If you love chicken tacos as much as I do, then you will want to make sure you use the right kind of chicken when you’re preparing homemade tacos. If your chicken isn’t prepared and seasoned the right way, it can have the wrong texture or taste, and that can get in the way of you enjoying delicious chicken tacos.
I want to tell you about my method for preparing chicken for tacos so that that combined effect of the chicken and other fillings in the taco is perfect every time. Part of making sure you get absolutely incredible chicken tacos is that you season the chicken well.
I like to use a combination of chili powder, cumin, oregano, and garlic powder. This provides a really flavorful seasoning for the chicken that’s easy to put together, and it smells so good when the chicken cooks.
I definitely prefer to season the chicken before cooking it up in the skillet. This cooks the seasonings into the chicken and provides a more flavorful dish.
How to Make Chicken for Shredded Chicken Tacos
The key to making really good chicken for chicken tacos is to shred the meat before cooking it. You also want to use boneless, skinless chicken breast meat. This gives you the best flavor and texture for chicken tacos, and you can shred it into a size that is compatible with the tacos. Making the chicken into bite size pieces is important, because that means you will be tearing up the taco to get a piece of chicken in each bite.
How to cook up the meat for chicken breast tacos? You can start by making sure the chicken is thawed out, clean, trimmed, and shredded up into bite-size pieces. Then, begin warming up some cooking oil in a skillet on medium heat.
Add batches of chicken to the skillet at a time, once the oil is heated. Cook them in a single layer so there’s no overlap and there’s enough space for each piece to cook. Cook the chicken until it’s golden brown and has cooked all the way through. That should take about 4-5 minutes on each side.
You can check the chicken’s internal temperature to ensure it reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit, though that can be tough to do with small pieces of chicken.
You could also cook up boneless skinless breast pieces of chicken without chopping them up first. The method is the same, but you just want to ensure that the chicken cooks evenly on both sides and then it reaches the right internal temperature.
Once the chicken has cooled enough to be safe to handle, you can cut it into small, bite-size pieces.
Chicken for Tacos Recipe
How do you flavor up chicken to make chicken tacos? I’ve given you some seasoning ideas already, but let me share with you another combination of seasonings you can use for this chicken.
Remember to thaw your chicken all the way and season it well before you cook it. This ensures that the chicken cooks easily and is very flavorful once it comes out of the frying pan.
You can use a taco seasoning mix on your chicken, sprinkling it generously over your shredded or filet chicken pieces. You could also season your chicken with garlic powder, chili powder, and lime juice. One seasoning combination I really like is red pepper flakes, lemon zest, and onion powder.
There are tons of different combinations you could make, using a couple of seasonings that I already mentioned. Here are some of the most common seasonings used to make chicken tacos:
- Chili powder
- Cumin powder
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Red pepper flakes
- Lime juice
- Lemon juice
- Hot sauce
- Pepper sauce
- Salt and pepper
Feel free to mix and match these as you like to make the chicken taste to your preference.
Rotisserie Chicken Tacos
Are you looking for a way to spruce up taco night with something a little different? You may want to give rotisserie chicken tacos a try.
It’s easiest to make these with rotisserie chicken that’s already prepared and cooked. You just take the meat off the bones and shred the meat up into bite-size pieces. Then, mix your shredded chicken with whatever seasonings and garnishes you want to use, like salsa, cheese, corn, mushrooms, and more.
You could make everything from scratch for this dish if you wanted to, preparing rotisserie chicken yourself and even making homemade salsa. When I make homemade salsa, I’ll mix together tomato paste, water, cumin, chili powder, and coriander seed, sometimes adding in chopped bell pepper as well.
Homemade rotisserie chicken takes a lot longer to make, but it can be really gratifying to prepare it yourself. If you make rotisserie chicken the night before and still have some leftover and you’re looking for something to do with it, you could always shred the meat from the bones and make rotisserie chicken tacos.
So, you can put all your fillings into the tortilla shells and spread that on a baking sheet, brushing both sides of the tortillas with oil. Cook all that in the oven for about 10 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the tortillas cool just a little bit, you can fold them and serve them. Feel free to add additional garnishes onto the tacos, including guacamole, sour cream, and chili powder.
You may want to wait to add the cheese until the last few minutes of baking so it doesn’t burn and turn into something that’s way too crispy to be enjoyable.
During the last minute or two of cooking in the oven, you can sprinkle some cheese onto your tortillas and shredded chicken and then pull them out a couple minutes later with perfectly melted cheese.
Now you have a few ideas for making chicken tacos. This is a great use for leftover chicken if you want to use leftovers in a different way instead of having the same thing several nights in a row.