Vaca Frita de Pollo (Shredded Chicken) Tacos

Vaca Frita de Pollo, is a shredded chicken dish cooked until tender then pan-fried until crispy on the outside. The chicken is infused with an orange and lime juice for a mojo flavor. Today, I’m taking a little help from the grocery store and using a Rotisserie chicken. 

I wanted to make this traditional Cuban dish a weeknight meal. Using a rotisserie chicken saves a lot of time and makes it easier and faster to put on the table. I promise it will be just as delicious. Served with a fresh mango salsa, Vaca Frita de Pollo Tacos can be on the table in no time at all.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 20
Total Time: 1 hour
Yields: 2 to 4 servings
Equipment: chef’s knife, wooden spoon, 2 plastic mixing bowls with lids, aluminum foil, 1 (12-inch) cast-iron skillet, tongs

Ingredients For Vaca Frita de Pollo:
1 rotisserie chicken, deboned
2 large sweet onions, sliced thinly into half-moons
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (neutral-flavored oil)
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
16 corn tortillas, served warm
Mojo Marinade:
1/4 vegetable oil (a neutral-flavored oil)
2 cups of orange juice
1 cup of fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons of dried oregano
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced

Ingredients For Mango Salsa:
2 to 2 1/2 cups of fresh mango (3 large mangos), 1-inch dice
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 Fresno chili, seeded and minced
1/2 cup of cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup of fresh lime juice, 4 juicy limes
1 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper

Directions For Mango Salsa:
While the chicken is marinating in the mojo, prep all the ingredients for the mango salsa. Add all of the ingredients from the list above into a plastic mixing bowl, toss to combine. Cover and transfer the the refrigerator to chill until ready to serve. In the meantime start the Vaca Frita.

Note: If you’re going to make my recipe for mango salsa, it’s best to prepare the salsa while the chicken is marinating.

Note: Start by warming up the tortillas before you begin preparing the dish.

Directions For Warm Tortillas:
Preheat oven to 225-degrees F.
Wrap the tortillas in foil packets, place on the middle rack until ready to serve.

Directions For Vaca Frita de Pollo:
Debone the chicken. Place into a mixing bowl. Add all the ingredients from the list above into a mixing bowl, mix to combine. Cover and set aside, allowing the chicken to marinate for 30 minutes while making the mango salsa. Slice the onions, set aside.

In a preheated cast-iron skillet, over medium heat, add vegtable oil and sliced onions. Add Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper. Cook the onions until golden brown around the edges, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the onion to a plate and set aside.

In the same hot skillet, using a pair of tongs, transfer the marinated chicken to the skillet. Some of the marinade is going to get into the pan,. You want a little of the marinade because of the acid in the citrus. This will allow you to *deglaze the skillet. As the marinated chicken start to bubble, use a wooden spoon to scrape any onion bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet.

The marinade will evaporate allowing you to pan-fry the chicken for about 10 minutes or until brown and crispy. Careful not to burn it!

Tranfer the crispy shredded chicken to a serving platter. Arrange the onions of the top. Garnish with lime wedges. Serve with warm torillas and my mango salsa.

There you have it, my Vaca Frita de Pollo Tacos.

*Deglaze: The process of diluting meat sediments in a pan. In this case the onions bits. This adds flavor to the dish. Antother reason is to make a gravy or sauce.