Mexican pulled chicken
Entree | Chicken

One-Pot Mexican Pulled Chicken

This Mexican pulled chicken can be used for so many recipes. It cooks up in 45 minutes and is so tender and mouth-wateringly delicious. It’s perfect for any weekday dinner.

I make Mexican pulled chicken quite a lot. The family loves it. We use it for burritos, tacos, nachos, and enchiladas, to name a few things. It’s so easy to make that it can be made after a day at work. I have served it to friends for a Saturday night dinner and everyone has loved it. It is a super hit for pot lucks too.

The ingredients

My one-pot Mexican pulled chicken has just a handful of ingredients, but it packs a punch when it comes to flavours.

One-pot Mexican pulled pork ingredients
One-pot Mexican pulled pork ingredients

What you will need:

  • 1 red onion
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 chilies in adobo sauce + 2 tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup water

I love chilies in adobo sauce. They give this Mexican pulled chicken a very earthy, smoky smell and flavor. The chilies are not very spicy, but they are an essential ingredient in this recipe, especially the sauce. You can find them in the International section of most grocery stores.

To start with, finely slice the red onion. Chop the chicken into bite-size pieces and set it aside.

In a large pot or pan (one that has a lid), heat the oil and add the onions to it. Let the onions cook for about 3-4 mins. This allows the onions to soften up a little. You don’t want to brown the onions. Browned or caramelized onions will alter the flavor a little. As the onions caramelize, they get sweeter and we don’t want that for this recipe.

Onions and spices in a pan
Onions and spices in a pan

Once the onions have softened, add the onion powder, garlic powder, cumin powder, dehydrated oregano, salt, and pepper to the pan. At the same time, add the chili and the adobo sauce to the pan as well. Make sure to add the adobo sauce because that’s where most of the flavor is. Mix everything well and cook for about 1 min. The onions should be coated in the spices.

Making the Mexican pulled chicken

Now we can add the chicken that we had chopped and set aside. Add the chicken to the pan and mix so that it gets coated with all the spices. Once coated, the chicken will take on a delicious-looking yellowing brown color. At this point, we can add the water to the pan and cover the pan. The lid should be tight so that the steam doesn’t escape. We need the steam to cook the chicken faster. Let the chicken cook for about 25 mins or so. Remove the lid from time to time to stir the pot.

Chicken, spices and water in a pan
Chicken, spices and water in a pan

When you first start off, there will be a lot of water in the pan. But, fret not. The water reduces down to almost nothing by the time we are done cooking it. By the time the cooking is done, there should still be some liquid left in the pan – about 3-4 tablespoons worth. This will help keep the chicken moist as we shred it or pull it apart.

Once the chicken has cooked for about 25 mins in a covered pan, remove the lid and continue to cook it for a further 4-5 mins. This helps reduce the leftover liquid to almost nothing. By now the Mexican chicken should be very tender and delicious. Turn the heat off and using a fork, shred or pull the Mexican chicken apart. The leftover liquid will disappear as you shred the chicken.

Mexican pulled chicken with trimmings
Mexican pulled chicken with trimmings

And voila! In less than an hour, you have delicious tender, juicy, moist Mexican pulled chicken. Chop some fresh coriander leaves and sprinkle on the chicken just before you serve. Serve with some fresh warm corn tortillas, salsa, guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, etc. Enjoy warm. Store any leftovers in an air-tight container in the fridge and reheat before serving.

Mexican Pulled Chicken

Course: Chicken, EntreeCuisine: MexicanDifficulty: Easy
Servings

4

servings
Prep time

5

minutes
Cooking time

40

minutes
Calories

205

kcal
Total time

45

minutes

This Mexican pulled chicken can be used for so many recipes. It cooks up in 45 minutes and is so tender and mouth-wateringly delicious. It’s perfect for any weekday dinner.

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons onion powder

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder

  • 2 chilies in adobo sauce + 2 tablespoon adobo sauce

  • 2 tablespoons cumin powder

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 1 tablespoon dehydrated oregano

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

  • 1/2 cup water

Directions

  • Slice the onions finely. Chop the chicken into bite size pieces and set aside.
  • In a large pan (one that has a lid), heat the oil and add the onion. Cook the onion for about 3-4 mins till they soften.
  • Add the onion powder, garlic powder, cumin powder, dehydrated oregano, salt, and pepper to the pan. At the same time, add the chili and the adobo sauce to the pan as well. Mix everything well so that the onions get coated with the spices and cook for about 1 min.
  • Add the chicken and mix so that the chicken now gets coated with the onions and all the spices. At this point, add the water to the pan and cover it. Let the chicken cook for about 25 mins or so. Remove the lid from time to time to stir the pot. There will be a lot of water when you start, but almost all of it will cook down.
  • After about 25 mins, remove the lid and continue cooking the chicken for a further 5 mins. By now most of the water should have dried up. Turn the heat off and use a fork, rip the pieces of chicken apart to get the “pulled chicken” effect.
  • Sprinkle with some fresh coriander leaves and enjoy with some fresh corn tortillas, a side of guacamole, and mango salsa (recipe coming soon).

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