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

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Prep: 25 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 chiles, 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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