Crispy Chicken Tacos
I make these Crispy Chicken Tacos WEEKLY because of how easy and flavorful they are! Juicy and crispy chicken, fresh Pico de Galo and pillowy soft shell tacos.
The crispy chicken is slow cooked and great for making in large batches, freezing and using on any night. It uses a delicious range of Mexican inspired spices making it a super flavorful. When made ahead of time, this entire meal comes together in about 10 minutes!
Crispy Chicken Tacos – A Must Try!
Here’s things you’ll love about these delicious Crispy Chicken Tacos!
- Crispy Chicken – The star of the show truly is the slow cooked Crispy chicken! It’s flavorful, juicy, tender and totally worth the time it takes to make. Plus it’s low effort! Alternatively you can use grilled chicken if you’re on a time crunch.
- Pico De Galo – so tangy, delicious and super easy to make. I absolutely adore Pico De Gallo and it goes so well with some salty nacho chips!
- Customize it! – Add the things you love! Some creamy avocados would go nicely, cheese or crispy lettuce!
- Perfect Friday night or weeknight meal! This is a great take out at home recipe or a quick and flavorful weeknight recipe!
- Freezer friendly! – The crispy chicken in this recipe is awesome for keeping in the freezer and thawing in the microwave for 1 minute before freshly crisping up. It makes this recipe a 30 minute recipe!
Let’s talk Crispy Chicken!
I used my slow-cooked Chicken Carnitas recipe to fill these tacos (with some extra spices). It’s a tender and juicy shredded chicken cooked in a blend of Mexican inspired spices and citrus juices. The result is a . flavorful chicken meat that can be used in so many different types of ways. Is it worth the couple hours it takes to cook it? Yes, it’s low effort and cooks it self! Totally! If you have the time, make it in a large batch and freeze it. If you don’t have the time, you can use some grilled chicken for this recipe.
Ingredients You Need To Make Crispy Chicken Tacos
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.Jump to Recipe
- Chicken – I used chicken thigh for this recipe because they’re flavor-packed compared to chicken breast which would come out a little dry. Make sure you check for bones in the chicken thighs before cooking and cut them away if you find them.
- Olive oil – I used extra virgin olive oil.
- Salt – I used fine salt.
- Cumin – I used cumin powder.
- Pepper – I used white pepper, black pepper will also work.
- Oregano – I used dried oregano
- Oranges – Use fresh oranges for this recipe for best flavor results.
- Lime – Use fresh lime for best flavor results. The acidity from the oranges and lime tenderizes the chicken and helps add more flavor depth.
- Onion – I used red onion, but brown onion will work as well.
- Garlic – I used fresh garlic which gives you a stronger and better flavor.
- Chicken stock – opt in for a good quality chicken stock. If you’re trying to keep costs down, use a chicken bouillon stock cube. Honestly, it has a delicious flavor.
- Flour Tortillas – I used flour tortillas because I like how soft they are compared the corn tortillas.
Click here for more tips on how to make my Pico De Gallo Recipe
How to make Crispy Chicken Tacos!
- Feel for any bones in the chicken thighs
- Cut them away if you find them
- Cook in batches in a large pot until golden on both sides
- Add everything back into the large pot
- Add the remaining chicken ingredients
- Stir and cook, covered with a lid for 2 hours
- Until 3/4 of the liquid has evaporated
- Use two forks to shred the chicken (don’t over shred!)
- Crisp up in a frypan with some oil.
- Super crispy!
- Toast your flour tortillas on an open flame
- To assemble: add some crispy chicken on your toasted tortillas
Tips and Tricks For Recipe Success!
- Make the pico de galo ahead of time but don’t mix it or add the lime until right before you’re ready to serve these!
- Freeze the chicken that you don’t use. Thaw in the microwave for 1-2 minutes out of the bag and crisp up fresh!
- Serve with fresh lime wedges. Not optional, it mirrors the lime in the chicken and livens up this zesty meal!
- Toast the tortillas on an open flame for an extra smokey flavor.
- Add cheese or other veggies – to personalize your chicken tacos!
- When shredding the chicken – don’t over do it otherwise when you crisp it up it will just be dry chicken fairy floss.
Frequently Asked Questions about Crispy Chicken Tacos
What makes a really good Chicken Taco?
Two main things!
- The fresh ingredients in the pico de galo. Fresh lime juice in the pico and the chicken. Opt for fresh garlic. All these come together to make a full flavored dish.
- The toasty tortillas – I like toasting mine on an open flame. It helps heat them up and make them soft, but it makes them smokey and a little crispy too.
Are these healthy?
I would say yes. You’re using fresh ingredients and not an abundance of processed ingredients. In moderation, these are a balanced and tasty meal. I would say the more fat you cut off the chicken thigh the healthier it is but then that’s where all the gish darn flavor is! 🤣
If you loved this recipe, check these out!
Slow Cooker Crispy Pork Carnitas – a great alternative to chicken and just as flavorful!
Did you make this? Be sure to leave a review below and tag me @thescranline on Facebook and Instagram!
Crispy Chicken Tacos
- 4 pounds (2 kg) chicken thighs boneless and skinless (see notes)
- 2 tbsp olive oil plus extra to crisp up chicken
- 3 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp cumin ground
- 2 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp oregano dried
- 2 oranges juiced
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 red onion chopped
- 3 garlic cloves sliced
- 4 cups (1 litre) chicken stock
Pico del Galo
- 1 large brown or red onion finely chopped
- 2 large tomatoes cubed (see notes)
- 2 tbsp coriander finely chopped
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 tsp salt
- birds eye chilli thinly sliced, seeds removed (optional)
- 5 small flour tortillas per person (see notes)
- Chipotle Mayonnaise Sauce
- lime wedges to serve
- Note: First off, this recipe is easily scalable. If you want to halve the ingredients that will work. Cooking time will lessen by about half. Just make sure the chicken is covered in stock when you begin cooking.
- If using chicken thigh, feel for any bones before cooking. Cut away if you find them.
- Drizzle 1 tbsp of oil in a very lot frypan or deep pot and cook chicken in batches taking care not to overcrowd your pan. Cook on each side until golden. Place in a bowl and continue cooking until all the chicken is cooked. Salt the top of the chicken with each batch.
- Place all the chicken back into a deep pot. Sprinkle with salt, cumin, oregano, pepper, orange juice, lime juice, chopped onion, garlic cloves and chicken stock. Mix to combine everything. Place a lid on top and cook on medium low heat for 2 hours. If cooking less chicken the cooking time will be about half. You’re looking for about 3/4 of the stock to have cooked away and for the chicken to be soft and fall apart.
- Use two forks to shred the chicken (but don’t overdo it).
- To Crisp Up - add a tsp of olive oil in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add a portion of chicken and stir using a wooden spoon until chicken is crispy and golden.
- To freeze chicken - if you want to freeze the chicken, portion it into 8 freezer bags and freeze for up to two months. Thaw and crisp up fresh. Each freezer bag is one serving.
Pico del Galo
- Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix!
- Place each soft shell taco on top of a gas stove top and lightly char on both sides. Use tongs to turn over. Do this right before serving so they’re warm!
- Add chicken in each taco, Pico del Galo on top and a drizzle of spicy mayo. Drizzle with a fresh lemon wedge before eating!