Chipotle & Pomegranate Braised Chicken Tacos

easy, warming chipotle & pomegranate braised chicken tacos topped with queso fresco and chili peppers

servings: 4

  • Author: Kayla Howey


  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 4 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
  • 2 tbsp additional adobo sauce
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 (28 oz) can fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 ½ lbs boneless, skinless chicken (breasts + thighs)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 812 (6”) corn or flour tortillas
  • crumbled queso fresco
  • sliced red fresno peppers
  • shaved radishes
  • cilantro leaves
  • lime wedges


  1. Heat a large, heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Season the chicken with a pinch of salt. Once the oil is hot, sear the chicken on both sides until golden brown. Work in batches so you don’t overcrowd the pot; there should be plenty of space around each piece of chicken. Once seared, transfer the chicken to a plate.
  2. Add the red onions to the pot. Sauté until tender and caramelized, about 15 minutes. Season well with a pinch of salt.
  3. Stir in the garlic, cumin seeds, and ground coriander. Let cook another minute or so until fragrant. Stir in the chipotles, adobo sauce, pomegranate juice, and honey. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes until slightly reduced.
  4. Meanwhile, blend the fire-roasted tomatoes in a blender until smooth. Pour the tomatoes into the pot and stir to combine. Transfer the chicken back to the pot. Bring the mixture to a simmer, cover the pot, and let simmer on low for 18-20 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and fork-tender.
  5. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Use two forks to shred the chicken. Meanwhile, continue to simmer the sauce over low heat for 15 more minutes. Stir the chicken back into the sauce, as well as the lime juice, and heat through.
  6. Heat a cast-iron skillet until smoking hot. Char the tortillas in the dry skillet, one by one. Assemble the tacos by mounding some of the chicken mixture into each tortilla. Garnish with the queso fresco, sliced peppers, shaved radishes, cilantro leaves, and a squeeze of lime juice.