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Beer Braised Chicken Tacos with Beer Corn Tortillas


When it seems like your entire life revolves around a food blog, small things make you really excited.

Like making homemade tortillas with beer and realizing how much better they are than any other tortilla you’ve ever had.

Or getting a shout out from The Cooking Channel as if they knew just how to fuel your obsession with them.

Or realizing that because Foster Farms is willing to fly you into Napa a few days early for the National Cook-Off Finals, you get to visit the following breweries: Laguanitas, Russian River, and Bear Republic.

And then your Aunt tells you that your Grandma and Guy Fieri’s Grandma where roommates in college, which sounds like a Mad Lib, but turns out to be true.

Small wins that make me so excited, you’d think I won a Beer Cooking Oscar. This is what keeps us playing the Man Behind the Curtain on these little blogs we are so dedicated to. Bloggers are easily excitable, which maybe why we spend so much time on the other side of these computer. Sometimes our excitement isn’t fit for public consumption.

Back to these tortillas. Homemade tortillas are a completely different animal from those cardboard disks they sell in supermarkets. Soft, slightly sweet, and they only take 5 minutes to make. To use a beer analogy fit for an SAT exam:

Coors Light is to Pliny as Store Bought Tortillas are to Homemade Tortillas

I’m not kidding, that much different. If you don’t believe me, and really, why should you, I’m just the overly excited girl behind the screen, try it and report back. I really think you’ll be amazed.

For this recipe, I used Lagunaitas IPA. And like I’ve mentioned before, IPA’s give you a huge punch of beer flavor. If you want a milder beer flavor, grab a traditional Pale Ale, a Blonde or a Wheat Beer.



Beer Braised Chicken Tacos with Beer Corn Tortillas


For the Tortillas

  • 2 cup Masa
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cup room temperature beer
  • 2 Tbs melted butter or olive oil

For the Chicken

  • 4 boneless skinless chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup beer

Recommended Garnishes

  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 avocado chopped


  • Chop Chicken thighs into small, bite sized pieces. In a bowl, place all spices and mix well. Add the chicken pieces and toss to coat.
  • Heat olive oil in a dutch oven. Add the pieces and sear quickly. Reduce heat, add beer, cover and cook until cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, add the Masa and the salt, stir to combine.
  • Add the beer and butter, stir to combine. If the dough is too dry to hold together, add additional beer or water. If it is too wet, add more Masa.
  • Form into balls a bit larger than golf balls.
  • Prepare a tortillas press by wrapping in plastic wrap or covering with parchment paper (you can place tortilla ball between two sheets of parchment and use a rolling pin). Place one ball in the center.
  • Press, rotate and press again until thin.
  • Heat a griddle (or cast iron skillet) to a medium high heat (about 350 for electric griddles).
  • Cook until slightly brown on the bottom (about 30 seconds to a minute) flip and cook on the other side. Don’t overcook.
  • Fill tortillas with chicken, garnish and serve.



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Katie @ Blonde Ambition September 13, 2012 um 11:11 am

I’ve driven past Lagunitas before and am dying to visit! Also, Sacramento lucked out last year and a handful of local bars got kegs of super rare Pliny the Younger, so we didn’t have to camp out at Russian River. 😀

Homemade tortillas are so. good. I can’t even imagine homemade IPA tortillas! This sounds amazing!


claire @ the realistic nutritionist September 13, 2012 um 11:13 am

Of course you make your own beer tortillas. SUPER WOMAN. I need that fancy tortilla pressing thing.


Cassie September 13, 2012 um 1:18 pm

Shout outs from the cooking channel are such a big deal, as are these tacos. Holy cow, I love them so much!


Ashley September 13, 2012 um 1:25 pm

Congrats on all the exciting things happening! You certainly deserve it! Every recipe of yours that I’ve tried has worked marvelously and been a hit with my "taste testers". And you’ve inspired me to find and try more beers than I usually do (though I do try quite a bit). Thanks and I’m looking forward to more!


Natalie September 13, 2012 um 1:36 pm

Homemade tortillas are always the best! I’ve been dreaming of a beer chicken taco recipe too.. You beat me to it! They look fantastic. And those aren’t little things, those are BIG GREAT things, and I’m super stoked for you!! Cheers to you, lady!


ginger & honey September 13, 2012 um 3:12 pm

wtf? i <3 you! russian river has the best growlers, so fancy, so delicious


amy @ fearless homemaker September 13, 2012 um 3:14 pm

Oh wow, these sound amazing! And for what it’s worth, the chicken recipe is very crock-pot friendly. =)


Erin @ The Food Doctors September 13, 2012 um 3:26 pm

Wow! Genius. I’ve had a hankering for tamales lately. Maybe I’ll try adding beer!! I am also super jealous of your upcoming brewery visits!


craftbrewertour September 13, 2012 um 6:37 pm

These tacos look awesome, my mouth is watering and I want a Lagunitas IPA to wash them down…


Maggie September 14, 2012 um 10:00 am

Not only do I wish I had the tortilla smasher thing but these sound so good. I love a good taco! Also, love that you got the shout out from cooking channel. That is so encouraging and motivating I’m sure. And your pics are looking really good!


Russell van Kraayenburg September 14, 2012 um 4:52 pm

I’ve got to try this tortilla recipe! And these tacos sound fantastic. Yum!


Ali | Gimme Some Oven September 17, 2012 um 6:22 am

Wow — I totally want to try those tortillas! These tacos look crazy delicious!


Tina @ More Please Recipes September 17, 2012 um 8:19 am

I’m so excited for your recent successes. Way to go! Not to mention a trip to Russian River, by far my most favorite brewery in California. Pliny the Elder is my most favorite brew by far.


Alicia September 17, 2012 um 5:15 pm

Russian River is my favorite brewery in the North Bay. You MUST try their sour beers (Supplication is my favorite). I’d love to see what recipes you could come up with that feature a sour!!

Also, right around the corner from Russian River (maybe a 2 minute walk) is Third Street Aleworks. Certainly not as famous, but they also make some tasty brews 🙂


Chris S. September 23, 2012 um 11:43 am

I was wondering about how many tortillas this recipe makes? I plan on making these this afternoon and wasn’t sure if I needed to double it or not 🙂


Jackie September 23, 2012 um 12:17 pm

About 10, I think you should double, more is always better.


Chris S. September 23, 2012 um 1:25 pm

Awesome! Thanks! Going to make two batches with local beer, Firestone’s Union Jack IPA and their Pale 31. Warming up the beer now 🙂


Gail G May 5, 2013 um 4:48 pm

The whole family loved these. It was easy and I think the chicken could be made a day ahead and reheated. I used cut chicken breasts and my husband added hot sauce to his. You can really taste the IPA in the tortillas. My only suggestion is to add number of servings to the recipe. There were 4 of us and we ate it all with generous portions, but I probably had a little more chicken. I can’t wait for the book!


Keneena December 31, 2014 um 6:41 pm

Hi – these look amazing! A little harder to track down Masa here in Australia but I want to give these a try….do you think the tacos could be made ahead of time up to being rolled out and then cooked the next day?


Jackie January 2, 2015 um 10:44 am

I think that would be OK. Just cook the chicken ahead of time and heat when you need.


Nicki January 9, 2015 um 8:01 am

Does the alcohol cook out of the tortillas?


Jackie January 9, 2015 um 10:26 am

It mostly cooks off. If you are worried about it you can substitute warm water instead.


monica February 3, 2015 um 1:52 pm

Can these tortillas be frozen, if so then should they all be cooked first & then
cooled & frozen or should the raw formed dough be frozen & cooked as needed? how long would they stay fresh in the freezer? also does the brand
of masa used make a difference? thank you


Jackie February 4, 2015 um 10:00 am

Id cook them first, sprinkle a bit of masa between the layers, or layer them with parchment squares, wrap them in plastic wrap then put them in a freezer ziplock. Let them come thaw then quickly heat them in a pan before serving.


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