Chicken Birria Tacos

A row of chicken birria tacos served on a platter.

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Mexican-style chicken birria tacos made with fall-apart-tender chicken cooked in a flavorful consomé brimming with chilies and spices.


For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 9 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 large white onion, roughly chopped
  • 10 medium garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1/2 large cinnamon stick
  • 5 ancho chiles, seeds and stem removed
  • 8 guajillo chiles, seeds and stem removed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • Kosher salt to taste

For the chicken:

  • 3.5 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts
  • Water, for boiling
  • 2 bay leaves

For the tacos:

  • 34 pounds of corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound shredded Chihuahua cheese


  1. Cook the veggies. Add the oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the tomatoes, onion, garlic, allspice, black peppercorns, cinnamon, chile ancho, chile guajillo, and white vinegar. Let them cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then place the lid on the pot and cook for another 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. This will help cook and soften all the veggies in the pot evenly and not just those at the bottom of the pot.
  2. Blend the sauce. Add all of the cooked veggies and spices into the blender. Add the ground cumin and dried oregano. Process until you get a smooth mixture. Season with salt to taste and blend again. Strain the sauce and set it aside.
  3. Cook the chicken. Rinse the large pot in which you cooked the veggies. You can also use a separate pot. Place the chicken inside. Cover it with water and add the bay leaves. Bring it to a boil over high heat. Next, reduce the heat to medium-low and let the chicken simmer for 1-1.5 hours or until cooked through. Occasionally remove the scum and foam that forms on top of the broth.
  4. Pour in the sauce. Add the sauce to the chicken broth and stir well. Season with salt to taste. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Let it simmer for another hour or until reduced and slightly thickened. Remove it from the heat and set it aside. Remove the bay leaves.
  5. Shred the chicken. Remove the chicken from the pot and let it cool down slightly. Discard the chicken skin. Use two forks to carefully shred the chicken. Set it aside.
  6. Save the cooking liquid (consomé). We are going to use the extra liquid from cooking the chicken to coat the chicken, tortillas, and also for dipping later on.
  7. Mix the chicken. Add the chicken to a large bowl and pour in 2-3 cups of consomé (the broth with sauce.) Mix to combine. Set it aside.
  8. Coat the tortillas. Heat the tortillas in a warm griddle or comal over low heat until bendy and pliable. Dip them in the pot of consomé (until completely coated) and then set them on a plate.
  9. Make the tacos. Add the vegetable oil to a large pan. Fill half of each tortilla with 3-4 tablespoons of the prepared shredded chicken. Sprinkle with cheese so that the tacos have a nice amount of melty cheese in them after they are cooked. Fold the tacos in half, like quesadillas. Fry them over medium heat for 2-4 minutes on each side or until golden and crispy.
  10. Serve. Place the tacos on serving plates. Place a small bowl of consomé on the side for dipping or pour the consomé right over them. Enjoy.

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