Crispy Fried Tacos with Salsa Verde

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Recipe Courtesy of

Servings: about 3 cups
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients Add to grocery list

4 pounds chicken breasts, with skin and bones
5 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 pounds Roma tomatoes, skinned
2 whole cloves
8 black peppercorns
1/2 cup roughly chopped white onion
2 tablespoons corn or safflower oil, plus canola oil, for frying
2 bay leaves
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup bread crumbs
10 corn tortillas, heated
Wooden toothpicks
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
Salsa Verde Pueblera, recipe follows, for dipping

Salsa Verde Pueblera:
1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, husks removed
1 serrano chile, more or less, optional
1 garlic clove
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro leaves
1 cup chopped white onion
Grated queso fresco, or Cotija cheese, optional





Rinse chicken breast in cold water and add to a large pot. Cover with water and add 4 smashed garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon of salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Shred the chicken when it is cool enough to handle. Set aside 4 cups of chicken.

Put the tomatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until cooked through and soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer the tomatoes to a blender along with the remaining tablespoon of salt, whole cloves, peppercorns, white onion and remaining garlic clove. Puree until smooth.

Add 2 tablespoons of corn oil to a large pan, over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the tomato puree, bay leaves and the shredded chicken and stir. Simmer until the mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cream and bread crumbs and simmer until mixture has thickened again, about 4 to 5 more minutes. Mixture will be moist but not too wet, which will be perfect for filling the tacos.

Preheat the canola oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F.

Heat the tortillas on a hot comal or dry skillet over medium heat for a minute. This will prevent them from breaking when rolling into a taco. Put 1 to 2 tablespoons of the filling on each tortilla and roll.

You can insert wooden toothpicks through 2 tacos at a time, so they will fry evenly and hold their shape. Once the oil is hot, dip the taco pairs in the hot oil. Fry until the tacos have crisped and gained a golden color, about 2 to 3 minutes. You may want to flip for another minute to the other side. Remove from the oil and put on a plate or tray covered with paper towels. Arrange the tacos on a serving platter and garnish with cilantro.

Serve alongside Salsa Verde Pueblera.

Cook’s Note: If you don’t want to fry the tacos, roll them, and toast them over a hot comal or dry skillet. Toast and turn until they are crisp enough to your liking. It will take about 5 minutes per side.

Salsa Verde Pueblera:

Rinse the tomatillos under cold water. Put them in a pot and cover them with water. Bring to a boil, over medium heat. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered, until their color has changed and they are cooked and soft but not falling apart, about 10 minutes.

Add the tomatillos to a blender along with the chile, the garlic clove and a teaspoon of salt. Puree until smooth. Stir in the chopped cilantro and onion. Taste for salt and add more, if necessary. Pour into a serving bowl and garnish with cheese, if desired.

Show: Paula's Best Dishes
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Reader Comments:


my husband and I are students, so I poor-boyed it down a little, but it turned out WONDERFUL! thank you Paula and Patricia!

By mfrentress on April 05, 2011


Loved it. Being from Texas, I know I have a bit of an accent, too, but I found myself having to switch brains to understand Paula's and Patti's Southern and Mexican accents. And I love to listen to accents! Great show all the way around. Love y'all! Tony

By Tony on April 04, 2011


Yummy my kids loved it they came back for seconds!!!

By Anonymous on April 02, 2011


What a great and tasty recipe!!! I loved it. The tacos are so crispy. I also loved, Paula's fried ice cream. Paula, you are an inspiring woman! God Bless you and your family. Josephine

By Josephine on April 01, 2011


By Anonymous on July 25, 2010


Great recepie. Loved it. Who ever says is tasteless if because you didn't make ir right.

By Anonymous on January 12, 2010


I am a house parent for 12 teenage boys. They loved this recipe - even the picky eaters!

By Anonymous on January 05, 2010


DELICIOUS! This is a hit! Tasty and interesting flavors. My kids can't get enough of these. I also made this for a party and the tacos disappeared within 10 minutes. The recipe takes time. So do many good things in life. So put on some good salsa music, get in the groove and enjoy!

By Anonymous on October 27, 2009


Tasteless. Too much work

By rmose5 on September 13, 2009


This was way too much work. Tasteless. Sorry! The best part of this episode was Paula's fried ice cream. I worked all day on this and the food was bland.

By rmose5 on September 13, 2009


This dish is wonderful.

By mas4kidlets on August 30, 2009

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