Chicken Birria Tacos – Swirls of Flavor

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Chicken Birria Tacos are filled with flavorful chicken, onion and cheese. Serve them for dinner or as an appetizer with the homemade dipping sauce. 

chicken birria with dipping sauce

Chicken Birria Tacos

Chicken thighs simmer in a sauce made with vegetables, seasonings and chipotle peppers in adobo sauce and transform into these delectable Chicken Birria Tacos.

The chicken becomes tender and full-flavored as it cooks. 

The vegetable mixture is pureed into a mouthwatering birria sauce that also coats and seasons the tortillas.

Serve chicken birria as dinner with three tacos per serving.

These tacos also make a welcome appetizer or a hearty game day food for snacking.

A bite of a dipped taco is filled with textures, flavors and sauciness. What more could you ask for? 

The recipe has a few steps to it but it is really easy to make and well worth the time and effort.

This birria tacos recipe is made with chicken thighs instead of the typical beef birria tacos and will become a favorite in no time.

Dark meat chicken works best in this recipe because it is more flavorful than using chicken breasts.

Of course, you can make this same recipe with beef if you prefer the traditional birria tacos. I would use boneless beef chuck roast and simmer it until the beef is fork tender which will take longer than the timing in my recipe for the chicken thighs.

Top the finished tacos with cilantro leaves and chopped onion. 

You can even add a dollop of sour cream, salsa or chopped avocado and drizzle with a squeeze of lime juice.

I pureed the birria sauce and love a smooth dipping sauce. However, you can stir in some additional chopped onion and cilantro if you prefer.

Get ready for an explosion of flavors with every bite of these homemade Chicken Birria Tacos!

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How to make chicken birria tacos

Scroll down for the full recipe instructions and ingredient amounts in the recipe card below

steps for making chicken tacos
  • Combine chili powder, cumin, oregano and kosher salt in a small bowl and sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon of the seasoning mixture.
  • In a large heavy pot or large dutch oven brown both sides of the chicken over medium high heat. Remove the chicken from the pot and reserve.
  • To the same pot, add 1 cup chopped onion, carrots, garlic and remaining seasoning mixture. Cook until the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Return the reserved chicken to the pot along with the chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, chicken bouillon, water and bay leaves.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 hour.
  • Remove the chicken pieces from the pot; let cool and then shred chicken, discarding the skin and bones. (makes about 3 cups shredded chicken)
  • Remove the bay leaves from the pot and discard them.
  • Using an immersion blender, puree the cooking liquid and vegetables that are in the pot until smooth. (makes about 4 cups sauce)
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. 
  • Dip the corn tortillas into the sauce to coat both sides and place the tortillas, in batches, in the hot skillet, Top with ¼ cup shredded chicken, remaining chopped onion and shredded mozzarella cheese. Fold in half and cook, turning once.
  • Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling ingredients.
  • Serve the tacos with any remaining sauce for dipping.

Swirls of Flavor Recipe Tips

  • You can prepare the chicken and sauce ahead. Refrigerate them separately. Assemble and cook the birria tacos when you are ready.
  • Serve these tacos as a main dish or an appetizer.
  • Add salsa to the filling
  • Be sure to remove the bay leaf before pureeing the sauce
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs won’t be as flavorful as the bone-in chicken thighs with skin on
  • I used an immersion blender to puree the dipping sauce but you can also do that with a food processor or blender. Just be careful when pureeing the hot mixture and do it in small batches.
  • Add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste to the cooking liquid
dipping chicken birria in sauce

Substitutions

  • Substitute boneless beef chuck for the chicken thighs and make beef birria tacos
  • Substitute taco seasoning for the chili powder, cumin, oregano and kosher salt.
  • You can use chicken broth or chicken stock in place of the chicken bouillon and water.
  • Street size flour tortillas can be substituted for the corn tortillas

Storage

  • Store the shredded chicken and sauce each separately in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 
  • Chicken and sauce will stay fresh for 3-4 days when refrigerated.
  • The prepared tacos can be wrapped in aluminum foil or placed in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • As always, I find it helpful to visit the FDA website for food storage guidelines

How to reheat birria tacos

If you have leftover birria tacos that you want to reheat you can warm them up in the oven:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Arrange the pan-fried tacos in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.
  • Simmer the birria sauce in a pot on the stovetop and serve with the warmed tacos
chicken birria tacos on a white plate

Equipment

Easy taco recipes

Ingredients for chicken birria tacos recipe

chicken birria recipe ingredients
  • chili powder
  • oregano
  • cumin
  • kosher salt
  •  bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • white onion
  • carrot
  • garlic
  • chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • water
  • chicken bouillon cubes
  • bay leaves
  • corn tortillas
  • mozzarella cheese
  • cilantro  
chicken birria tacos on a white plate

Print

Chicken Birria Tacos

Chicken Birria Tacos are filled with flavorful chicken, cilantro, onion and cheese. Serve them with the homemade dipping sauce for dinner or as an appetizer. 

Keyword buffalo chicken tacos, cauliflower taco recipe, chicken birria, chicken birria tacos
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 45 minutes

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Instructions

  • Combine chili powder, cumin, oregano and kosher salt in a small bowl.

  • Sprinkle the chicken with 1 teaspoon of the seasoning mixture.

  • In a large heavy pot brown both sides of the chicken over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from the pot and reserve.

  • To the same pot, add 1 cup chopped onion, carrots, garlic and remaining seasoning mixture. Cook until the vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes.

  • Return the reserved chicken to the pot along with the chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, chicken bouillon, water and bay leaves.

  • Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 hour.

  • Remove the chicken pieces from the pot; let cool and then shred the chicken, discarding the skin and bones. (makes about 3 cups shredded chicken)

  • Remove the bay leaves from the pot and discard them.

  • Using an immersion blender, puree the sauce and vegetables that are in the pot until smooth. (makes about 4 cups sauce)

  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

  • Dip the corn tortillas into the sauce to coat both sides and place the tortillas, in batches, in the heated skillet. Place chicken (about 1/4 cup per tortilla), remaining chopped onion and shredded mozzarella cheese on top of the tortilla. Fold in half and cook, turning once.

  • Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling ingredients.

  • Serve the tacos, topped with additional cilantro leaves and chopped onion, if desired, with the remaining sauce for dipping.

Nutrition

Calories: 809kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 47g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 18g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 233mg | Sodium: 1636mg | Potassium: 818mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 6179IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 412mg | Iron: 3mg



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