Pulled chicken tacos

This one-pot superstar has a subtly spicy kick and works perfectly with the sharp salsa, which we’ve affectionately nicknamed ‘guapplemole’. Serve on smaller corn tortillas for tacos, or mix with rice and use to fill larger ones for burritos.

  • Preparation time: 40 minutes
  • Cooking time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Total time: 4 hours 55 minutes

Serves: 8


1 Cooks’ Ingredients ancho chilli, roughly torn, stem discarded

1 tsp whole cloves

1 tsp fennel seeds

1½ tbsp dark soft brown sugar

2 limes, zest and juice, plus extra wedges to serve

1 orange, zest and juice

1.75kg whole chicken, jointed into 8 pieces (or 1.75kg chicken pieces)

3 red onions, cut into wedges

6 garlic cloves, finely chopped

4 bay leaves

½ x 28g pack coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves torn

100ml tequila (or water)

500g tomatoes, roughly chopped

15g pack oregano, leaves chopped

8 small soft tortillas, toasted



2 avocados

1 granny smith apple, cored and cut into 1cm pieces

½ x 28g pack coriander, stalks finely chopped, leaves torn

1 green chilli, deseeded and chopped

1 bunch salad onions, finely sliced

2 limes, zest and juice


1. Dry-toast the ancho chilli and spices in a large ovenproof casserole dish for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Grind in a pestle and mortar (or spice grinder) with a little salt to a powder. Stir in 1 tbsp boiling water, the sugar and the lime and orange juice; set aside. (Reserve the citrus zests to decorate: wrap in damp kitchen paper and chill.)

2. Preheat the oven to 150˚C, gas mark 2. Season the chicken pieces and fry, skin-side down, in the casserole dish over a medium-high heat (in batches, if needed) for 20 minutes, until golden; set aside. Add the onions and cook, covered, for 10 minutes, until soft. Uncover and stir in the garlic, bay and coriander stalks; cook for 3-5 minutes. Raise the heat; add the tequila (or water), scraping up any brown bits from the base of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan; stir in the citrus spice mixture and tomatoes.

3. Bring to the boil, cover with foil and a lid, and bake in the oven for 2 hours. Uncover, cook for another hour, then remove the chicken to a plate to rest. Turn the oven up to 220˚C, gas mark 7, and return the dish to the oven, uncovered, for a final 20-30 minutes, until the sauce is thick. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred the flesh, discarding the skin and bones.

4. Stir the shredded chicken and most of the oregano and coriander leaves into the sauce; set aside the remaining herbs to decorate. To make the salsa, mash the avocado flesh in a bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients; season.

5. Scatter the chicken with the reserved herbs and citrus zest. Serve with the salsa and toasted tortillas.