Friday, January 09, 2009

Shredded Chicken Puffy Tacos

This puffy taco recipe is totally a Tex-Mex invention, and I love it. I believe you can only find these tacos in San Antonio and Austin, although I'm sure there are some places out there that serve them, too. This is not a complicated recipe at all, the most difficult part is making the indention in the tortilla as it fries to form the taco shell. Just be careful because the oil is hot and I did burn my fingers a couple of times making these.

The shredded chicken recipe below is just your everyday recipe I grew up on. You don't need to add anything fancy like cumin or marjoram, but you can if you like. Also, you can fill your puffy taco with seasoned ground beef or just refried beans and cheese. No matter what filling you use, these are quite delish and yes, quite fattening, too.

Puffy Tortilla

INGREDIENTS (makes 14 tacos)

  • 3 cups corn tortilla mix
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups warm water

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. When the dough is consistent begin rolling dough balls about the size of a ping pong ball.

Using a tortilla press that is lined in a thick plastic, press out the dough. You use the plastic (it can be a Ziploc bag that has been cut) so that the dough does not stick to the tortilla press.

Meanwhile have a deep pot filled with cooking oil approximately 2 inches high and heated to 250 degrees. Drop the flat tortilla in the hot oil and using a metal spatula repeatedly douse with the oil. You will see that it will begin to puff up. Flip it over and using the spatula make an indention in the middle of the tortilla to form a taco shape. Remove from oil and allow to drain on top of brown paper bags.

Shredded Chicken


  • About two cups of cooked, shredded chicken
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper (about half a bell pepper)
  • 1 (8oz) can El Pato tomato sauce (use the jalapeno one if you like it to be spicy)
  • About 1/4 low sodium chicken stock, if needed
  • Salt and Pepper


In a large skillet add 1 tablespoon olive oil on set to medium-high. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and saute another 4 minutes. Next add the chopped tomato and garlic and saute until garlic becomes fragrant but doesn't burn, about 1 minutes. Add the chicken and tomato sauce and reduce heat to medium. Cook another 8 to 10 minutes, just until all flavors combine and chicken is heated through. If sauce is too thick, add a little chicken stock to get to your desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, as needed. This shredded chicken tastes even better the next day.

To assemble puffy tacos: Fill each puffy taco shell with shredded chicken, guacamole, and cheese or your favorite filling. Top with shredded lettuce and diced tomato. Yummers!


Maria said...

I was searching for the Los Barrios recipe and this looks close to it. Thanks, I will try it!

BEATRICE said...

i'm from san antonio but moved to austin and i can't find puffy tacos anywhere thanks for the recipe

Anonymous said...

I have been reading about the Puffy Tacos and read somewhere that Rays or something like that in San Antonio invented the Puffy Taco in 1978. Sorry to burst the bubble but Jacalas in San Antonio has had them since at least 1960 - my family loved them so much that they bribed the owners to get the recipe but NO DICE. Thanks for the recipe- cant wait to see if they are as good as Jacalas. - My brother and sister actually drove from Houston to San Antonio last weekend to have puffy tacos.- sheryl from Houston

Anonymous said...

Hi - I just made these tonight and loved them! Thanks for the recipe!

Tanja said...

I'm living in Korea and I'm from Austin so I will try. Also Baby A's in Austin makes great puffy tacos.

JSquared said...

If you want puffy tacos in houston you should check out El Real Tex-Mex on westheimer

Sharon Field / Created By You said...

Yum, love puffy tacos and this is fabulous.. can't wait to try it!