Pollo Guisado Tacos with Elotes Salad

Tangy stewed chicken tacos with crisp Mexican street corn salad.

So anyone who knows me knows that I love chicken. It's my favorite meat - so flavorful and versatile. I especially love chicken thighs. Perfectly portioned morsels of moist and tender meat, unlike their supposedly healthier counterpart, the breast. And I love tacos. I could eat tacos everyday. There is something about that wonderful charred corn tortilla flavor that goes with everything you can put into it. 

I also love guisada, typically made with beef as carne guisada (stewed beef). So, one day while particularly famished, I decided I'd make my own guisada, and instead of using beef, I'd use the chicken thighs I had in the fridge. The result was a delicious pot of taco filling that lasted me three days (tacos for three days!) that was both super healthy and super satisfying. I was actually excited to eat at home every night.

This is a simple recipe but use high quality chicken and spices to ensure the most flavor. I also used arrowroot to make the recipe gluten free as guisada is typically thickened with a roux or at least a couple tsp of flour.  

Pollo Guisado Tacos with Elotes Salad

Serves 4



For the elotes:

2 ears of fresh white corn, recently shucked
1/4 red onion, small diced
juice of 1/2 lime
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 avocado, small diced
1 tbsp cojito cheese
1 tbsp yogurt
1 tsp mayo

For the guisado:

3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, medium dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp cumin
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tbsp ancho chili powder

4 chicken thighs, deboned and skin removed, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup canned chopped tomato
juice of 4 limes
1 tsp arrowroot

8 white corn tortillas


Grill the corn directly on the low flame of your stove or on a BBQ turning occasionally so it doesn't burn too much. You want some char but also some bite. Once evenly cooked, set aside to cool. Cut the corn in half and slice the kernels off with a sharp knife. Cutting the ears in half prevents the kernels from bouncing all over the place. 

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and toss gently. Add salt to taste and more lime juice if necessary. Set aside. 

In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until translucent and beginning to caramelize. Add the spices and stir until well combined and continue to cook, stirring often and scraping the bottom of the pan to make sure nothing sticks. 

Add the chicken and stir to coat. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes. Now add the arrowroot and stir to coat. Add the lime juice and scrape up the bottom. Add the tomato juice, stir well to combine and then let the mixture cook for 10 more minutes, continuing to stir occasionally. To get a really strong flavor, allow it to cook extra and add water for moisture. This will caramelize the tomatoes in the pot as well as letting the chicken absorb the flavor of the sauce. 

To serve:

Just before serving, over an open flame, char your corn tortillas for about 30 seconds to a minute on each side. On a plate, ladle the guisado onto the tortillas and top with the elote salad. Sprinkle with coriander and serve with a wedge of lime for garnish.