Authentic Taco Chicken (with chicken thighs)

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Taco chicken is a delicious and versatile dinner that will soon become your family’s favorite. It makes a delicious Sunday dinner, or meat for Taco Tuesday. Plus there are so many more meals you can make with the leftovers!

With a big pot of this taco chicken you can make:

  • chicken tacos
  • chicken quesadillas
  • Spanish chicken and rice
  • chicken tamale casserole
  • chicken meal prep bowls – with black beans, quinoa or rice, avocado and baby greens
  • chicken enchiladas

While it does take a bit of time to make this recipe (about 2 hours in total), it is not a complicated recipe. Once you brown the chicken and add the vegetables, it requires very little effort. The pot goes on low and you stir occasionally making this an excellent meal for a slow Sunday afternoon.

The best part is this taco chicken recipe makes enough so you can freeze for tacos next week, and still have enough to use for enchiladas, meal prep or a casserole later in the week.

If you are looking for an authentic taco chicken recipe this is the one for you. It uses chicken thighs rather than chicken breast giving it more flavor. It also includes a combination of spices that are commonly found in authentic Latin American cooking.

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Making Taco Chicken

This recipe will show you how to make shredded chicken for tacos that tastes like authentic street tacos.

It is full of flavor and contains all real food ingredients.

These are the ingredients that you will need:

  • 1 whole large red Onion
  • 1 green Bell Pepper
  • 6 cloves of Garlic
  • A handful of carrots (8-10 baby carrots or 1 large)
  • 1 bunch of Cilantro
  • 8 pieces of bone in chicken thighs
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1 spoon of capers
  • 2 spoons of stuffed olives (green Spanish olives with peppers inside)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp mace
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste

Start by gathering your ingredients.

Next salt the chicken in a large bowl. This recipe uses chicken thighs.

Heat a large stock pot like this one on medium heat.

Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot. Careful place the chicken thighs into pot.

Allow to brown about 4-5 minutes, then flip using tongs or a large spoon. You may have to move the chicken around a bit to give all the pieces a chance to brown.

During this time, chop your vegetables.

Once the chicken seems browned added all the chopped vegetables, reserving half of the cilantro for the end.

Give a mix with the spoon and add the capers.

Add the green olives.

Next add one cup of corn. We use frozen corn but you could also use canned corn or fresh corn.

At this point you want to turn the pan to medium low and watch the pot. Stir frequently to ensure it’s not getting too stuck to the bottom.

Next add in the spices and the green salsa.

This is a combination of turmeric, cumin, salt, paprika, oregano, allspice, mace, onion powder, and black pepper. Also included is a fresh rosemary sprig and a bay leaf.

Mix well and allow to cook for about 5-10 minutes until juices form and it starts to get nice and bubbly.

Now add the juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime.

Next add the can of tomato paste and mix until combined.

Place the top on the pot and turn the pot to low. You want there to be a gentle simmer.

Allow the pan to cook, stirring occasionally for about 45 minutes. Use a large spoon to pull the bones out. The meat should fall easily off the bones at this point. If not, continue to cook on low, stirring until the meat comes off easily.

The more you mix, the more shredded the chicken will become.

If you find there is additional liquid, continue to cook on low with the top off until the liquid simmers off. Stir frequently to ensure it does not stick to the bottom.

Remove the shredded taco chicken from the pan and serve with your favorite taco toppings.

Read on for the full recipe for taco chicken.

Taco Chicken Recipe

Taco Chicken Recipe

Yield: 16 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

An authentic taco chicken recipe full of Latin American flavors using chicken thighs. Perfect shredded chicken taco filling that makes lots of leftovers for meal prep, enchiladas, quesadillas or your favorite dish.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole large red Onion
  • 1 green Bell Pepper
  • 6 cloves of Garlic
  • A handful of carrots (8-10 baby carrots or 1 large)
  • 1 bunch of Cilantro
  • 8 pieces of bone in chicken thighs
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 lime
  • 1 spoon of capers
  • 2 spoons of stuffed olives (green Spanish olives with peppers inside)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp mace
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste

Instructions

    1. Start by gathering your ingredients.
    2. Next salt the chicken in a large bowl.
    3. Heat a large stock pot like this one on medium heat.
    4. Add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pot. Careful place the chicken thighs into pot.
    5. Allow to brown about 4-5 minutes, then flip using tongs or a large spoon. You may have to move the chicken around a bit to give all the pieces a chance to brown.
    6. While the chicken is cooking, chop your vegetables.
    7. Once the chicken seems browned added all the chopped vegetables, reserving half of the cilantro for the end.
    8. Give a mix with the spoon and add the capers, olives and corn.
    9. At this point you want to turn the pan to medium low and watch the pot. Stir frequently to ensure it's not getting too stuck to the bottom.
    10. Next add in the spices and the green salsa. Mix well and allow to cook for about 5-10 minutes until juices form and it starts to get nice and bubbly.
    11. Now add the juice of 1 lemon and 1 lime.
    12. Next add the can of tomato paste and mix until combined. Place the top on the pot and turn the pot to low. You want there to be a gentle simmer.
    13. Allow the pan to cook, stirring occasionally for about 45 minutes.
    14. Use a large spoon to pull the bones out. The meat should fall easily off the bones at this point. If not, continue to cook on low, stirring until the meat comes off easily.
    15. The more you mix, the more shredded the chicken will become.
    16. Remove the shredded taco chicken from the pan and serve with your favorite taco toppings.

Notes

    • If you find there is additional liquid at the end, continue to cook on low with the top off until the liquid simmers off. Stir frequently to ensure it does not stick to the bottom.

Did you make this recipe?

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Slow cooker chicken tacos

This recipe can easily be made in the slow cooker. Just add all the ingredients, starting with the chicken into the crock pot. Mix in the salsa and tomoto paste until well incorporated.

For best results, cook on LOW for 8 hrs. Once the 8 hrs is complete, remove the bones from the chicken. Use a big spoon to shred and mix the chicken.

There will be a bit of extra liquid with this method. Use a slotted spoon to remove the shredded chicken from the slow cooker.

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