The BEST Spicy, Shredded Chicken Recipe

by DanicasDaily on May 24, 2010

As you all may have noticed, I have a slight obsession with tacos…in particular two places that make the most juicy, spicy, tender shredded chicken taco meat I’ve ever had in my life.  I have been trying to re-create their chicken for awhile now and I think with the help of the folks at TR2, I may have come pretty darn close!

No, I am not giving away their SECRET RECIPE!  The recipe they provided is tasty, I felt like it was missing something…so in my usual fashion, I took parts from their recipe, spiced it up to add more flavor and healthified it a bit 😀


* Chicken is more tender on the bone and has more flavor.

* You NEED a combination of white and dark meat for maximum flavor/moisture.  Don’t worry, you won’t taste the dark :)  I bought a big variety pack at Trader Joes and it was cheaper than buying individual breasts.

* The BUTTER really is the secret ingredient that brings all the flavors together.

* The flavor really does get better each day so feel free to prepare this the day before you want to actually serve it….this is, if you can resist it :)

* Both the sauce and the chicken freeze well.  I froze half my sauce so next time all I have to do is boil the chicken and unthaw the sauce.

There you have it ~ this is definitely fast becoming my goto recipe to impress anyone with my taco making abilities 😀


The BEST Spicy, Shredded Chicken Recipe

Spicy, Shredded Chicken


For the chicken:

2 lbs Skinless Chicken on the bone (about 1 breast, 2 thighs and a leg)

5 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp Salt

8-10 c water, enough water to cover the chicken

For the sauce:

5 medium to large tomatoes, any combination, roughly chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced and divided into 2 and 2

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

1 jalapeno, sliced (seeded if you don’t want it too spicy)

1/2 lime, juiced

handful cilantro, about 1/2 cup

1 Tbsp butter

2 tsp taco seasoning, homemade or packaged (I used Watkins Salsa Mix this time)

Sea Salt & Black Pepper to taste


1.  Place chicken with garlic, water and salt in a large stock pan.  Bring to a boil and cook for approximately 35-40 minutes, until. cooked thoroughly.  You will not over cook it in the water as the water helps the chicken retain moisture as it cooks.

2.  While the chicken is cooking, combine tomatoes with onion, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 tsp sea salt in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil and allow to cook until the tomatoes break down, about 20 minutes.

3.  Remove tomato mixture from heat and allow to cool slight, about 10 minutes.  Once cooled add tomato mixture to a blender or food processor with the bell pepper, jalapeno, 2 garlic cloves, lime juice and cilantro.  Puree until smooth.

4.  Shredded your chicken (it should just fall off the bone) and set aside.

5.  Add your butter to your medium sauce pan and allow to melt over medium low heat.  Return your tomato mixture to the pan, add taco season and sea salt/black pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low.

6.  Place your chicken in a medium sauce pan over low heat and spoon desired amount of sauce over chicken.  I used about 1/2 the sauce to get it really moist and juicy.

7.  Once heated through, remove from heat and enjoy as is, on tacos, burritos, chimichangas, quesadillas, salads, etc.  Enjoy!

Makes approximately 12-14, 1/3 cup servings, 2 points+ each


1.  Start off by boiling your chicken, garlic and sea salt.  Remove from water, allow to rest for 10 minutes, then shred using 2 forks.


2.  Meanwhile, bring your tomatoes, onions, 2 cloves garlic and 1 tsp sea salt to a boil.


3.  After the tomatoes have cooked/ broken down, add your bell pepper, jalapeno, 2 cloves garlic to your pan or blender.


4.  I felt like it still needed more flavor, so this is when I added the 1/2 lime juice.


and cilantro.


5.  In the same pan you boiled your tomatoes in, add 1 Tbsp of butter (the SECRET INGREDIENT) and melt over medium low heat.


6.  Add taco seasoning, season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.  Return to a low boil.

Homemade Taco Sauce

7.  Spoon desired amount of sauce over shredded chicken and enjoy!

The BEST chicken taco meat

This Spicy Chicken Taco Meat is pretty versatile….use it on TACOS!

IMG_4218Spicy Chicken Tacos

Taco Salads!  Or get creative and make a Mexican Asian Fusion Taco Salad 😀

Mexican Asian Fusion Taco Salad

It really is THAT delicious – you can just enjoy it straight up!

Shredded Chicken

Don’t forget to add this recipe to your recipe collection for the next time you want to impress your friends with some delicious, authentic tasty spicy chicken tacos!

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

tj May 24, 2010 at 6:50 pm

Hot damn this looks tasty! Be right over… lol I will bring my own tortillas (BYOT)



Dani Spies May 25, 2010 at 9:46 am

Oh… this recipe is SO bookmarked! I love tacos (or anything mexican for that matter!) – Can’t wait to try this!


Alicia May 25, 2010 at 11:45 am

Looks delish


Jenna May 25, 2010 at 3:17 pm

You always have amazing recipes to share!


Lauriel May 25, 2010 at 5:35 pm

as always, these sound absolutely DELICIOUS! i’m so glad you finally mastered the spicy chicken taco! i had an idea – do you think this would recipe would work in the crock-pot? my crock-pot is literally sitting in the corner collecting dust and just yearrrrning for some love. let me know what you think, because i definitely see a spicy-chicken-taco-tuesday in my near future!


liz May 25, 2010 at 7:58 pm

This looks delicious! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe. I wonder if there is a way to make it crockpot friendly? Maybe I will try making the sauce ahead of time, then cooking the chicken in it in the slow cooker. Sounds like it would be perfect to make a double batch and then freeze the leftovers for later.


DanicasDaily May 26, 2010 at 8:11 am

Hi Lauriel,

You know, I think you could probably make this in your crockpot. Just make up the sauce first and pour it over your chicken. Then, be sure to cook it slow and low all day long for about 6 hours. You may have to drain a little of the sauce after it’s done, but, having too juicy of this chicken isn’t a bad thing in my book :)

Good luck and do tell how it works for ya!



DanicasDaily May 26, 2010 at 8:13 am

Hi Liz,

That is exactly what I was thinking based on Lauriel;’s question above. I think it would be pretty tasty in the crockpot too :)

Do tell if you try!



Jasmine Ohi June 1, 2010 at 11:05 am

this looks amazing! I can’t wait to make this!! thank you – I can understand what you mean by a combination of white and dark meat, I think too much chicken breast can result in dried out meat =(


Debbie June 7, 2010 at 4:38 pm

I made this tonight leaving out the jalapeño, adding a whole red pepper and halving the garlic (for co-workers sake). I love it. The flavor is spot on. I have tons of leftovers for the rest of the week. I will be making this again.

By the way, you and I have so many similar tastes. I think this is the 5th recipe of yours that I have made. So please keep cooking and sharing.

If you have any ideas for salad recipe with Israeli Couscous I would love if you shared. I have had this couscous in my pantry for over a year and need to do something with it.


DanicasDaily June 9, 2010 at 7:55 am

Hi Debbie,

That is AWESOME!!! Thanks so much for sharing and letting me know you LOVE it too. I think it’s really good and am not sure I’d ever freeze it because I ate it all for the entire week. The uses are endless :)

I am glad we share the same tastes ~ You have really good taste then 😀 LOL

I have sorta been not wanting to cook lately but I know I need to work on some more recipes…slowly but surely.

I know that the Harvest Grain Salad I make has israeli couscous in it. It’s really easy to make and I bet this would work awesome with it.

Another option is this couscous salad I made before.

Both are cold salad, but, delicious none the less. Do tell if you try them.

Thanks again for sharing your review :)



jessidaisy January 13, 2011 at 8:03 pm

I made this for dinner tonight and OMG it was amazing!! I have leftovers that I’m taking to a coworker tomorrow. THanks for sharing… it is going in my recipe book of favorites!!


Kristina January 15, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I made this recipe last night! it was soooo GOOD!! the only thing I added was a half a bottle of white wine 1 portion I added at the last few minutes of boiling the chicken and at the end when you put the sauce and chicken together. but I may have cooked more than 2 lbs of chicken(it was four chicken breasts) and even with my sauce it looked like it could use a bit more moisture. So I glugged some in (;
I don’t think it was a recipe flaw, I think it was me. But the wine added a great flavor.

Either way, everyone at my dinner party LOVED the chicken and I’m making it tonight for the whole family!

So, thank you so much!!!!!


Rich April 16, 2011 at 10:43 am

Looks amazing! One thing though. Do you lower the heat after the chicken starts to boil? Or do you cook it for 30-40 min throughout the boil. Please let me know. Thanks


DanicasDaily April 16, 2011 at 11:02 am

Hi Rich,

I continue to let the chicken boil for 30 minutes or until cooked through.




Laken October 6, 2012 at 7:49 pm



Celina April 18, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Just got done making it… Followed exactly.. It’s good, but not my favorite.. Not sure if its spicy enough to be called “spicy” tacos… It tastes more like tomato sauce to me.. So I added 4 Serrano peppers 2 more jalepenos and 2 habeneros.. The tomato still overtook the taste bit the peppers did give it more of a kick.. But all together it’s a good recipe for those who don’t like spicy!!! Yummy yummy!! ????


Karen July 31, 2013 at 8:49 pm

This chicken is really really good. Even if you skip the peppers to make it kid friendly it is awesome. Some might find it bit garlicky but I cut down on it to avoid that. Try it on tostadas with cabbage and mex rice and salsa – Amazing!


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