Chicken Taco Filling

Chicken Taco Filling in juices on a baking sheet

Is it silly to have a whole recipe dedicated to chicken taco filling? No. I like a certain kind of chicken in my tacos – sorry, not sorry. This recipe talks about two ways to get you to chicken taco goodness– pan frying or baking. Sometimes I just don’t want my stove splattered with oil, so I bake the chicken and chop it up into juicy bites. Sometimes I want the little chicken pieces to be seared all over to become yummy flavor nuggets and I don’t care about a little grease on the stainless steel. You choose – they’re both good! If you go with the baked chicken method, be sure save that juice that’s left on the pan and coat your chicken in it after you chop it up, like in the pic above. 

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Chicken for Tacos

Chicken Taco Filling in juices on a baking sheet

Two cooking methods to turn chicken breasts into a flavorful taco filling.

  • Author: Serving Tonight
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Mexican
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Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 TBS your favorite taco seasoning
    OR combine the following:
  • 1TBS chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Instructions

If you want to bake the chicken:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet covered with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
  3. Coat the chicken breasts on both sides with the oil and taco seasoning/spice blend.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until the internal temp of the chicken reaches 160 degrees.
  5. Allow the chicken to rest for 10 minutes or until cook enough to handle, then move it to a cutting board. Don’t throw away the aluminum foil yet – you need those chicken juices.
  6. Shred the chicken with your fingers or chop it into 1/2 inch cubes – whichever texture you prefer. I prefer the chopped cubes.
  7. After you’ve shredded or chopped the chicken, pile it back onto the aluminum foil and toss it around in the juices. Serve it now or refrigerate it for future tacos!

If you want to pan fry the chicken:

  1. Cut the chicken breasts into 1/2″ cubes and toss with the taco seasoning/spice blend.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat, until it shimmers.
  3. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and spread them out into a single layer.
  4. Let the chicken cook for about 3 minutes without stirring it, then stir and flip the pieces over on the other side, as best you can. Cook for another 3 minutes.
  5. Stir the chicken around again and cook for about another 3 minutes, until cooked through. Enjoy it now or refrigerate for future tacos!

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