty cheese that you fancy will work. The traditional type of cheese used is Oaxaca cheese. Monterey Jack is another great option!

Storing Leftover Quesabirria Tacos

Chicken birria tacos truly taste best when enjoyed the day of.

If you know you’ll be making more tacos than will be eaten, consider making a smaller amount of tacos and storing the leftover meat and sauce separately, to then put the tacos together the next day. 

Chicken Birria Tacos Served on White Plate with Dipping Sauce

Leftover already-made tacos can be stored in an airtight container.

When it’s time to reheat, use an air fryer or an oven on its broil setting to preserve the crispness of the tacos.

Chicken Birria Tacos on Wooden Serving Board

This recipe is a bit more involved – with more steps than the recipes we usually share have.

If you have any tips for how to simplify this recipe even more, we’d love for you to share them in the comments! 

Chicken Birria Tacos Served on Wooden Serving Tray

Chicken Birria Tacos

These Chicken Birria Tacos are next-level! The meat is slow-cooked with an assortment of chili peppers and other vegetables – Delicious!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 3 hours
Prepping to Serve 20 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6 people

Equipment

  • Dutch Oven
  • Skillet
  • Blender
  • Strainer

Ingredients
  

  • 3 Pounds of Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Large Onion
  • 1 Garlic Bulb
  • 1 Large Carrot
  • 5 Bay Leaves
  • 14 Ounces of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce
  • 2-3 Cups of Hot Water
  • 3 Tablespoons of Chicken Bouillon
  • 1 Teaspoon of Chili Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon of Oregano
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon of Salt
  • 14 Corn Tortillas
  • 2 Cups of Mozzarella Cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Chopped Onion

Instructions
 

  • Cut up the garlic, carrots, and onions. You'll be pureeing them later, so they don't have to be chopped finely. Place the vegetables in a large pot or Dutch Oven over medium-high heat, and sauté until they begin to soften.
  • In a large pan on medium heat, melt a tablespoon of oil or butter. Sear the chicken thighs on both sides, until they reach a golden brown.
  • Add the chipotle peppers and bay leaf to the softened vegetables. Let them continue to cook together until the chicken thigh have finished cooking in the hot skillet.
  • Add the chicken thighs to the pot with the peppers and vegetables. Pour in hot water, bouillon cubes, and all of the spices and seasonings.
  • Keep the pot on medium high heat, and wait until it comes up to a boil. Let the pot boil for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the braised chicken from the pot, strain out the vegetables, and place the chicken back in the both with the strained broth.
  • Put the vegetables in a blender and blend until smooth. Add this vegetable puree back into the pot with the broth and the chicken.
  • Let the pot simmer over medium heat for 3 hours. Remove from heat.
  • Shred chicken while it’s still in the pot, using two forks. Once the chicken is shredded, strain it from the sauce and remove the fatty pieces and bones.
  • Heat a large skillet, and prep the ingredients for the tacos nearby. This includes the birria sauce, the shredded chicken, the corn tortillas, chopped onions, chopped cilantro, and cheese.
  • Add a tablespoon of olive oil or vegetable oil to the skillet over medium-high heat. Dip a tortilla into the sauce, making sure both sides are fully coating. Place the tortilla in the hot pan. Fill one half of the tortilla with chicken and the other half with cheese. Sprinkle on a few onions.
  • Use a spatula to flip half of the tortilla on top of the other half, making it a taco shape. Use the spatula to press the taco down, searing it well and melting the cheese.
  • Continue making tacos until the chicken is used up, and then serve the the remaining dipping sauce sprinkled with cilantro.
Keyword Chicken Birria Tacos, Taco Recipe

Another Taco Recipe

If you like trying delicious new taco recipes, you may want to check out this recipe for how to make Cheeseburger Tacos.

Cheeseburger Tacos Displayed on White Wooden Serving Board
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