Chipotle chicken taco DSC8223

Chipotle chicken taco recipe

If you’re like me, you’ve been sneezing nonstop the past few days. I thought I had a cold until I looked at the calendar and realized what was really happening with my nose—it was an attack of the histamines. Howdy seasonal allergies, you’re right on schedule! And that means it’s time for chipotle chicken tacos.

I’ve had bad allergies all my life. When I lived in Houston it was the spring that made my nose explode and eyes water for two weeks. My mom would provide me with those little purse-packs of tissues, but that was never enough and you’d soon find me walking around with a roll of toilet paper that I’d grabbed from the school bathroom. I concede that wasn’t very ladylike but at least the toilet paper was softer than the lunchroom paper napkins.

When I lived in Austin, I got slammed in the winter with the dreaded cedar fever. It affected me so badly that one day my boss thought I had the flu and told me to go home. “But it’s just allergies from cedar pollen. I’m not actually contagious,” I said, but she insisted I leave, which was a very kind thing to do.

Chipotle chicken tacos | Homesick Texan

I thought when I moved to New York that I would finally escape the plight of allergies and for a few years I did. But a few years ago one fall morning I woke up almost unable to breathe and it’s been an annual curse of autumn allergies ever since.

Now, if I told you that I’d found a cure for seasonal allergies, would you believe me? Of course not! You can only suppress the symptoms until whatever it is that’s making you sneeze goes away. But two things always help me feel better when I’m in this state—chicken and chiles—and so I made a batch of shredded chipotle chicken tacos to help fight the histamines and make the allergy invaders go away.

Why does this work for me? Well, there’s plenty of chicken, which has been proven to help reduce congestion. And there’s enough fire from the chipotles to help clear your head. An added bonus is that I use a whole chicken so there’s plenty of leftover broth to sip until your allergies have finally gone away.

Chipotle chicken tacos | Homesick Texan

I certainly can’t make any guarantees these chipotle chicken tacos will help you stop sneezing, but they certainly can’t hurt and as well, they simply taste good, too. And hey, if you’re fortunate enough to not have allergies, don’t feel excluded—these tacos can be enjoyed by anyone! But if you are suffering from allergies right now, I hope that you feel better soon.

Would you like more Homesick Texan? Well, I’ve started offering additional recipes for paid subscribers to help with the costs of running the site. While I’m not taking anything away, if you’d like to support Homesick Texan and have access to exclusive, never-seen-before subscriber-only posts, please consider becoming a member; annual subscriptions are as low as $25. Thank you for reading, your consideration, and your support!

5 from 1 vote

Chipotle chicken tacos

Cuisine Tex-Mex
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Lisa Fain


Ingredients for the chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken cut into quarters
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and whole
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 celery rib
  • 1 leafy stem of cilantro
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Ingredients for the chipotle salsa:

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed canned tomatoes
  • 2 canned chipotle chiles en adobo (2 chile peppers not 2 cans!)
  • 1/4 medium yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of ground allspice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Tortillas, for serving
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Salsa verde, for serving


  • Place the chicken in a large pot along with the garlic, onion, celery, cilantro, bay leaf, pepper and salt. Cover with water (about a gallon), bring the pot to a boil and then simmer 1 hour. Remove the chicken from the pot and when cool enough to handle, remove the skin and shred either with your hands or 2 forks.
  • Meanwhile, strain the cooled broth, throwing out the vegetables. Remove the fat from the broth with a gravy separator. Or you can take a quart-sized plastic storage bag and pour some broth into it. Snip a bottom corner of the bag and drain the broth, stopping when you get to the fat layer that is on top. (You will probably have to do this in batches).
  • Place 1/2 cup of the chicken broth into a blender, reserving the rest for another use. Add to the blender the tomatoes, chipotle chiles, onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, allspice, cilantro and lime juice. Blend until smooth. 
  • In a medium-sized pot, heat up the oil on medium low heat. Pour the chipotle salsa into the pot and cook while occasionally stirring for 15 minutes. It should be a bit darker in color and a bit thicker. Add salt and black pepper to taste and adjust seasonings. With the heat still on, add the shredded chicken to the pot and stir until the chicken is well coated and has been re-heated, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve shredded chipotle chicken with warmed-up corn or flour tortillas, limes and any of your other favorite taco toppings and your favorite salsa, such as a salsa verde.


If you don't have a whole chicken, you can use the equivalent in parts. Likewise, if you have leftover chicken, you may toss it in the salsa instead of starting from scratch. 

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Recipe Rating


  1. David from Southern AZ says:

    As always, this recipe really delivers. I had some leftover chicken and I needed the right direction to make it into chicken tacos and this recipe did it for me.

    Home Sick Texan, you are the greatest!!!

    P.S. I was born in Houston and your recipes are my favorite, always giving me the flavors and textures that I crave!

  2. Justcallmeblessed says:

    Im here in Del Rio TX and these sound goooooood! I have a tip though for shredding the meat: Place the warm chunks of meat in your stand mixer (It's best to have the kind that lock down in place.). Attach the paddle attachment and turn on slow and move toward medium slowly. This should shred all of your chicken in about 45 seconds! It's a huge lifesaver when you are a busy mom!

  3. Nutzabouttennis says:

    I just made these tonight and had to post it on my Pinterest…the sauce was seriously so good I wanted to drink it.

  4. I just made this a couple hours ago for the family. Tasty and with a 4lb chicken enough for 6 or 7. I recommend cooking the sauce on the stovetop a little longer (maybe another 10 minutes) until it thickens quite a bit. My chicken had a sauce that was a little too thin and I would have like to intensify the flavor even more.

  5. This is delicious and versatile. Made it a couple times before trying paleo, and with very few and easy tweaks it's perfect as paleo, even. Extra heaping of the salsa simmered in another cup of bone broth; chugged that yesterday to kick out a cold/fever/ugh-osity; to success.