Tacos de Pollo a la Mexicana (Shredded Chicken Tacos)

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 carnitastacos de lengua, tacos de pescadotacos 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, there 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 with chopped serrano chiles for a kick of spicy flavor, and lots of lime juice.

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

  1. 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.
  2. Shred or roughly chop the chicken.  
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over high heat.  Saute the onion and bell pepper for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  
  4. 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.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and let simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes. 
  6. 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  



  1. Chicken tacos are my favorites. Even though the eye tacos I ate (without being told the content) were the most interesting.

  2. These look really tasty! Thanks for sharing :)

  3. The best taco I have ever had was a Taco de Chicharron. These ones here sound really good and I like how you add chopped avocados instead of guacamole. I want tacos now!!!

  4. I know I could eat at least one of every listed taco - I too love tacos... and I don't mean those from the fast food chains but the real deal. My favorites? I guess I tend to go with any made with beef. Hope your New Year is off to a great start.

  5. Leslie, these tacos look delicious, chicken tacos are my favorite! I have to try it with the whole avocado pieces. I also envy those serrano chilies, they are very hard to find here. Have a great afternoon.

  6. www.hotspicyandskinny.comJanuary 16, 2013 at 3:03 PM

    Tacos al pastor- Guadalajara street style- are my favorite.On the other hand, the photo at the top is so beautiful! I am really impressed by your photography skills.

  7. Victoria of Flavors of the SunJanuary 17, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Like you, I truly appreciate the abundance of Mexican tacos.
    And this is a particularly nice, appealing recipe.

  8. mmmmm Leslie this looks soooo yummy. Definitely saving this recipe for future use, hubby will be so happy :)

  9. Two tortillas, love it! When I first took my soon to be hubby to mexico to order my wedding dress this was the first place I took him. My fav taco stand. He loved it, love this post!

  10. Yo quiero! The avos in jersey are not at all yummy right now I've been craving all the summer foods like these chicken tacos with lime and arrozito. I shall wait til i go to cali. Thanks for the yummy looking pictures!

  11. Stumbled upon this recipe looking for a Miguel's Jr shredded chicken copycat recipe. Miguel's Jr is a popular restaurant chain in Southern California. This recipe came out very good, my husband and kids loved it! It was close to Miguel's shredded chicken. Thanks for sharing!

  12. Most. Amazing. Tacos. Ever. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  13. I made these last week for my wife and I. THE absolute best tacos I've ever attempted. So fresh and and the broth is absolutely flavorful, marinating the chicken with great flavor. This is a recipe that is now on my regular cook list. Thank you for sharing!