Spicy Chicken Tacos Recipe

Spicy chicken tacos: a flavorful and crowd-pleasing dish you can easily make at home.

Perfect for weeknight dinners or for serving guests at your next gathering, these tacos will have everyone’s taste buds dancing with delight.

With just the right amount of spice and a variety of textures, this recipe highlights the versatility and deliciousness of both chicken and the humble taco.

In this article, discover a simple yet tantalizing spicy chicken taco recipe that you can easily create in your own kitchen.

Utilizing fragrant spices and fresh ingredients, this dish brings the perfect balance of heat, flavor, and satisfaction to every bite.

Ready to treat your friends, family, or even just yourself to a mouthwatering culinary experience?

Follow the steps outlined in this article, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying some scrumptious spicy chicken tacos in no time.

How to Make Spicy Chicken Tacos

Ingredients List

  • 1 pound skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (virgin or regular)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • Corn tortillas
  • Optional toppings: green onions, salsa, cilantro, and/or avocado

Step-by-step process

Step 1

Dice onion, mince garlic, and chopped chipotle peppers.

If using chicken breasts, slice them into thin strips.

If using thighs, remove bones from the chicken and cut into 1-inch pieces.

Step 2

In a bowl, mix chicken with salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder, ensuring each piece is coated well.

Heat olive oil in a heavy or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.

When hot, add seasoned chicken.

Cook until it’s brown on all sides and no longer pink inside, about 5-8 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.

Step 3

In the same skillet, reduce heat to medium and add onions.

Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant and translucent.

Add garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute, stirring frequently.

Return the chicken to the skillet.

Add lime juice, chicken stock, hot sauce, and chipotle peppers.

Stir well to combine the ingredients, and coat the chicken evenly with the sauce.

Step 4

Lower heat to a gentle simmer and let the chicken cook for an additional 5-8 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

If it is too thick, add more chicken stock to achieve desired consistency.

While the chicken simmers, heat corn tortillas in another skillet or directly on the flame of a gas stove for a few seconds on each side until pliable and warm.

Step 5

Fill each warmed corn tortilla with a generous portion of the spicy chicken mixture.

Top with your choice of toppings, such as green onions, salsa, cilantro, and/or avocado.

Serve and enjoy your Spicy Chicken Tacos!

Side Dishes for Spicy Chicken Tacos

When preparing your delicious Spicy Chicken Tacos, don’t forget about selecting the perfect side dishes to accompany this classic meal.

Here’s a selection of options that neatly complement the flavors of your tacos without being overwhelming.

Refried Beans:

Add some comforting warmth to your meal with a serving of refried beans.

They’re a classic Mexican side dish that you can make on your own or purchase store-bought.

The beans’ lovely texture and subtle taste go well with Spicy Chicken Tacos, providing a filling and nutritious element.

Shredded Lettuce:

Adding a cool, refreshing crunch to the mix, shredded lettuce is a simple yet effective side dish choice.

You could use iceberg, romaine, or even a mixed-leaf variety to present a pleasant contrast to the spicy chicken.

Drizzle a little lime juice and salt to enhance the flavors further.

Creamy Avocado Slices:

The buttery taste of avocado can help temper the heat from the spicy chicken in your tacos.

Simply slice a ripe avocado and serve it on the side, or use it as a topping in your taco itself.

If you’re feeling creative, mash the avocado with lime juice and cilantro to create a guacamole dip.

By serving a varied selection of side dishes, you’ll allow your guests to personalize their experience and enjoy different textures and flavors that enhance your Spicy Chicken Tacos.

Ingredients Substitutes

Chicken breast

You can substitute skinless chicken thighs for chicken breast in your spicy chicken taco recipe.

Both options are flavorful and tender, but chicken thighs might have a richer taste due to their higher fat content.

If you’re looking for convenience, you could also use pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from your grocery store; just shred it and mix it with spices as needed.

Avocado oil or Canola oil

Extra virgin olive oil is commonly used in many recipes, but you might not always have it on hand or prefer another oil.

You can swap it with another healthy option, such as avocado oil or canola oil.

Keep in mind that different oils have varying smoke points, so be cautious when cooking at high heat.

Peppers in adobo sauce substitute

If you have trouble finding peppers in adobo sauce or prefer something with a milder spice level, you can use a combination of smoked paprika and cayenne pepper instead.

This blend will still provide flavors reminiscent of the adobo, but you can control the spiciness more easily.

How to Store Spicy Chicken Tacos

Storing your spicy chicken tacos properly ensures that they remain fresh and delicious until dinner time.

Here are some guidelines to help you store them efficiently:

Refrigerate:

Store the individual taco components separately in airtight containers.

This will prevent the tortillas from getting soggy due to the moisture from the spicy chicken filling.

It will also allow you to assemble the tacos easily when it’s time to enjoy them.

If possible, store the spicy chicken, tortillas, and toppings like salsa, chopped vegetables, and cheese in separate containers.

This way, the flavors will remain distinct, and you can easily assemble the perfect taco when it’s time to eat.

Place the airtight containers with the taco ingredients in the refrigerator, ensuring that they are not overcrowded.

Proper airflow is crucial for maintaining the freshness of your stored ingredients.

The chicken mixture can last for about 3-4 days in the fridge, while the tortillas can stay fresh for about a week.

Freezing:

While not ideal for some aspects of your spicy chicken tacos, certain components can be successfully frozen for longer-term storage.

You can freeze the spicy chicken mixture in a freezer-safe airtight container for up to three months.

However, it’s important to remember that freezing the tortillas and toppings like salsa and vegetables is not recommended, as their textures may change when thawing.

To sum up, using airtight containers for storing your spicy chicken taco ingredients separately and refrigerating them will ensure freshness and ease of assembly.

Additionally, freezing can be applied to the chicken filling if necessary.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Here are the most common mistakes to avoid when preparing Spicy Chicken Tacos:

Using stale or low-quality tortillas

Fresh tortillas make a crucial difference in the taste and texture of your spicy chicken tacos.

Stale or low-quality tortillas can detract from the overall enjoyment of the dish.

Always opt for fresh tortillas or, if possible, make your own at home for the best results.

Overcooking the chicken

Chicken tends to dry out easily, especially when cooked at high temperatures for extended periods.

To ensure your spicy chicken tacos are moist and flavorful, avoid overcooking the chicken.

Keep an eye on it and remove it from heat when it reaches the safe internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Skimping on spices and seasonings

The right blend of spices and seasonings can elevate the taste of your spicy chicken tacos to a whole new level.

Use a variety of flavors, such as chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, and garlic powder, to create a well-rounded and delicious dish.

Adjust the amounts according to your preferences.

Rushing the cooking process in a crock pot

If you’re preparing Chicken Tinga Tacos using a crock pot, it’s essential to allow enough time for the flavors to develop and the chicken to become tender.

Rushing this process might result in a less-flavorful dish with a tougher texture.

Follow the crock pot recipe’s recommended cooking times and temperatures for the best results.

Neglecting proper toppings and garnishes

The right toppings and garnishes can add both taste and visual appeal to your spicy chicken tacos.

Don’t underestimate the importance of including options such as salsa, crumbled cotija cheese, and sour cream.

Providing a variety of toppings allows each person to customize their taco to their liking, ensuring a satisfying dining experience.

Spicy Chicken Tacos Recipe

Spicy Chicken Tacos Recipe

Perfect for weeknight dinners or for serving guests at your next gathering, these tacos will have everyone's taste buds dancing with delight.
With just the right amount of spice and a variety of textures, this recipe highlights the versatility and deliciousness of both chicken and the humble taco.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 4
Equipment
  • 2 nonstick skillet
  • 1 bowl
Ingredients
  
  • 1 pound skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil virgin or regular
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce minced
  • 1/2 small onion diced
  • Corn tortillas
  • Optional toppings: green onions salsa, cilantro, and/or avocado
Instructions
 
  • Dice onion, mince garlic, and chopped chipotle peppers.
    If using chicken breasts, slice them into thin strips.
    If using thighs, remove bones from the chicken and cut into 1-inch pieces.
  • In a bowl, mix chicken with salt, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder, ensuring each piece is coated well.
    Heat olive oil in a heavy or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
    When hot, add seasoned chicken.
    Cook until it's brown on all sides and no longer pink inside, about 5-8 minutes.
    Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
  • In the same skillet, reduce heat to medium and add onions.
    Sauté for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant and translucent.
    Add garlic and cook for an additional 1 minute, stirring frequently.
    Return the chicken to the skillet.
    Add lime juice, chicken stock, hot sauce, and chipotle peppers.
    Stir well to combine the ingredients, and coat the chicken evenly with the sauce.
  • Lower heat to a gentle simmer and let the chicken cook for an additional 5-8 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.
    If it is too thick, add more chicken stock to achieve desired consistency.
    While the chicken simmers, heat corn tortillas in another skillet or directly on the flame of a gas stove for a few seconds on each side until pliable and warm.
  • Fill each warmed corn tortilla with a generous portion of the spicy chicken mixture.
    Top with your choice of toppings, such as green onions, salsa, cilantro, and/or avocado.
    Serve and enjoy your Spicy Chicken Tacos!
( Former Private Chef )

After acquiring a professional culinary education at the Culinary Institute of America, Andrew honed his culinary expertise by working in some of the most prestigious restaurants and catering companies, where he gained valuable experience in crafting delicious and visually stunning gourmet dishes.

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