Birria de Pollo (Chicken Birria)


This birria de pollo is deeply flavorful, rich, hearty, a little smoky and just plain delicious. Birria is a Mexican stew that originated in Jalisco. It is traditionally made with goat, lamb, or beef.

Birria de Pollo (Chicken Birria)
Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
40 mins
Additional Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 20 mins


  • 4 cups chicken broth

  • 4 dried guajillo chiles, stemmed and seeded

  • 4 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded

  • 1 dried de árbol chile, stemmed and seeded (Optional)

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

  • 1 medium white onion, quartered, divided

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

  • 1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts

  • 1 bay leaf

  • ¼ cup crispy tortilla strips (Optional)

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, or to taste

  • 6 lime wedges, for serving


  1. Add chicken broth to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high. Remove from heat and add dried chiles. Cover and let sit until chiles have softened, about 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium-high. Add 3 of the onion quarters, reserving the last quarter for later use, and garlic to pan. Cook, flipping once, until charred, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat (do not wipe out the pot), and transfer onion and garlic to a blender. Add chicken broth, chiles, tomatoes, vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin, oregano, pepper, and cloves. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a large bowl.

  3. Season chicken with remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil in to the large pot; heat over medium-high. Add chicken; cook, flipping once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Pour blended chile mixture over meat chicken and top with bay leaf. Cover and cook over medium-low until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, chop remaining onion quarter. Set aside.

  5. Uncover pot, discard bay leaf, and remove chicken from chile mixture and shred. Divide shredded chicken evenly among 6 bowls, and ladle in the soup over chicken in bowls. Top with reserved chopped onion, tortilla strips, if desired, cilantro and serve with lime wedges.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

275 Calories
10g Fat
19g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 275
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 1684mg 73%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 16%
Protein 30g
Potassium 593mg 13%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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