Different variations of tacos exist, and Pollo Asado Tacos is one of them. But remember, Mexican street food varies from region to region.
You rarely find the same stuff in street tacos in other countries. Usually, street tacos are pretty simple to make but become highly challenging when you want to discover and follow an authentic recipe.
The truth is, any recipe loved for its taste is authentic, and street foods are pretty tasty anyways. Also, they’re very customizable.
Authentic Pollo Asado street tacos are accessible to the point you can make them at home! But, despite being simple, they’re incredibly mouthwatering.
So, let’s get into the recipe for a famous street taco without further ado!
What are Pollo Asado Tacos?
Pollo Asado tacos are one of the Mexican cuisine’s most delicious street foods. In Spanish, Pollo means chicken, and Asado is another word for grilled or marinated meat or chicken. The dish includes various toppings, such as salsa, avocados, limes, and pico de gallo.
Traditionally, Pollo Asado tacos are made with marinated grilled chicken. Some people don’t like beef in tacos; these tacos are a good alternative for them. You can also make it with chorizo, braised meat, and head cheese offal.
What Makes Authentic Pollo Asado Tacos?
Right Chicken Cuts
Opt for any chicken cut of your choice, such as breasts, thighs, or quarters. You can add dark meat to the recipe if you want more juicy cooked chicken. As for the cut, I love boneless chicken thighs.
The main hero of the recipe is the marinade, so ensure you get all the ingredients right. You can play with the seasoning or dressing, but please make marinade following the classic recipe.
Guajillo chili, orange, ground cumin, and Mexican oregano are the primary ingredients of marinade that give chicken the right flavor.
Traditional Mexican Street Taco Toppings
Honestly, go with what you like. On Mexican streets, you’ll find this taco in variations of toppings. Some serve it with onions, cilantro, and lime wedges; others might use avocado salsa Verde.
Right Storing Period and Reheating Methods
Not only can you make Pollo Asado tacos fresh, but you can also store them in the fridge for 2-3 days. Pollo Asado chicken comes in handy when you don’t want to cook anything on the weekend. Just pull the chicken out from the fridge, reheat it in the oven and serve it with a tortilla.
Best Mexican Street Pollo Asado Tacos Recipe
Prep Time: 10 Mins
Chicken Marinade: 24 to 48 hours
Cook time: 1 hour
You’ll need the following ingredients for this recipe.
- 4 Guajillo Chilis
- 4 California Chilies
- 1 Orange Juice
- 3 ½ tsp of ground cumin
- 1 Lime Juice
- 1 tsp oregano
- 4-5 garlic cloves minced
- ½ onion chopped
- ⅔ cup of white vinegar
- kosher salt as per need
Cilantro (the original recipe doesn’t include it, but you can add it as it tastes better.)
- ½ avocado
- 1 radish
- Fresh lime wedges
- 1 shredded cabbage
- Fresh Salsa
- Pico de gallo
- ¼ cup of olive oil or vegetable oil
2. Prepare Marinate Puree
Let’s start with the main ingredient of the Pollo Asado chicken chilies!
We need some chili pods; take half California chili pods and half guajillo chilies pods. If you cannot get California chili, you can use eight guajillo chilis instead. Remove the seeds from the chilis unless you want to go high on spice.
- First, add boiling hot water to a bowl and place chili pods and onion in it. No need to cook them, just let them sit in boiling water for about 30 minutes.
- Once you notice that the peppers have become soft, take them out and put them in a blender.
- Take the onion, chop it into small pieces and add it to the blender.
- Now, add the juice of one lime and one orange to it.
- Last, add the rest of the ingredients: cilantro, cumin powder, oregano, garlic cloves, salt, and ⅔ cup of white vinegar.
- Let them all mix to get a nice vibrant puree for marinating.
Once you get the nice puree, it’s time to season or marinate it with some salt according to your taste.
Note: If you don’t like spicy food, don’t worry because Guajillo or California chili pods are low on spice; they give flavor and color to chicken. If you want mild to hot spice, get some hatch chili pods.
It’s hard to find all these spices from the local market unless you live in Mexico. But for the best result, try to find them online or look at nearby Latin stores.
3. Chicken Marinade Time
Let the puree come to room temperature before we marinate it on the chicken.
We will marinate 4-pound chicken. You can marinade up to 5-pound of chickens with this marinade quantity.
Expert Tip: Use more salt in the marinade than your usual taste because the chicken will not be as salty as it tastes in the marinade.
- Take a large bowl, place your chicken thighs and pour the marinade on top.
- Wear gloves and give it an excellent mixing. Make sure the chicken has evenly coated with the marinade paste.
- Put the lid and leave it to rest in the fridge. It might sound crazy and unwanted, but let it rest for 48 hours.
Note: If you’re short on time, you can leave it overnight and cook it the following day. However, when you have enough time and want the best flavor, then leave it to rest for about 48 hours. This way, the chicken will absorb all the sauce flavors. You can add more salt and pepper according to your taste before cooking.
4. Prepare the Grill and Grill the Chicken
After 48 hours of good marinating, it’s time to grill the chicken.
- Let your charcoal grill heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit for about 8 minutes.
- Now, on the other side of the direct flame of the grill, place all your marinated chicken thighs for indirect grilling. Don’t clutter them; give them a nice space so the air and smoke can pass through. Once you place the chicken thing, put the lid on and let it cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- After 15 minutes, remove the lid.
- Now it’s time to grill the chicken on direct flame. It’ll help to get more vibrant colors and nice lines.
- Grill them for about a minute on each side. Flip it if needed to make sure not to overcook your chicken.
- After a few minutes, your chicken will look reddish with the smoke from the grill. And it will taste so delicious that you might eat it before putting it in tacos.
So, you’ve cooked the chicken and can move toward the next step: topping!
5. Street Tacos Toppings
Honestly, you can add anything you want; there is no strict ingredient about toppings of Pollo Asado.
We’ll add avocado, radish seasoned with kosher salt, shredded cabbage, and salsa. Adding Pico de gallo (a.k.a. salsa Fresca) is better.
It’s a type of fresh Mexican salsa. It’s traditionally made with tomatoes, serrano, onions, jalapeno peppers, cilantro, and lime juice. You can add other spices and seasonings that you like.
6. Prepare Tacos
You first need firm corn tortillas for this recipe because we want our tortillas to hold everything together. Soft corn tortillas might cause problems.
- On a cutting board, place your chicken and cut it into small chunks.
- Take a tortilla and place diced chicken in the center.
- On top of the chicken, add a teaspoon of hot salsa, then add cabbages and Pico de gallo. Finally, on top, add some lime and cilantro.
- Place your radish and lime wedges on the side of the plate and serve!
With one bite, you’ll get an explosion of flavor in your mouth, the smokiness of grills, the freshness of veggies, and the spice of the chairs and salsa.
Honestly, street tacos have many variations. You can play with the recipe for chicken street tacos. You can make it with varieties of condiments.
Easy Dry Rub Pollo Asado Tacos Recipe – No BBQ Grill Recipe
No worries if you don’t have this much time to marinate the chicken overnight. I’ve got a simple spice rub recipe for street tacos that requires only 30 minutes but tastes just as delicious as a traditional recipe.
Here’s what you need for quick tacos:
- 2 pounds chicken breast or thighs
- One teaspoon of garlic powder
- One teaspoon of onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
- One tablespoon of chili powder
- ½ tablespoon of paprika
- Olive oil
- Take a bowl and mix all the dry ingredients.
- Take a chicken breast and apply the dry marinate correctly. We are not using any chilis or pepper. Most of the spicy taste comes from chili powder, so you only need to adjust its quantity in your spices accordingly. We’re using chicken breasts for this version because we are not using any grills. We’ll cook it on the stove and oven.
- Take a skillet and give it an excellent olive oil coating on medium-high heat.
- Place your marinated chicken breast, and sear them from both sides for about 4 to 6 minutes.
- Once cooked, place your chicken breast pieces in the oven at 400F for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare your seasoning or dressing for the taco. Again, you can add anything you want but take Pico de gallo and salsa, and you’ll be good to go.
- When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the oven or skillet. Cut it into small bite-size pieces, add the corn tortilla topped with some Pico de gallo and salsa, and serve this delicious quick chicken tacos to your family and friends.
You have the option to make a marinade of mild spicy chicken and serve it with salsa, so if someone likes to eat spicier, they can use salsa with it.
Other Topping Ideas for Homemade Pollo Asado Tacos
Here are some other toppings that you can use on chicken tacos:
- Diced tomatoes
- Shredded lettuce or cabbage
- Mexican crema
- Sour cream
- Fresh Cilantro
- pineapple juice and habanero
- Grilled corn
- Sliced Jalapeno
- Sauteed bell peppers
- Hot sauce
Mexican people don’t like cheese or sour cream in their taco recipe, but you can add sour cream or cheese for your kids. Fill the corn tortillas with the grilled chicken mixture, lettuce, hot sauce, and cheese. Top each with a spoonful of hot salsa and a dollop of sour cream before serving.
What chicken cut to use for Pollo Asado?/ What Kind of chicken to use?
You can use any chicken cut; it’ll go well with corn tortillas. For best results, use thighs for this recipe. The thighs are juicier, have better flavor, and get more browned.
How should you store Pollo Asado?
You can store your Pollo Asado or marinated chicken, cooked or uncooked, in a fridge for up to 4-5 days. Freeze it in an airtight container or bag, thaw it when needed, and reheat it on the stove or oven to enjoy great tacos.
What type of tortillas should you use?
Corn tortillas go best with this recipe, but you can also use flour tortillas if you like. However, get some firm tortillas instead of soft ones.
You can marinade your tortillas and cook them on a cast-iron skillet. This step would give some extra flavor to your tortillas.
What to serve with Pollo Asado?
You can serve Pollo Asado or grilled chicken with tortillas, Mexican Rice, and Cilantro Lime Rice.