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Ancho Chile Chicken Soft Tacos

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Ancho Chile Chicken Soft Tacos

Braised chicken thighs with ancho chile and spices served on warm tortillas topped with cheese, lettuce, and avocado.

Ancho Chile Chicken Soft Tacos recipe

Recipe Keywords:


servings: 4

total time: 1 hour

recipe by: 


  • 1 TBSP peanut oil
  • 2 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 TBSP ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cups water
  • 12 taco-size flour tortillas
  • 4 ounces finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups finely shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced


  1. Pat the chicken thighs dry with paper towels and generously season all over with salt and pepper.

  2. Heat the oil in a dutch oven or large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs to the hot oil and sear until browned on one side then flip over and brown the other side, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.

  3. Add the onion to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.

  4. Add the ancho, garlic, cumin, and 1/4 tsp salt to the pan and stir to combine. Add the water to the pan and using a wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the pan to release any stuck on bits.

  5. Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a boil. Place a lid on the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer until chicken is tender enough to shred off the bone, about 25 minutes.

  6. Transfer the chicken thighs to a large bowl. Shred the chicken into bite size pieces and discard the skin and bones. Return the shredded chicken back into the pan and cook over medium heat, uncovered, until most of the water has evaporated, 20 to 25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

  7. Warm the tortillas and serve the chicken in the tortillas topped with your choice of toppings.

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