Chicken Birria Tacos - Wine Dine With Jeff

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 Pounds / 32Oz of Boneless Skinless Chicken thighs
  • 3 Tablespoons of Olive oil
  • 1 Teaspoon of Mexican oregano for chicken thighs/ 1 Tablespoon for the sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon of Cumin on the chicken thighs/ 1 Teaspoon for the sauce
  • Salt and Pepper the chicken thighs
  • 3 Dried whole Pasilla Chili Pods
  • 3 Dried whole Guajillo Chili Pods
  • 2 Chipotle chili's in adobo sauce
  • 7 Garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Medium yellow onion diced / plus save some diced raw onions for the tacos
  • 2 cups /16oz of chicken stock
  • One 14.5 Oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
  • The juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 1 Tablespoon of Coriander for the sauce
  • Soft corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro for the tacos
  • (Optional) Mexican cheese blend for the tacos

Directions

  • 1. From the beginning, Cocula, Jalisco, is considered the birthplace of the dish we now call “birria.” The tradition of the “birriero” families continue to this day, all with their unique recipe and style, which gives birria its distinct and delicious flavor. The dish is a spicy stew, traditionally made from goat meat or mutton, but occasionally from beef or chicken. The dish is often served as celebratory occasions, such as weddings and baptisms, and holidays, such as Christmas and Easter. I have made this recipe with beef short ribs and it was fabulous,. We are all trying to eat less red meat and I wanted to perfect this amazing recipe with chicken. Lets start with the dried chili pods I am using two different kinds of chili's because each of these chili's have a different flavor profile that add to the final dish. Remove the stems off the Pasilla and Guajillo dried peppers. Take a knife and slice the chili pods open and remove the seeds in the middle. Both of these chili's are mild in their spice level. Cut or tear into pieces and set aside.
  • 2. Mix together 1 teaspoon of cumin, 1 teaspoon of Dried Mexican oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Sprinkle the spice mix over both sides of the boneless skinless chicken thighs. I have made this recipe with chicken breast also but I prefer the chicken thighs because the thighs are more flavorful and juicier. If you are going to use chicken breast I would recommend using bone-In and skin on to keep the moisture and added flavor.
  • 3. In a Dutch oven add 2 tablespoon of olive oil and turn the burner to medium high. When you see the oil start to shimmer add the chicken thighs into the Dutch oven in one layer. You will need to cook these in batches. Cook the chicken for 3 to 4 minutes on the first side to caramelize and flavor the chicken. Flip and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes and remove from the pan. The chicken will finish cooking in the Birria sauce.
  • 4. In the same Dutch oven add 1 more tablespoon of olive oil to the hot pan after the chicken was removed. Add the diced onion and cook for 2 minutes then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Squeeze in 1 Tablespoon of tomato paste to the onion garlic mixture and incorporate together. Pour in chicken stock and the can of fire roasted tomatoes. Add the 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, if you don't like spice just add one chili in adobo sauce. Add 1 Tablespoon of each dried Mexican oregano and Coriander. Also add 1 teaspoon of cumin to the Birria sauce. Then add in all the dried Pasilla and Guajillo chili's that you removed the seeds from. Place the lid on the Dutch oven and bring to a low simmer for 10 minutes.
  • 5. Add the browned chicken thighs into the Birria sauce and simmer for 20 minutes. One important tip is that the chicken should be simmering on a low temperature not a fast heavy boil. Simmering softly will help tenderize the chicken in the Birria sauce. Cook the chicken until the temperature reaches 165 Degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the chicken from the sauce and shred into pieces. With an emersion blender or food processor puree the Birria sauce. Then squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and turn off the burner Add the shredded chicken to the pureed Birria sauce and stir to combine.
  • 6. In a cast iron or saute pan add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and turn the burner on to a medium heat. Dip the soft corn tortilla in the sauce and place the shell on the hot pan. Place a small amount of birria chicken on half of the tortilla. Then top with raw onion and cilantro. If you like cheese add some cheese and fold over the tortilla, brown on one side and flip to the other. Enjoy these Birria tacos with your favorite Mexican rice or Beans.

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