Chicken Tacos Al Carbon

This Chicken Tacos Al Carbon recipe is one of our favorites for a summer barbecue or gathering. Warm corn tortillas are topped with chopped fire-grilled chicken, a hearty dose of chopped cilantro and onions, and a creamy avocado salsa.

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Although shredded chicken is one of the most popular fillings for street tacos, you can use many other kinds of grilled meats. Pork, shrimp and beef are also very popular. 

To make these Tacos Al Carbon, you basically grill a whole chicken over the fire and cut it into bite-size pieces. Enjoy it on warmed corn tortillas with chopped onion and cilantro, fresh squeeze of lime, and your favorite hot sauce, salsa, guacamole or avocado salsa.

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Chicken Tacos Al Carbon

Chicken Tacos Al Carbon

Recipe by Jason Hill –
Chicken Tacos Al Carbon is a perfect recipe for a summer gathering.
Here in Southern California, shredded chicken is one of the most popular fillings for street tacos, but shrimp and beef are also very popular. Enjoy these chicken tacos on warmed corn tortillas with a bit of onion and cilantro, fresh squeeze of lime, and your favorite hot sauce, salsaguacamole or avocado salsa.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 day 40 minutes
Total Time 1 day 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 6


  • 1 whole chicken


  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 packet achiote paste optional for color
  • 1 dried ancho chile stemmed
  • 6 dried chiles de árbol stemmed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt


  • To begin, place the chicken breast side down and use your kitchen shears to cut along both sides of the backbone from the neck to the tail.
  • Remove the backbone and open the chicken up flat. Place skin side up and press down again to flatten the bird.
  • To prepare the chicken al carbon marinade, combine the marinade ingredients in a blender. Puree for about a minute.
  • Place 1 cup of the marinade in a large Ziplock bag, and add your chicken. Remove excess air, swish it around to coat, and refrigerate for several hours to overnight. Reserve the remaining sauce for basting.
  • Set the grill to about 400F. Place the chicken breast side up onto the grill. Grill this until it’s lightly browned – about 15 minutes or so.
  • Continue flipping and basting the chicken every 10-15 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 160-165°F. Once you take the chicken off the grill, it will carry over cook to the recommended temperature of 165F.
  • Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let it rest for 10-15 minutes.
  • To serve, cut the chicken into bite-size pieces. Prepare your tacos al carbon. Place on the warm corn tortillas and top with chopped onions, cilantro and fresh lime. Enjoy!
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Keyword BBQ, chicken, grilling, Mexican food, Mexican recipes, tacos
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AboutJason Hill

Hi, I’m Jason Hill, host of YouTube’s “Chef Tips” series. I graduated from culinary school in 1998, and gained my experience working the lines in Southern California. I launched my cooking videos in 2007. I love sharing quick and easy recipes that get people back in the kitchen.

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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