Photo: James Carriere; Styling: Karen Shinto
Total Time
1 Hour
Makes 16 tacos; 8 servings

No need to use stale store-bought shells to make crispy tacos. Our easy method turns fresh corn tortillas into crunchy pockets filled with a simple, savory filling.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat oven to 200°. In a bowl, mix chicken with cheese and season to taste with salt.

Step 2

Pour 3 tbsp. oil into a medium frying pan over high heat. When hot, add tortillas, 1 at a time, heating just enough to soften but not crisp, about 10 seconds per side. As heated, stack on paper towels, cover with a kitchen towel, and keep warm in oven. Add more oil to pan as needed.

Step 3

Mix cilantro with chicken filling. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, distribute about 1/4 cup packed chicken filling down center. Fold tortilla in half over filling and thread 1 toothpick through top edges to seal. If assembling ahead, arrange filled tacos on a tray, cover with plastic wrap, and chill up to 4 hours.

Step 4

Pour at least 1/2 in. oil into same pan and set on high heat. When hot, add 4 to 6 tacos (depending on pan size; do not overcrowd). Tacos should sizzle when they hit oil. Turn as needed until shells are crisp and golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Lift tacos from pan with a slotted spoon, draining oil back into pan. Lay tacos in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels and keep warm in oven. Fry remaining tacos the same way, adding more oil as needed. When all tacos are cooked, pull out and discard toothpicks. Serve with salsa on the side.

Step 5

Note: Nutritional analysis is per taco.

Chef's Notes

A typical rotisserie chicken yields just enough meat for this recipe. Tacos can be assembled up to 4 hours ahead, then fried just before serving. Or, you can fry them up to 6 hours ahead and recrisp them in a 300° oven for 15 minutes before serving.

Doña Tomàs: Discovering Authentic Mexican Cooking; Doña Tomàs, Oakland, California

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Ratings & Reviews

Larbear92113's Review

December 28, 2012

jessie121osu's Review

December 10, 2012

michiganmaggie's Review

January 25, 2011
I found this recipe very good with the exception of stacking the taco shells on paper towels then covering with a towel and keeping warm in a oven! Better have 911 on speed dial. I know what the author meant but you always get the one person who follows blindly!

robincope's Review

September 11, 2010
Delicious crunchy tacos my family loved. The tacos were not greasy but were crispy like Jack-in-the-box tacos.

hdwright4's Review

August 03, 2010

chilecrab's Review

October 18, 2009
I've made these tacos for the last two Superbowls, along with the Carne Adovada recipe that appears here and a corn relish. I fry them out on my porch during halftime and serve them with fixings and my own homemade salsa. The cilantro and jack cheese are perfect companions to the rotisserie chicken and crispy flour shells. It's pretty rich for every day but I'm sure I'll make it again for this Superbowl.