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Crispy Chicken Tacos

September 6, 2011

I’ve been trying to stay dry and not get caught out in the Tropical Storm Lee this weekend so I’ve been spending the majority of the weekend at home (which is very unusual for me by the way). But staying home means plenty of time to try new recipes!

I found this recipe for chicken tacos from one of my favorite blogs, “The Pioneer Woman,” by the talented Ree Drummond. I have been following her blog for a couple of years now and she is so popular and successful in her blogging that she now has a show on The Food Network and has her own cookbook. And her recipe section always has my mouth watering. These tacos are a recipe from her brother called “My Brothers Chicken Tacos” but they are actually VERY similar to my mother’s taco recipe. The trick is, frying the shells. Period.  My mom is half Mexican and I grew up on fried taco shells like this so you know this is good.  My mom’s recipe uses beef – which is equally as good if not better, (sorry Ree, can’t diss my own mother’s cooking : )) and I will share it with you at another time. This recipe uses chicken cooked with great Mexican seasonings and green chiles. My Mom’s frying technique is also a little different than Ree’s – she fries the meat in the shell and I stuff it in afterwards. I’ve adapted this recipe a little to blend both styles.

You starting by frying the chicken, seasonings and green chiles in a pan.

Next, you fry the shells – preferably in a cast iron skillet, but any will work.

I used to just set mine on a bed of paper towels like this but now I tried Ree’s shaking technique and it makes the shells much crispier once they cool.

Then you stuff you tacos with all the fixins starting with the chicken.

And voila! Authentic Mexican Crispy Chicken Tacos!

Ree’s blog taught me a few new tricks like fully shaking the taco shells in a paper towel to get rid of excess grease and to stuff them with cheese to create a great gooey texture in the shell.

I love taking a recipe and giving it a different spin or taking two and melding them together.


  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt, Cumin, Chili Powder To Taste (or Use Taco Seasoning)
  • 8 whole Corn Tortillas (small Size)
  • 1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
  • 1 can (4 Ounce) Diced Green Chilies
  • 1  cup Finely Grated Cheese (cheddar Or Cheddar/jack Mix)
  • Sour Cream
  • Hot Sauce (I uses La Victoria Hot)
  • 2 cups Thinly Sliced Romaine Lettuce (or Any Lettuce)
  • Canola Oil, For Frying Tacos
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and season liberally with seasonings. Cook for a couple of minutes. Dump in the diced green chilies. Stir and cook until chicken is totally done inside. Turn off heat and set aside.
Have  all taco fixings chopped and prepared before frying taco shells.

To fry the tacos, heat a couple of inches of canola oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high. Place the tortilla in the pan – the oil should sizzle. Poke a couple of holes in the tortilla with a fork to stop it from bubbling up. Flip the tortilla after about 30 seconds and watch for it to slightly start to brown. Once the tortilla starts to turn golden clamp it shut with a pair of heat-proof metal tongs to form a taco shape.  Turn tacos after 30 to 45 seconds, or when each side gets light golden brown (not too brown.)

One at a time, remove tacos from the pan with tongs, holding sideways as you remove them to allow oil to drip out of the sides. Place the taco in the stack of paper towels. Fold the sides and corners around the taco to tightly hold it, then give it three or four shakes to remove excess oil. Remove it from the paper towels and place on a plate. Repeat with other tacos in the pan.

As you continue frying the other tacos, have someone carefully place some grated cheese inside the tops of the tacos (gently pry them open just enough to place the cheese in). Then just let them sit until ready to serve—the cheese will melt as it sits in the warm taco.

To serve, garnish in this order: chicken, a smear of sour cream, dashes of hot sauce, shredded lettuce, and more cheese if you are a cheese lover like me. You’ll need to slightly open up the tops of the tacos to get all the garnishes in there.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Debbie Griffin permalink
    September 17, 2011 12:13 am

    Sounds delicious! Can’t wait to try and eat these. We tacos at least once a week.


  2. Debbie Griffin permalink
    September 17, 2011 12:16 am

    I meant to say we eat tacos once a week. Now I’ll do one week chicken and one week beef.



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