Let your slow cooker do the work to make these pulled chicken tacos! Smoky, spicy, a little sweet, malty – these chicken tacos are a crowd pleaser and couldn’t be easier. Add a little guacamole, reduce the sauce, and make some coleslaw for dinner perfection.
Last week I posted my recipe for Spicy Jalapeno and Lime Coleslaw, and I promised that I would post my pulled chicken taco recipe soon. And here it is!
I cannot say enough good things about this chicken dish. It’s seriously one of the best dinners I’ve ever made and that’s saying something. It’s easy to make. You can make it the day ahead. The house smells wonderful the whole day while it’s cooking.
And, once you reduce the sauce and add the adobe and lime, it’s amazingly complex with wonderful layered flavors. I can eat this with a spoon. And have! 🙂
If that doesn’t convince you, my daughter will eat it. She is quite adamant that she does not like chicken and will not eat it. This dish, though, she loves.
If you could smell this you would be in heaven. The chipotle, the lime, the beer. It’s all good!
I had some leftover chicken for lunch today, and even so my mouth is watering now just looking at this. Slow cooked, tender chicken thighs shredded and mixed with a thickened, spicy sauce packed full of flavor. Yum.
And it really is simple! To make these pulled chicken tacos all you do to start is put everything (but some lime juice and chipotle) into the slow cooker. No sauteing, no fussing.
Then wait until the chicken is tender and shreddable, pour the sauce into a pan, and reduce it down so that it’s thick and rich. Shred the chicken and add it back to the sauce.
Add some coleslow, some guac, and whatever else you like on your tacos and you’re done.
While you can eat this chicken all by itself and be perfectly happy, I would highly recommend using it to make these yummy layered pulled chicken tacos. The bottom layer is a simple guacamole. That is topped by a layer of chicken.
And then the whole thing is finished off by some spicy coleslaw. This time I made the coleslaw with a mix of red and green cabbages since I had some red cabbage on hand.
I like it all wrapped with a flour tortilla. You can either use a nice, soft tortilla or fry up some crispy ones. I went with crispy tortillas since I thought it would make a nice picture. And I wanted to try to make something new. This is only the second time I’ve made crispy, folded tortillas and they were really good!
Don’t be put off by the ingredients list. It’s mostly spices! If you don’t have smoked paprika, just use sweet paprika instead. I would recommend getting ancho chili power if you can though. It provides a complex chili flavor and moderate heat to the dish.
As with my butterscotch sauce, I use my All-Clad Saucier Pan to reduce the liquid here. The sloped sides not only make it easy to stir the sauce as it reduces but also provide more surface area than a straight-sided pan so the sauce reduces more quickly. You can see it up in the photos above. I really do use that pan quite a bit!
If you try my recipe for Pulled Chicken Tacos, I would love to hear from you in the comments with your experience and rating! And I’m happy to answer any questions you might have.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ancho powder
- 1 pinch chipotle powder, or cayenne powder
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 tbsp lime juice, divided
- 2 tbsp orange juice
- 1 bottle beer
- 4 tbsp adobo sauce, from a can of chipotles in adobo
- 2 avocados
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Put chicken, all spices, garlic, oregano, 1 tbsp lime juice, orange juice and beer into a slow cooker. Set the slow cooker to 6 hours on low.
- When the chicken is done, scoop it out of the braising liquid with a slotted spoon and into a medium bowl. (The recipe can be made to this point up to 2 days ahead. Refrigerate both the chicken and the liquid until you are ready to use them. This is also an excellent way to reduce the fat since it will solidify and can be removed before you reduce the liquid.)
- Using two forks or your fingers, shred the chicken.
- Pour the liquid into a medium sauce pan or saucier and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Stirring occasionally, reduce the liquid until it is very thick and starting to stick a bit to the bottom of the pan, about 8-9 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat; add the adobo sauce and 1 tbsp of lime juice. Stir that into the reduced liquid and then toss the shredded chicken with sauce until it's well combined.
- While the sauce is reducing, make the Spicy Jalapeno and Lime Coleslaw.
- Then make the guacamole. Halve the avocados and scoop out the flesh into a medium bowl. Mash the avocado with a fork and then add the lime juice and salt and mix it all together.
- To serve, spread a layer of guacamole on the bottom of each tortilla. Top with braised chicken and then with spicy coleslaw.
- I used an Oktoberfest beer to make this dish, since it's my favorite and it's available this time of year. However, I know it won't be available soon so I have a few other suggestions. First of all, I wouldn't use an IPA or similar style since you want a beer with some sweetness and malty flavors if possible. I would use a red ale or a brown ale or a brown lager. I think each of these would compliment the flavors of the dish the best.
- If you don't like too much spice, reduce the adobo to 2-3 tbsp, tasting the dish to see if it's hot enough yet. On the other hand, if you like it really spicy, the adobo is mixed with chipotles so add a diced chipotle to the mix.
- Spicy Jalapeno and Lime Coleslaw
- Calories are for chicken and guacamole. Calories are an estimate.