If you're looking for new ways to use a rotisserie chicken, look no further than these Rotisserie Chicken Tacos with Slaw. Chopped rotisserie chicken gets combined with onion, garlic, and a Mexican citrus spice blend before being de-glazed with beer. Yes, beer! It's a delightfully easy and flavorful taco filling that's sure to please your family for #TacoTuesday or any day of the week!
👩🏻🍳 Tamara Talks - About Rotisserie Chicken Tacos
Rotisserie chicken is such a great time-saver, and it's a really healthy option. I've featured it in rotisserie chicken burrito bowls, chicken salad, this cobb salad, and this Yucatan spinach salad. Most weeks, we pick one up to have on hand for lunches and quick weeknight dinners.
Taco recipes are my jam. If you haven't seen it, I have a tacos category. I live in south Texas, and the availability of ingredients and fresh produce is amazing. However, I realized I'd never done tacos with chicken. EVER. I'm really not sure how that happened, but it's high time I address this shortcoming. 😅
So, I landed on rotisserie chicken tacos, and I wanted to keep them super simple. As I love to create spice blends, I thought that might be the way to go. Citrus and chicken are a "perfect pairing," so citrus it is. I found this dried orange zest, and ran with it. Ground achiote/annatto, ground cumin, ground red chile powder, garlic powder and Mexican oregano round it out. It may be a spice blend that warrants its own post.
The recipe calls for simmering the chicken and onion in beer. This may not appeal to everyone. Chicken broth is a fine substitute. Please read on for more information on ingredients and substitutions, toppings suggestions, and tips for making the best chicken tacos!
📋 Ingredients for Chicken Tacos
Here is a quick look at the ingredients in the recipe – it’s handy to use at the grocery store or as a summary of what you need. Skip to the recipe for quantities.
- rotisserie chicken - Of course rotisserie chicken isn't the only option, but it is a great time-saver! Alternatively, you can start with shredded cooked chicken, or chopped meal prep chicken. If you have a little extra time, start with this Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken. If you need to start with uncooked chicken, simply sauté bite-sized pieces with the onions and spices before de-glazing with beer or broth.
- spices - As I mentioned in the introduction, I came up with a new spice blend that we really like that includes ground annato/achiote, ground red chile powder, orange zest (substitute fresh if you don't have the dried!), garlic powder, Mexican oregano, and ground cumin. If you have a preferred Mexican spice blend, or if you want to try something different like this mole spice blend, go for it. I'm not a fan of sodium-laden "taco seasoning," so don't tell me if you do use it!😉
- beer - I keep little Coronitas in my pantry for cooking, and they're just right for the chicken. You can use any clean tasting lager (no strong flavors), or substitute broth.
- lime - A squeeze of fresh lime juice to finish it off!
Tacos and Toppings
- slaw - I do a really simple slaw with shredded cabbage, chopped cilantro, mayonnaise (just a bit!), and fresh lime juice.
- salsa - On photo day, I had a beautiful dragon fruit that I needed to use, and I've made dragon fruit salsa many times. I included the recipe in the recipe card below until I get the salsa in its own post. Mango salsa and kumquat salsa are great as well. Check out my salsa category for more great salsa recipes.
- cheese - I prefer crumbled aged cotija in tacos, but feel free to use your favorite cheese.
- avocado - I never miss a slice or two of avocado on my tacos, but again, make it your own.
- tortillas - We like the taste and texture of corn tortillas, and they're lower in calories than flour. If you prefer flour tortillas, by all means use them.
- Sauté the onion and spices in a bit of olive oil.
- De-glaze the pan with beer or broth.
- Simmer the chicken in the beer or broth while you finish the taco components.
- Make the tacos - After warming the tortillas by your preferred method, use tongs to place chicken on the tortillas. You don't want all the liquid from the pan to make your tortillas fall apart.
- Top the tacos - Garnish with your favorite toppings, and enjoy!
How can I make these chicken tacos without buying a rotisserie chicken?
Use raw boneless chicken - either breasts or thighs - and brown them with the onion before adding the spice blend and liquid. Cut in bite-sized pieces or shred.
Can I keep the leftover chicken?
YES! It will keep 5 days in the refrigerator or several months in the freezer. It's really good in a quesadilla or burrito bowl the next day. Revive with a little chicken broth before serving.
Keep an eye on the liquid in the chicken mixture. You don't want it soupy, but you do want it moist.
Use tongs to take chicken from the pan to the tortillas. This will reduce the amount of liquid, and help keep the tortilla from getting soggy and falling apart.
The spice blend is fairly bold. If you're afraid it might be too much, start with half and taste.
My taco recipes are more of a "template" than a "recipe." I try to give lots of options for making them your own. After all, #TacoTuesday is very personal!
Rotisserie Chicken Tacos with Slaw
Citrus Taco Spice Blend
- 2 teaspoons dried orange zest - or fresh orange zest
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder - chipotle, guajillo, New Mexico red
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground annatto (achiote)
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- several grinds pepper
Rotisserie Chicken Taco Mixture
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion - chopped
- citrus taco spice blend
- 7 ounces lager beer - or substitute broth
- 16 ounces cooked chicken - chopped or shredded
- 1 cup shredded cabbage
- 2 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves - chopped
- 1 juicy lime - about a tablespoon
- salt and fresh ground pepper - to taste
Dragon Fruit Salsa
- 1 dragon fruit - small dice
- 2 scallions - chopped
- 1 fresh jalapeño, Fresno, serrano pepper* - minced
- 1 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves - rough chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice - about 2 juicy limes
- 12 corn tortillas
- seasoned chicken
- toppings - cheese, avocado, lime wedges, cilantro, etc.
- Make the spice blend. Add all ingredients to a container with a lid. Shake to combine thoroughly.
- Sauté the onion and spices in a bit of olive oil
- De-glaze the pan with beer or broth.
- Add the chicken. Reduce heat, and simmer on low while you prepare the slaw, salsa, and other toppings.
- Make the slaw. Add all ingredients to a prep bowl, and stir to combine.
- Make the salsa. Add all ingredients to a bowl, and stir to combine.
- Prepare any additional toppings. Warm the tortillas by your preferred method.
- Assemble tacos. Enjoy!
NOTE: Macronutrients are an approximation only using unbranded ingredients and MyFitnessPal.com. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
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