New Mexican-Style Soft Tacos with Hacked Chicken and Salsa Verde

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 30 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
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3 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds chicken legs and thighs, skin removed


3 tablespoons ancho chile powder

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 ancho chile, coarsely chopped

2 New Mexican chilies, coarsely chopped

4 cups chicken stock

6 sprigs cilantro, plus more chopped, for garnish

12 flour tortillas, warmed

Salsa Verde, recipe follows

Salsa Verde:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium red onion, coarsely chopped

1 jalapeno, coarsely diced

8 tomatillos, husked and coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons honey

1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken with salt and ancho chile powder. Sear, skin-side down, in the oil until golden brown. Turn over and brown on the other side. Remove the chicken to a plate.
  3. Add the onion to the pan and cook until lightly golden brown. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the chicken back to the pot, add the chiles, stock, and cilantro, and bring to a boil. Cover and roast in the oven until the chicken easily falls away from the bone, about 40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the pot and strain the cooking liquid into a bowl.
  4. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove bones and cut or shred the meat into bite-sized pieces. Place the reserved cooking liquid into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the shredded chicken, turn off the heat and let warm.
  5. Divide the warm chicken among the warm tortillas, top with Salsa Verde and chopped cilantro.

Salsa Verde:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and jalapeno and cook until soft. Add the tomatillos and cook until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a blender, add the lime juice, honey, and cilantro, and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
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