Tacos de canasta con pollo – chicken basket tacos

Basket tacos are a popular street food in Mexico City, often served from vendors cycling around the streets. The tacos are filled with a simple filling of spicy chicken, before being folded over and left to steam in tea towels until gummy and soft.

See more recipes inspired by Mexico City and read about what Nud discovered during his time in the Mexican capital here.

First published in 2019
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Tacos de canasta are a Mexico City staple. You’ll see the taqueros around the city mainly in the hours of early afternoon on bicycles. You’ll need a basket or a large pot with a lid to assemble this dish, and the tacos are particularly delicious when served with a spoonful of salsa taquero, which you can get the recipe for here.

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Sauce

To assemble

  • 20 corn tortillas
  • 100ml of oil, hot, or melted lard
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Method

1
Place the chicken breast, onion, bay leaves and peppercorns in a saucepan and cover with water. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 15–20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked. Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid and shred using 2 forks, then set aside to cool
2
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Place a frying pan over a high heat and toast the chillies until slightly smoking, then transfer to a bowl and cover with hot water. In the same pan toast the garlic cloves (still in their skin) until blackened, then peel and place in a blender. Add the soaked chillies and 100ml of the soaking water and blend until smooth. Season, then toss the shredded chicken in the sauce and season. Keep warm
3
To assemble the dish, line a basket or pot with a tea towel and some parchment paper. Heat the tortillas in a dry frying pan until soft and pliable, then store in a folded tea towel to keep warm
4
Place a spoonful of the chicken mixture on one-half of each tortilla and fold them over to create a half-moon shape. Place the folded tortillas in the basket or pot as you go, until the bottom is completely covered. Brush the tacos with hot oil or lard and sprinkle with some sliced onions. Continue to layer the basket or pot like this, tessalating the tacos to ensure a snug fit
5
Once all the tacos are in the basket or pot, cover tightly with a tea towel and leave for 5–10 minutes. When ready to serve, remove the towel and let everyone take a few tacos. Serve with lime wedges and some salsa taquero.
First published in 2019
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Nud’s journey began in a makeshift taco shack in a car park in Hackney, where he set up Breddos Tacos with his business partner Chris Whitney.

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