Quick Chicken Birria Tacos Recipe

Ever had one of those dishes that just sticks with you, long after the last bite? That’s exactly what Chicken Birria Tacos are like. Bursting with flavor, these tacos are a twist on the traditional beef birria, a Mexican stew that’s both hearty and complex. But who says you can’t enjoy this delectable dish on a weekday? Let’s simplify birria without compromising its soul-warming flavors. Ready to dive in?

What Is Birria?

The Roots of Birria

Originally from Jalisco, Mexico, birria is a rich, flavorful stew typically made with goat or beef. It’s seasoned with a blend of toasted spices and dried chiles, creating a balance of deep, smoky, and slightly spicy flavors. It’s not just food; it’s a celebration dish, often served at special occasions.

Why Chicken?

Using chicken speeds up the cooking process and appeals to those who prefer lighter, leaner meat. Chicken thighs, in particular, are perfect for birria because they soak up all the flavors and stay juicy and tender.

Preparing Your Chicken Birria

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 2 lbs chicken thighs, boneless and skinless
  • 4 dried guajillo chiles
  • 3 dried ancho chiles
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • Corn tortillas, for serving
  • Fresh cilantro and diced onions, for garnish

The Marinade and Cooking Sauce

Soaking the chiles in hot water until they’re softened is key. Once they’re pliable, blend them with garlic, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, salt, pepper, vinegar, and some of the chicken broth to make a smooth, rich paste. This is what gives the chicken birria its distinctive flavor.

Cooking the Chicken

Bringing the Stew Together

In a large pot, brown the chicken thighs in a bit of oil to introduce a layer of texture. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Pour in the chile sauce and remaining chicken broth, then let everything simmer until the chicken is pull-apart tender—about 45 minutes.

Shredding the Chicken

Once cooked, remove the chicken thighs from the pot and shred them with two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the pot to soak up more of the delicious sauce. This ensures every bite is infused with flavor.

Assembling Your Chicken Birria Tacos

The Perfect Tortillas

For the best experience, lightly fry your corn tortillas in a dry pan until they’re just crispy enough to hold the juicy filling without falling apart.

Building the Tacos

Spoon a generous amount of the juicy, spicy chicken onto each tortilla. Top with fresh cilantro and diced onions for a burst of freshness. Don’t forget a squeeze of lime for that extra zing!

Serving Suggestions


Serve your chicken birria tacos with a side of birria broth for dipping, turning your meal into a deliciously interactive experience. A dollop of guacamole or a sprinkle of queso fresco can only make things better.

Variations to Explore

Make It Your Own

Experiment with toppings like radishes, pickled vegetables, or even a sprinkle of chili flakes for extra heat. Remember, the best part about cooking at home is making each dish your own!


Chicken Birria Tacos are more than just a quick meal; they’re a journey through flavor and tradition, adapted for the pace of modern life. Whether it’s a casual dinner or a gathering with friends, this dish promises to be a crowd-pleaser. Why not give it a try tonight and spice up your meal routine?


Q1: Can I make this recipe in a slow cooker?

Absolutely! Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Shred the chicken in the sauce, and you’re ready to assemble the tacos.

Q2: How can I make this recipe vegetarian?

Swap the chicken for jackfruit or mushrooms, which mimic the texture of shredded meat well and are excellent at soaking up the birria sauce.

Q3: What if I can’t find dried guajillo or ancho chiles?

You can substitute with chipotle or pasilla chiles, or even a mix of both. Each type of chile will alter the flavor slightly, but your birria will still be delicious.

Q4: Is it possible to prepare the birria sauce ahead of time?

Yes, the birria sauce can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for up to a week or frozen for longer storage. This makes it easy to whip up birria tacos on a weeknight.

Q5: Can I use this chicken birria recipe for other dishes?

Of course! Use it as a filling for burritos, enchiladas, or even as a topping for nachos. The possibilities are endless with this versatile recipe.

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