How To Make Birria De Pollo

Spice up chicken stew by learning to how to make Birria De Pollo. This traditional Mexican dish is stewed chicken chunks in red chile sauce served with fresh flour tortillas. Birria De Pollo takes about two hours to prepare but is well worth the effort.

To make Birria De Pollo, you will need:

  • 2 ancho chiles
  • 1 cascabel chile
  • 2 guajillo chiles
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, cut in wedges
  • Flour tortillas
  1. Prepare the chiles. Preheat a skillet over a medium heat. Cut the end off the chile and slice it lengthwise to remove the seeds. Cut the chiles into strips and toast in a hot skillet until they blister then turn them over to toast the other side. Boil two cups of water. Place the toasted chiles in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Soak the chiles for 20 minutes until they are soft. Pour the chiles and soaking water into a blender and puree until smooth.
  2. Prepare the chicken. Wash and cut the chicken breasts into thirds. Place the chicken in a large pot with a tight lid. Add vinegar, onion, garlic, thyme, oregano, cumin, vinegar, bay leaf, and three quarts of water to the pot. Pour the pureed chile mixture into the pot. Simmer covered over a medium low heat for 1 ½ hours until the chicken is fork tender. Remove the lid and simmer for 10 additional minutes.
  3. Serve Birria De Pollo. Serve the Birria De Pollo in deep bowls. Garnish each bowl with fresh cilantro and a lime wedge. Serve with flour tortillas.


  • Make homemade flour tortillas to serve with Birria De Pollo. Tortillas are very easy to make in less than an hour. Chicken that is fork tender means the chicken will shred easily with a fork.
  • Do not over cook the chicken or it will get dry and lose tenderness.


Victoria Wise and Susanna Hoffman,"The Well-Filled Tortilla Cookbook", Workman Publishing 1990

Rick Bayless, "Authentic Mexican Cooking", Wiley 2007

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