Crispy Chicken Tacos

Tacos Dorados de Pollo

These very satisfying tacos are eaten almost any time throughout the day; breakfast, lunch or supper, appearing on the menus of Mexican fondas and small cafes, and served for a light meal at home.

The chicken can be prepared in advance and refrigerated. I sometimes stuff and roll the softened tortillas up to an hour ahead and leave at room temperature, frying only at the last minute. Make sure you have toothpicks handy to keep the tacos intact.

Serve with Guacamole Clásico.

Serves 4 to 6, making 3 to 4 tacos per person

  • 1 whole chicken breast, about 1 1/4 pounds, cooked
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 18 store-bought white corn tortillas, about 5 1/2 inches in diameter
  • 2 cups vegetable oil for frying the tacos
  • 2/3 cup Mexican Crema, crème fraîche, or thick sour cream thinned with 1 tablespoon milk
  • 3 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup grated panelacheese, or a moist acidic mozzarella
  • 2 cups Guacamole Clásico
  • 12 small radishes, sliced, or cut into roses for garnish (optional)

Skin and bone the chicken breast, coarsely shred the meat, put in a bowl and mix in the salt. Heat 1 cup of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat and when almost sizzling hot, fry the tortillas one at a time until softened, only a few seconds at most. Using a slotted spatula, remove from the oil, letting the excess oil drip off, drain on absorbent paper and keep warm. Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas.

Place 2 tablespoons of chicken in the center of each tortilla, then fold over and slide a toothpick horizontally in top to hold in place.

Turn the oven on to warm at 200 degrees F.

Add the remaining oil to the skillet and reheat over medium heat. When quite hot, slide in three of the tacos and fry, turning frequently, until all sides are golden-brown and crispy, about 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spatula, allowing the excess oil to drip off. Drain on absorbent paper and then keep warm in the oven while frying the next batches.

For each serving, remove the toothpicks from three tacos and place side by side on a plate. Sprinkle 1/2 cup lettuce on and around the tacos, top with 2 tablespoons of cheese, 2 tablespoons green salsa and drizzle with crema. Garnish with slices of radishes or radish flowers.

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