PW Wednesday’s: Fried Chicken Tacos


Take your tacos to a whole new level with fried chicken tacos

Welcome to the first installment of the PW Wednesday’s series! In other words, Pioneer Woman Wednesday’s! I had this idea of cooking out of Pioneer Woman’s new cookbook and decided to throw the idea out there to see if anyone would join me and the lovely ladies, Gina, Megan, Rachel, and Tina decided to hop on the tractor and cook out of the book with me too! Every three Wednesday’s we will each be posting a recipe we chose out of the book. This first week was my week to choose something and boy, did I choose a fun dish.

Disaster would be an understatement in this week’s recipe choice. I think we all had issues with frying up these babies. They tasted amazing (I mean, c’mon, it’s Pioneer Woman, she wouldn’t put a yucky recipe in her book!) but man, they were definitely challenging to cook. Oh, and I had a disaster of my own. My nose felt like someone lit a lighter and put it under my nose for 15 minutes. I was making guacamole (which I included the recipe below in case anyone wants it — Jason said it tasted like Chipotle’s so I was pretty proud) and the entire time I was de-seeding the serrano chili, I kept saying over and over again in my head, “don’t forget to wash your hands, you don’t want to rub your eyes after this.” What do I do? Forget to wash my hands and RUBBED my NOSE. Oh my god. The heat was soooo bad. It wouldn’t stop burning. I even had a ziploc bag of ice to my nose at one point. Jason wasn’t home when this happened, but shortly after, he walked through the door & thought something had happened because I was tearing up so bad and my nose was bright red and I had an ice bag to my nose. Hahaha, yeah……lesson learned.

Anyway, so cooking the chicken part was easy-peasy, but when it came to frying them; that is where the fun began ;) You had to fill the chicken inside the tortilla shell and then clamp it shut with tongs and dip them in the oil and then let go to let them fry on both sides. The first time I did this, my tortilla shell tore. Got a new tortilla shell, warmed it up a little in the microwave, then proceeded with the necessary steps, and all my filling came flying out of one end of the tortilla and was frying in the oil too. Hahaha, god. I never got this step down so I just decided to fry each tortilla on its own and stuffed them after. Some came out to be open-faced tacos and some were still pliable to be taco shells.

The results, regardless of method, still tasted super delicious and wonderful. It’s a really easy recipe, just the frying part could take some time if you don’t fry things often. I even debated just baking them or skillet searing them, but I liked the frying challenge and the crunch of the tortilla shells just give it a much better texture.

The recipe is below. Be sure to check out everyone’s posts!

Gina – Running to the Kitchen

Megan – Wannabe a Country Cleaver

Rachel – Baked by Rachel

Tina – My Life as a Mrs.

Yields 14-16

PW Wednesday's: Fried Chicken TacosHomemade Guacamole

5 minPrep Time

5 minCook Time

10 minTotal Time

Save Recipe


  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup plus 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds, boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into cubes
  • 2 4-ounce cans diced green chiles
  • 14-16 small corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated cheddar or cheddar-jack cheese blend
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 Serrano chili, de-seeded and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Juice of 1 lime


  1. In a small bowl, mix together the chili powder, cumin, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp. of canola oil and add the chicken and chiles. Saute for about 3-5 minutes or until the chicken has lost its color.
  3. Sprinkle in the spice mixture and saute the chicken until all is cooked through. Remove the pan from heat and set aside.
  4. In a separate skillet, heat up 1 cup of canola oil. Drop in a small piece of your tortilla to see if the oil is hot enough. It will sizzle as soon as it hits the oil.
  5. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the chicken into the tortilla then grasp the tortilla shut with tongs.
  6. Gently lay the filled tortilla in the hot oil, holding down the top half of the tortilla so it remains closed.
  7. Cook one side until golden brown, 30-45 seconds, then flip the taco over to fry the other side. Cook the other side until brown and crispy.
  8. Remove each taco from the pan, allowing the excess oil to drip out one end. Wrap in a paper towel and gently shake it to remove excess oil.
  9. While the tacos are still hot, gently stick some cheese inside then add whatever toppings you like to add to your tacos.
  10. In large bowl, mash up the avocados with a fork then add the Serrano chili, red onion, tomato, salt, and lime juice. Mix the ingredients together until well-combined.
Cuisine: Mexican | Recipe Type: Main EntreeAppetizer


There's a wide array of toppings you can use for these tacos: sour cream, diced tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, hot sauce, etc. Anything you top your tacos with!

From The Pioneer Woman: Food From My Frontier by Ree Drummond


Posted on April 04, 2012

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  1. 04/04/2012 at 6:12 am

    Love this idea and I’m so excited to see what you and the other lovely ladies come up with! These tacos sound so delicious but I am a little scared by the idea of all that hot oil, it sounds like practice makes perfect though? And I’ve been there with the nose/chilli thing. It’s really not fun.

  2. 04/04/2012 at 6:49 am

    Seriously – we all had frying issues but at least there weren’t any crazy issues or injuries along the way. I hope your nose was better quickly! I wonder if each recipe will have ups and downs with us? lol

  3. 04/04/2012 at 7:32 am

    I always forget to wash my hands after dealing with chiles. This looks amazing, can’t wait for the others in the series!

  4. 04/04/2012 at 8:02 am

    Fun idea! I don’t have the book or I’d join you. Your guacamole looks delicious!

  5. 04/04/2012 at 8:13 am

    What a fun idea, and these look awesome! I almost never fry things so I’m sure I will mess up that step as well, but it’s definitely worth trying!

  6. 04/04/2012 at 8:15 am

    Looks great!

  7. 04/04/2012 at 8:57 am

    What a great idea! I love that you guys are doing this and sharing the successes and failures! ha! YUM!

  8. 04/04/2012 at 9:15 am

    At least the results (although disastrous) were still Delicious!! hahah The margarita was the only thing that got me through that first couple rounds hahaha
    I love your way of frying the shells flat and then topping them. That would have been a much easier option than folding and frying. And probably less splatter to burn ourselves with.

  9. 04/04/2012 at 9:33 am

    You need taco tongs!!! ;) ps- yours looks so pretty :)

  10. 04/04/2012 at 9:42 am

    Looove the idea of this! I think having motivation to cook your way through a cookbook is the only real way to test one out. Otherwise its a few recipes then plop, on the bookshelf to collect dust! These tacos sound delish. :)

  11. 04/04/2012 at 9:52 am

    Holy guacamole (literally). Can I place an order for these for lunch today :) Congrats on the home purchase AND the wedding planning! Such a fantastic time!!!

  12. 04/04/2012 at 10:14 am

    What gorgeous looking tacos, Julie. Thanks for letting us know about the frying tip. I don’t think I’d be able to fry the whole goddang thing either! Plus the mess that accumulates in the hot pot of oil would just make me incredibly flustered!

  13. Bri
    04/04/2012 at 10:40 am

    Have you tried securing the tacos with toothpicks before frying them? Your guac looks so good!!

  14. 04/04/2012 at 10:53 am

    OMGoodness! I *always* forget to wash up after dealing with chilies, and I *always* end up rubbing my eye. Every. Single. Time. I finally broke down and bought a pair of rubber gloves that are only used for handing chilies. ;)

    PW Wednesdays sounds so fun!

  15. 04/04/2012 at 10:53 am

    “Hop on the tractor” aren’t you cute? ;)
    I would’ve loved to see you with the bag of ice under your nose while cooking these. Too bad we all couldn’t have been together trying these out b/c honestly, I think it might’ve been the funniest experience of my life. Can’t wait for the next one!

  16. 04/04/2012 at 11:43 am

    Definitely gotta be careful when using serranos. I had an issue with that a few months ago too. One thing that can really help is actually using some milk – apparently it counteracts the oil that causes the burning, whereas water might actually spread it!

  17. 04/04/2012 at 11:53 am

    These look awesome! I still haven’t picked up PW’s new cookbook…that really needs to change.

  18. 04/04/2012 at 1:12 pm

    I thought about cooking through her new cookbook, too. Are you willing to have another blogger join? I’d love to try her recipes and blog about it! And bummer about the chili on the nose. How painful!!!

    • 04/04/2012 at 2:56 pm

      yes, we’d love to have you join. I’ll go ahead and add you to the google document & send out an introductory email.

  19. 04/04/2012 at 1:14 pm

    I love that you girls are doing this! So much fun! I have also had a disaster with frying shells. And poor thing about the chili! I have done that before and I know how bad it feels!

  20. 04/04/2012 at 2:52 pm

    Love the guacamole…HOLY YUM. I wish I saw that you were doing this, it would be so fun!!

  21. Liz
    04/04/2012 at 4:05 pm

    Ohmigosh I love, love this idea! If are still looking for people to join I would love to play too :) I love Ree’s recipes!

  22. Toni
    04/04/2012 at 4:17 pm

    Fill your tacos and close them with tooth picks. Then fry. When they are done pull the tooth picks out!

  23. 04/04/2012 at 4:36 pm

    Yours look incredible! I love tacos, and this version just sounds so good! It was fun reading all the different troubles people had, now I really want to try!

  24. 04/04/2012 at 4:45 pm

    these look absolutely wonderful, even if it took you a couple tries to get ’em down perfectly. oh, + i’ve soooo rubbed my eyes/nose after cutting a hot pepper. it’s the worst!

  25. 04/04/2012 at 5:35 pm

    What a fabulous bunch of tacos, Julie! These look totally mouthwatering and right up my alley for a delicious, decadent dinner. I’ve got to try this soon!

  26. Jackie
    04/04/2012 at 5:35 pm

    I make that mistake EVERY time I cut peppers. What the heck is wrong with me? I have learned that if you rub olive oil on your hands really really well, and then wash the oil off with hot water and soap, it really helps.

  27. 04/04/2012 at 8:57 pm

    These look so good! I never would have guessed their difficulty by the pictures :)

  28. 04/04/2012 at 11:23 pm

    I have been burned too many times (ha I am so funny) with the chile oil so I always use gloves now. Sorry the tacos were a pain to make but they sure do look good.

  29. 04/04/2012 at 11:33 pm

    I love the look of these! The toppings look tasty as well. :)

  30. 04/05/2012 at 11:25 am

    Yummmm! Such a great idea to do a PW book recipe series!! This would be so fun to do :) Anyway, I love your recipe choice! These look so delish & fun to make! Love Love! :)

  31. 04/06/2012 at 1:30 pm

    Oh my gosh, I have TOTALLY done that when slicing jalapenos–nose-on-fire is so in this season.

  32. 04/18/2012 at 8:48 am

    Great recipe! Want to make it!

  33. 04/18/2012 at 3:44 pm

    I have an incredibly vivid memory of my boyfriend accidentally touching his nose after de-seeding a habanero pepper one of the first times we ever cooked together. He was so miserable, and I couldn’t help but laugh (good girlfriend, I know). He finally just stuck his nose in a glass of milk and that helped a little. I always make the mistake of cutting hot peppers and not washing my hands before I take my contacts out. You’d think you’d only have to make that mistake once…

    • 04/18/2012 at 3:52 pm

      This comment made me laugh, haha…man, that hot peppers & contacts just makes me cringe!! I can’t even imagine that!

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