Pulled Mexican Chicken
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One of our favorite ways to prepare Chicken is using this technique. Our Pulled Mexican Chicken recipe slowly poaches the Chicken in a wonderful braising liquid filled with fragrant spices and delicious flavors. Once cooked, the Chicken simply melts in your mouth. This dish is packed full of rich, bold flavors that instantly transport you to Mexico. It’s vibrant, colorful, spicy, and most importantly of all – ridiculously tasty

In addition to tasting absolutely amazing, the beauty of this Pulled Mexican Chicken recipe is the leftovers. That’s right! This is one of those dishes you cook with leftovers in mind for two simple reasons:

  1. They taste phenomenal
  2. They will keep for months if stored appropriately

We first stumbled across this dish several years ago during those fun lockdown days where it wasn’t a very pleasant experience leaving the house. So batch cooking in large quantities was what was on offer and this dish was one of the best of the bunch!

It’s a delicious, spicy Pulled Mexican Chicken recipe that hits on all those delicious Latin flavors you love. The key ingredient in the sauce are Chipotles in Adobo Sauce which just Mexicianify (new word we’re creating FYI) every dish. Add to that a bunch of beautiful spices like Cumin, Ground Coriander, Garlic, and Chili Powder and you’ve got a flavor bomb in the making

The Chicken is Poached to achieve maximum tenderness

The Chicken is cooked through the Poaching technique which is cooking it over a low heat in water. This technique leaves the Chicken beautifully moist and tender. Perfect for the next step of ‘pulling’ the Chicken. This simple means breaking down the Chicken into beautiful long strands once it is cooked. It’s a technique used widely in Southern Cooking, particularly BBQ. Just think of it as the Chicken equivalent to Pulled Pork and you’re on the right track

Pulled Mexican Chicken close up
Delicious Pulled Mexican Chicken packed full of spicy, tasty flavors!

We recommend using Chicken Breast for the best result

For a lot of recipes, we steer more towards Chicken Thighs as they have a richer flavor and are generally a bit more forgiving when it comes to cooking. However, for our Pulled Mexican Chicken recipe we definitely recommend that you use Chicken Breasts

The natural fibers of the Chicken Breast lend themselves much better to being shredded into long strands. Provided the Chicken Breasts are cooked properly they will be beautifully tender and absolutely delicious

For this recipe we are poaching the Chicken slowly over a low heat. This is a technique that is great for cooking Chicken Breast. The Chicken will slowly cook, and those fibers will start to break down internally. Once it is cooked, let the Chicken cool for a bit and then shred with the back of two forks. Place the shredded Chicken back into the braising liquid to complete this wonderful dish

Once you remove the Chicken, you can continue to cook the braising liquid to intensify the flavor

This is a technique that is very common when cooking with braising liquid. You need to have a generous amount of liquid in the dish to achieve a good braise. For our Pulled Mexican Chicken we are using Chicken Stock, about 3 cups worth. Once the Chicken is cooked the braising liquid will still be a little bit thin

Therefore, we recommend cranking the heat on the liquid with the lid off once you’ve removed the Chicken. After about 10 – 15 minutes of high heat the liquid will have reduced, thickened, and intensified in flavor. It becomes less of a braising liquid and turns into a thick stew. It’s the perfect sauce for the Pulled Chicken to be added back into. Sweet, Spicy, and delicious!

Best uses of Leftovers for Pulled Chicken

Oh, so back to the leftovers part! The Pulled Mexican Chicken works so well in Burritos. It really is the staple food choice for applying this dish once we cook it. Throw in a bunch of your favorite ingredients such as Guacamole, Pickled Onions, Rice, Crispy Tortilla Chips, or Beans and you’ve got a brilliant Burrito dinner for the family

Another great application for the Chicken is our Mexican Chicken Sliders (Link to be shared soon). Another simple use of this amazing Chicken. Throw it into a sandwich along with some delicious homemade Slaw and power it down as quick as you make it

Finally, what we also love about this dish is the boldness of flavor that delicious Roasted Peppers bring to the table. Bursting with sweetness, roasting Bell Peppers is the best way to extract as much flavor from these amazing vegetables and they really do add so much depth to the dish

Chicken Nachos are just one of the delicious recipes you can make with this Pulled Mexican Chicken Recipe

Recipe Details

Servings

4 – 8 people

Prep time

20 minutes

Cooking time

1 hour

Total time

1 hour, 20 minutes

Pulled Mexican Chicken Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 Chicken Breasts
  • 3 Cups of Chicken Stock (recipe here)
  • 2 tbsp. Chipotle in Adobo Sauce
  • 1 Brown Onion, diced
  • 2 Bell Peppers
  • 6 Garlic Cloves, diced
  • 2 tbsp. Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp. Ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Ground Coriander
  • 6 oz. Can of Tomato Paste
  • 16 oz. (400g) Canned Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. White Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Half the Bell Peppers and lay them flesh side up on a baking tray. Drizzle with a little Olive Oil then place in a pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes. Roast until the Flesh is scorched / blackened then remove from oven
  2. Once cooled, peel the skin off the Bell Peppers and dice. Set aside
  3. Heat oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat then add the Brown Onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until tender then add Garlic. Sauté for 1 further minute then add the Chili Powder, Cumin, Ground Coriander, and 1 tsp. Salt and 1 tsp. Pepper
  4. Stir for a further 1 – 2 minutes until the spices begin to toast. Then add the Tomato Paste and Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then add the Chipotle in Adobo Sauce, Canned Tomatoes, White Sugar, Bell Peppers and Chicken Stock

Braising the Chicken

  1. Bring the mixture to a boil then add the Chicken Breasts, ensuring they are fully submerged in the liquid then bring back to a simmer
  2. Cover the Pot and reduce heat to low. Cook for 30 – 40 minutes until the Chicken is fully cooked and has an internal temperature of 160 degrees
  3. Remove Chicken from the sauce and set aside to cool. While the Chicken is cooling, reduce the sauce by increasing the heat to medium / high, stirring occasionally. After about 10 minutes your sauce should have reduced by 1/3 then turn off the heat
  4. Carefully shred the Chicken. In our experience we’ve found this is easier to do by hand, however you can also use two forks. Place the shredded Chicken back into the sauce. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary

You can serve the dish straight away or simply cook in advance and re-heat when you’re ready to eat. This recipe yields enough food for about 8 people, so feel free to freeze what you don’t need for later use

The Pulled Mexican Chicken is fantastic as a leftover, such as our amazing Pulled Chicken Sliders, or our Air Fryer Chicken Nachos, both of which we’d love for you all to try. Happy Cooking!

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