These flavor-packed smokey chipotle chicken tacos are so easy to make and super satisfying! Don’t be surprised if this recipe sneaks into your weekly dinner routine!
These easy, braised chicken tacos are a staple dinner in my house at the moment! Most of the work is done for you by your oven where the chicken braises with Mexican beer, tomatoes, chipotle peppers, cumin, garlic, and onion.
Beer-Braised Chipotle Chicken Tacos are great all on their own but I also like to serve them with a side of Jalapeño Black Beans and of course, The Perfect Mezcal Margarita to wash it all down!
Ingredients You’ll Need
Here’s what you’ll need to make Beer-Braised Chipotle Chicken Tacos: Mexican beer (Modelo, Corona, Pacifico), chipotle in adobo, chicken thighs, onion, garlic, cumin, lime, and tortillas (corn or flour).
For serving: You can serve these tacos with any of your favorite taco “fix-ins”. For instance, salsa, chopped cilantro, crumbled cotija or Monterey jack, thinly sliced radish, sour cream, guacamole, or sliced avocado.
Recipe Step by Step
Step 1. Sear the Chicken
Sear the chicken in a hot skillet until golden brown. This step infuses the chicken and sauce with lots of flavor!
Step 2. Make the sauce
The seared chicken creates a nice amount of rendered fat, perfect for sautéing the onion, garlic, and chipotle. Stir in the beer and tomatoes and bring to a simmer.
Step 3. Braise
Add the chicken back to the skillet and pop the whole thing in a preheated oven, uncovered.
Step 4. Serve
Shred the chicken and discard the bones. Then puree the sauce and pour over the shredded chicken. Serve with charred tortillas, fresh cilantro, and crumbled Cotija cheese!
FAQs and Expert Tips
Chipotle in Adobo is a canned or jarred smokey dried Jalapeño rehydrated in tomato sauce. They are VERY spicy so proceed with caution. If you prefer less spice start with one pepper or a few spoonfuls of the sauce.
Whether you’re using corn or flour tortillas I highly recommend charing them a bit for added flavor. To do this place one tortilla at a time directly over a gas flame, keep a close eye on it, and when it starts to get crispy and blackened around the edges remove it from the flame with tongs. Wrap with a clean kitchen towel to keep them soft and warm before serving.
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Beer-Braised Chipotle Chicken Tacos
- 3 tbsp neutral oil
- 6 large bone-in chicken thighs
- ½ yellow onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1-2 chipotle peppers (canned in adobo sauce)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 12oz can Mexican beer Modelo, Pacifico, Corona etc..
- 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
- salt to taste
- 12 tortillas flour or corn
- 4 oz Cotija cheese crumbled
- ½ c chopped cilantro
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat then add in the oil. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper, add it to the skillet, and cook turning once, until browned, about 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a paper towel-lined tray. Turn the skillet down to medium-low heat.
- Add the onion and garlic to the skillet, cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned and softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cumin and chipotle peppers and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes. Next, add the can of crushed tomatoes and beer then bring to a simmer. Return the chicken to the skillet then place the whole pan in the oven, uncovered for 45 minutes, turning the chicken half-way through.
- Remove the chicken from the sauce and once it's cool enough to handle shred the meat and discard the bones. Transfer the sauce to a food processor or blender and let cool for 15 minutes. Puree until smooth and season with lime juice, salt, and pepper. Return the shredded chicken to the skillet and pour the sauce over the chicken.
- Warm the tortillas by placing them directly over a gas flame to char the edges. Place on a plate, and cover with a towel to steam.
- To assemble, spoon about 3 tablespoons of chicken onto each tortilla top with crumbled cheese and chopped cilantro, serve immediately!
- Chipotle in Adobo: Canned or jarred smokey dried Jalapeños rehydrated in tomato sauce. If you prefer more mild tacos use only one chipotle pepper.
- Mexican Beer: Use any that you like, Modelo, Corona, Pacifico, etc.
- You can serve these tacos with any of your favorite taco “fix-ins”. For instance, salsa, chopped cilantro, crumbled cotija or Monterey jack, thinly sliced radish, sour cream, guacamole, or sliced avocado.
- Beer-braised chipotle chicken will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to five days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave. Serve with warm tortillas.