Living in Mexico definitely has it's advantages. One of my faves is the abundance of tacos. There's a taco stand on almost every street corner. Sometimes more than one. Tacos de carne asada, tacos de adobada, tacos de barbacoa, tacos de canasta, tacos de carnitas, tacos de lengua, tacos de pescado, tacos de pepena, tacos de ubre... Pretty much every kind of taco imaginable.
No two taquerías (taco stands) are exactly alike. Each taquero (taco vendor) has his own unique style of tacos. For carne asada tacos, we go to one taquería. For al pastor tacos, we go to another. And so on and so on.
My favorite tacos, in no particular order, are: chorizo, carne asada, barbacoa, cachete (cheek), rajas (roasted poblano strips), al pastor, and arrachera. But the one kind of taco you rarely find at taquerías (at least in my small town) are Tacos de Pollo (chicken tacos). Before I moved to Mexico and became such an adventurous foodie, whenever we went out for tacos, the only kind I ever ordered were tacos de carne asada or tacos de pollo.
The best tacos de pollo I remember eating were at a taco stand in Mexicali. They were a little spicy for my Gringa tastebuds, but with a little squeeze of lime juice on my tacos, they was no stopping me!
My grandmother would sometimes make tacos de pollo at home. Usually the day after Pappy (my grandfather) made a big pot of caldo de pollo (chicken soup). He'd add so much chicken, that there was always enough leftover to eat for at least a week. Gramm would shred the leftover chicken and fry it up with some onion and tomato, and that was all there was to the filling for our chicken tacos. Simple, but absolutely delicious.
Every once and a while I get a craving for tacos de pollo. And since I can't find them at any taco stand here in town, I make my own. My recipe is a combination of my grandmother's tacos and the tacos I remember from Mexicali.
What are your favorite kind of tacos?
Tacos de Pollo a la Mexicana
(Shredded Chicken Tacos)
- 2 pounds of chicken breasts
- 1/2 medium onion
- 1 sprig cilantro
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 or 2 serrano chilies, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup chicken broth*
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, divided
- 2 avocados, chopped
- Lime wedges
- Corn tortillas
- Cook the chicken breasts in 6 cups of water with the onion half, a sprig of cilantro, the garlic, and salt over medium-high heat for about 45 minutes or until fully cooked. Let cool slightly.
- Shred or roughly chop the chicken.
- Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat. Saute the onion and bell pepper for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the shredded chicken, tomatoes, serrano chile, cumin, chicken broth, and 3 tablespoons of the chopped cilantro. (Note: For the chicken broth, I use the broth the chicken was cooked in.) Stir to combine; season with salt, if necessary.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and let simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- To serve, spoon a couple of tablespoons of filling into the center of warm corn tortillas. Top with a squeeze of lime juice, chopped avocado, the reserved cilantro and your favorite salsa. Enjoy!!!
Receta en español