Roasted a whole chicken is a perfect meat for tacos because it is tender, flavorful and easy to shred. I chose a basic spice blend of smoked paprika, cumin, garlic and oregano for the chicken. Then I baked it in the oven for a few hours which gave me enough time to make some fresh Pico de Gallo and shredded manchego cheese. Manchego is a great cheese for tacos because it has the creaminess of queso fresco but with a little more tartness. The tacos turned out really well! The smoky flavor of the chicken worked nicely with the manchego and creamy avocado. The recipe for the chicken is pretty versatile so I’m sure I’ll be experimenting with different salsas and condiments next time!
Roasted Chicken Tacos with Manchego Cheese and Avocado
(makes 1 dozen tacos)
- 1 4 1/4 – 4 1/2 lb whole chicken
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp honey
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 batch Pico de Gallo
- 2 large avocados, sliced
- 3-4 oz. manchego cheese, shredded
- 12 soft corn taco shells
- cilantro, chopped for garnish
- sour cream (optional)
- In a glass pan, rub the chicken with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- In a separate bowl, mix the dry spices together.
- Evenly rub on the spices and garlic (I usually cut 2 small holes along the breast to get some of the spices under the skin).
- Pour the apple cider vinegar over the chicken and pat onto the skin.
- Drizzle with honey and fill the pan with about a 1/2 inch of water. Cover with foil and bake in a preheated 375 oven for about 1 1/2 hours or until an internal thermometer reads 165F.
- Meanwhile, assemble the other salsas and condiments.
- Take the chicken out of the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before shredding.
- Remove the meat from the bones and place in a large bowl. Shred with a knife and fork. Pour a little of the drippings from the pan and let rest for another 3-5 minutes.
- Add a few tablespoons of the chicken to each taco and dress with the manchego, sliced avocado, pico de gallo, cilantro and sour cream.