Pollo deshabrado para tacos – shredded chicken for tacos
You see, if you don’t read the stories in your recipe books you might not know why you are cooking something the way you are. I’ve been reading my Mexican cookbooks and finally learned why Mexicans shred their chicken.
I’ve been shredding chicken for a while. But I must admit, I don’t normally see this style of filling for a taco – it’s usually strips of seared and grilled meat. And here’s why: mass produced chickens for the American and European markets are fragile young things – they’re tender, but have relatively little flavour, whereas, Mexican chickens are sturdier older birds – they’re tough, but packed with flavour. It follows, therefore, that roasting a Mexican chicken will result in a dryer and tougher chicken. This is why Mexicans poach their chickens – either for shredding for tacos, or as a preparation for further cooking.
Well, that’s how the story goes… I’m sure that in reality a poached piece of chicken will always struggle to compare with a grilled chicken breast. But this is a useful insight to the deshabrado style of Mexican cooking.
Of course, here in Europe, we do not have flavourful Mexican chickens, but we can still enjoy our chicken shredded – just make sure you flavour the poaching liquid and prepare the shredded meat with the fried onion, garlic, tomato and chilli as in the recipe. I notch-up the flavour yet again by adding crispy chicken skin to the shredded meat.