Photo courtesy of Murky1
I don't know why, but otherwise decent taquerias (and trucks) that make great beef/pork tacos, have trouble making edible chicken tacos (or, really, chicken anything).
My guess is that these places are buying the cheapest chicken possible ... and it shows. They then compound that by overcooking the chicken until it is dry. Then, hoping to hide that, they shred it. The result is a nasty, disagreeable taco and an equally nasty, disagreeable Commish.
Anyways, I've been burned too many times with chicken dishes and I generally avoid them. Here, though, are a few of my general rules of thumb on when to order and when not to order the chicken.
- Is it a Jalisco-style taqueria? Does it say Arandas on the sign? DON'T ORDER THE CHICKEN!
- Is the place a bit 'fancy' and full of gringos (e.g. Torchy's, Zocalo)? DO ORDER THE CHICKEN. An exception to this rule: Is it a subpar taco stand sandwiched between the excellent Alayna's and Mi Madres that has inexplicable long lines? DON'T ORDER THE CHICKEN!
- Is the place named after, or does it specialize in, a particular dish (e.g. Al Pastor) that isn't chicken? DON'T ORDER THE CHICKEN!
- Does the menu recommend the chicken (e.g. Habenero)? DO ORDER THE CHICKEN.