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Chicken birria tacos being dipped into the consome with one hand.
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5 from 22 votes

Quick and Easy Chicken Birria Tacos (Birria de Pollo)

Chicken Birria tacos are just as delicious as the regular beef tacos but much faster. With the Instant Pot, you can have a flavourful Mexican pulled chicken in 25 minutes.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling and Assembling 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 313kcal
Cost $12/10€


  • 3-4 pc chicken leg, skin on, bone-in

Spice Rub

  • ½ tbsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp Aleppo chili (or regular chili flakes)
  • 1 pc bay leaf

For the Adobo Sauce

  • 2 pc dried cascabel peppers stems removed
  • 2 pc dried guajillo peppers stems removed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 pc canned chipotle peppers
  • 1 pc small onion, peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 pc medium tomatoes, cored
  • 450 ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt


  • 8-10 pc soft taco shells or serve with rice instead
  • 1 bag shredded mozzarella cheese optional
  • 1 cup creme fraiche or sour cream optional
  • lime wedges optional
  • guacamole optional


Marinate the Chicken

  • Have all of your ingredients measured out before you start.
    All of the ingredients on the table ready to go.
  • Season the chicken heavily with salt in the Instant Pot dish.
    The seasoned chicken in the Instant Pot.
  • Add the spice mix to the chicken and rub it into the chicken.
    The spice mix added to the chicken.

Make the Adobo Sauce

  • Using a medium-low heat, toast the chillies in a little oil until they puff up and are toasty on all sides (about 2-3 minutes in the pan).
    Toasting the dried cascabel and guajillo chillies in a cast iron pan.
  • Then add the onions, tomatoes and garlic to the pan and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Be careful not to burn the garlic.
    Adding the onions, garlic and tomatoes to the cast iron pan.
  • Deglaze the pan with the chicken stock, salt and the red wine vinegar. Bring to a boil, then turn off the heat.
    Adding the chicken stock and red wine vinegar to the pan.
  • Using a spider strainer, carefully lift the ingredients into the blender, then pour in the liquid.
    Close the lid of the blender firmly and cover the top with a tea towel (this is a safety measure to prevent hot splashes). Start the blender on low and gradually work your way up to high speed.
    Blend until smooth.
    The adobo sauce in a vitamix.
  • Once you have a smooth sauce, give it a taste. It should be salty with a touch of acid from the vinegar. Add more to your taste if necessary.
    Strain the sauce over the chicken into the Instant Pot. (If you plan to marinate the chicken overnight, then you must let the sauce cool completely before adding it to the chicken).
    Straining the adobo sauce over the chicken legs.
  • Double-check that the liquid is not over the max fill line on the Instant Pot. Close the lid and set it to high pressure for 15 minutes.
    The Instant Pot set to ON position.
  • Once the timer goes off, naturally release the pressure for 10 minutes (do nothing for 10 minutes).
  • Release the rest of the pressure manually and open the lid. Carefully lift out the chicken legs from the broth and allow them to cool on a plate.
    The chicken legs cooked in the instant pot.
  • Once the chicken is cool enough to handle (wearing gloves will help if it's too hot), remove the chicken skin and discard. Shred the meat with your hand and remove all the bones and cartilage.
    The chicken meat shredded in a bowl.
  • Season the chicken meat with a pinch of salt and a ladle or two of the adobo broth.
    The chicken meat seasoned in a bowl.

Make the Tacos

  • To make the tacos, heat a large pan with a little vegetable oil over medium-low heat.
  • Dip a taco shell in the fat at the top of the broth and add to the pan. Immediately after add the chicken meat and cheese to one half of the taco.
    Fold in half and fry until golden brown, flip and repeat.
    Frying the chicken birria tacos in a cast iron pan.
  • Serve the tacos with a bowl of the hot broth and a few lime wedges. Enjoy!


You can marinate the chicken legs overnight in the spice rub and adobo sauce for a better flavour. Just make sure to let the adobo sauce cool completely before adding it to the raw chicken.
When you dip the tacos in the broth they'll burn much faster than without. Use a low heat when frying to prevent the oil from splattering and the tacos from burning too quickly. 


Calories: 313kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 79mg | Sodium: 978mg | Potassium: 205mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1649IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 377mg | Iron: 1mg
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