Braised Chicken Poblano Tacos, photo by Sonia Mendez GarciaPhoto by Sonia Mendez Garcia

Braised Chicken Poblano Tacos

Cuisine: Mexican
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 2 hours
Servings: 6 tacos
These chicken tacos take a bit of time to make, but trust me, they're worth it! The roasted poblano peppers give them a delicious flavor boost.

A few weeks ago while at the farmer’s market, I was lucky enough to find these wonderful red poblano peppers. I had only ever seen them once before while I was visiting my niece in North Carolina. They are not much spicier than green poblanos, but the flavor is wonderful. It's a cross between a hearty green poblano and a red bell pepper.

When roasted, my red poblano peppers elevated this chicken dish. In my opinion, roasted poblanos and tomatillos just go so well together. This braising sauce will take any inexpensive cut of meat and add so much rich flavor that it will soon become a family favorite. Try this recipe and serve it over rice, or better yet, make chicken tacos for your next taco night!

Ingredients

  • For the Chicken
  • 2 pounds chicken thighs boneless, skinless
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • garlic powder to taste
  • cumin to taste
  • 4 large poblano peppers red or green
  • 2 jalapeños stems removed
  • 6 tomatillos peeled and washed
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 white onion medium, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
  • 2/3 cup water
  • For the Tacos
  • 12-14 corn tortillas
  • olive oil to taste
  • 3 cups lettuce shredded
  • 2 Roma tomatoes sliced thin
  • 1 cup queso fresco crumbled
  • 4 green onions sliced
  • lemon or lime wedges
  • salsa (use your favorite recipe or brand)
  • 1 radish sliced, as garnish

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Directions

  1. Preheat broiler to high for 5 minutes. Season the chicken lightly with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin, on both sides. Set aside.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil paper. Add the poblano peppers, jalapeños, and tomatillos. Cook under the broiler for about 15 to 20 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking time. Make sure that the skins on the poblanos blister on most sides. Remove from broiler. Transfer the poblanos to a plastic storage bag to steep and cool.
  3. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to a skillet and preheat to medium for 5 minutes. Sear and brown the chicken for 3 minutes per side. Remove from skillet and transfer to a plate. In that same skillet, turn the heat to medium-low and add 1 tablespoon of oil, onions and garlic. Season lightly with salt and pepper and let cook slowly while you prepare the braising sauce.
  4. Remove the blistered skins, stems and seeds from the poblanos. Dice one poblano and reserve in a separate bowl. Add the remaining poblanos to the blender, along with tomatillos, jalapeños, cumin, oregano, bouillon and 2/3 cups of water. Blend on high until smooth, transfer to the skillet with onions and garlic.
  5. Once the sauce comes to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Taste for salt, then add the chicken pieces back into the skillet. Braise at a simmer for 1 hour. Remove chicken and shred using two forks. Add back into the skillet with sauce, along with reserved diced poblano. Continue cooking until the sauce reduces and becomes thick, about 35 to 40 minutes. Serve as-is over rice or use as a taco, enchilada or burrito filling.

Chef Notes

For Crispy Tacos Without Frying, brush the corn tortillas with olive oil on one side. Transfer to griddle preheated to medium. As soon as tortillas are soft enough to fold, add a couple tablespoons of chicken filling and fold over. Continue cooking, turning as needed until both sides are crispy. This is a great make-ahead recipe for game day or tailgating parties. Reheat in crock pot and serve over nachos with all the garnishes listed above.

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