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The name may be long, but the taste is fall-tastic! These Beer-Cider-Enchilada Braised Chicken Tacos with Apple-Pomegranate Salsa have all the essential characteristics of a great autumn dinner.

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When I first took a look at this recipe, I thought it was going to be hit-or-miss. I was nervous about topping my tacos with an apples and pomegranates. It just seemed weird. After tasting it, the best part was the apple-pomegranate salsa! Isn’t it strange that the components you’re usually the most apprehensive about turn out the be the best? It’s a defining example of risk-reward.

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This recipe may seem like it’s time-consuming, but really there is A LOT of passive time. Throwing the chicken in the slow cooker helps the process for sure. If you’d like to get a nice sear on the chicken, you could certainly do so in a dutch oven and braise it for 30-plus minutes. I thought about doing that, but I knew that I wasn’t going to have a lot of time to get dinner on the table after I got home from work. The slow cooker did the culinary work for me.

Although not necessarily kid-friendly due to the spice, there are certainly alterations to the recipe that could make it more appetizing to children. Cutting back on the sweet chili sauce is one way to make sure there isn’t too much spice. Another way is to just use bell pepper instead of a poblano, even though poblano’s don’t have a ton of spice. There may be too much spice in the chicken as well, so you could always cut back on the cayenne pepper. I didn’t find the chicken to be too spicy, but I do enjoy a little heat in my food. We ended up throwing caution to the wind and making a taco for Maddox and he wound up eating both the chicken and salsa, albeit separately. He didn’t seem to have too much of an issue.

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Alternatively, if you’re entertaining for a crowd that can handle the heat, you could kick it up by adding habaneros, or any other type of hot pepper, to the salsa. You could also put more cayenne or hot pepper spice with the braising liquid as well. Customize the recipe to what suits your preferences.

I also love how this recipe really gets you in the fall mood with seasonal ingredients. Honeycrisp apples are some of my favorites and pomegranate is a fruit that I have extremely limited experience with. But they both scream fall. You can even seasonalize the recipe more by using pumpkin beer in the braising liquid. It would definitely pair nicely with the apple cider and enchilada sauce. I know for many of you, fall is becoming a distant memory and winter is about to rear it’s ugly head. But here in Florida, the weather hasn’t quite gotten to where it needs to be for me to feel like it’s fall. This recipe definitely helped me become more festive.

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We’ve made a lot of taco recipes over the years, but the ones I’ve created for you here on Dishing Daddyhood have been some of our all-time favorites. This one is right in line with that. Kiersten still thinks the Chinese Chicken Tacos are gold standard, but I think these tacos did a really nice job.

Print Recipe
Beer-Cider-Enchilada Braised Chicken Tacos with Apple-Pomegranate Salsa
This combination of fall flavors is perfect for any occasion.
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
hungry people
Ingredients
Beer-Cider-Enchilada Braised Chicken
Apple-Pomegranate Salsa
For Assembly
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Passive Time 6 hours
Servings
hungry people
Ingredients
Beer-Cider-Enchilada Braised Chicken
Apple-Pomegranate Salsa
For Assembly
Instructions
Beer-Cider-Enchilada Braised Chicken
  1. Combine all ingredients for the chicken in a slow cooker. Put the lid on and cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 4-6 hours.
  2. After at least 4 hours (depending upon the setting you choose), shred the chicken (you can use forks, claws, or even a stand mixer), and return to the slow cooker. Turn heat up to high for 30 mins or so to thicken the sauce.
Apple-Pomegranate Salsa
  1. While chicken is cooking, make the apple-pomegranate salsa. But be careful not to make too far ahead of time as the apples can lose their crispness.
  2. To extract the arils from the pomegranate, cut off the top. You really just want to cut off the knob. Be careful not to knick any of the arils. Then, cut four shallow slits on the pomegranate's skin, being careful once again not to cut too deep so as not to damage the arils. Place the pomegranate in a large bowl of water and break it up into four sections. Still submerged, use your fingers to separate the arils from the membrane. The membrane should float to the top while the arils sink to the bottom. That's it! You've successfully de-arilized a pomegranate!
  3. Combine all the ingredients for the salsa in a bowl and mix together. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For Assembly
  1. Grill or heat the tortillas in a fry pan. I like grilling the tortillas because it makes it crisps it up well enough to hold up to the filling.
  2. Place your desired amount of shredded chicken on a tortilla and top with the cheddar cheese. Add the apple-pomegranate salsa and sprinkle with cotija cheese. Give a spritz of lime, if desired. That's it!
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest.

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