California Chicken Tacos with Corn and Red Cabbage Slaw

May 17, 2014
6 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4 to 6
Author Notes

This simple and delicious dish is my go-to summer recipe. The tastes and textures play well off of each other. The chicken can be grilled or baked, and all of the ingredients are perfectly fresh—the two together make one great taco. —Linda Burkhart

Test Kitchen Notes

This is a great mix-up for Taco Tuesday. The slaw was a great combination of all the usual taco fixings. Instead of cooking the corn in the husk, I cut the kernels off the cob and charred them in a cast iron skillet. Some leftover slaw in a warm tortilla made a solid not-sad-desk-lunch. —EmilyS1220

What You'll Need
  • Chicken:
  • 1 5-pound roasting chicken
  • 3 limes
  • 1 pinch salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste
  • Other Fillings:
  • 3 to 4 ears of fresh corn, husks attached
  • 1/2 medium-sized red cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1 bunch green onions, finely sliced
  • 6 ounces queso fresca, crumbled
  • 12 flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1 dollop sour cream (optional)
  • 1 handful Cilantro (optional)
  1. Place chicken in roasting pan, or prepare for grilling as you normally would. Generously salt the cavity. Zest the limes, then cut them in half. Gently loosen the skin of the chicken: Start at the neck, work back towards the breast, and then finish at the legs. Push the lime zest under the skin, spreading evenly. Squeeze the lime juice over the chicken and place the squeezed limes in its cavity. Dust chicken with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Place it in a 325° F oven for 1 hour 45 minutes, or grill as you normally would a whole chicken.
  2. Gently remove the cornsilk from the corn so that the cob can still rest in it's husk. Fill a large bowl or Ziplock bag with icy water and soak the corn for 15 to 20 minutes. Place corn in its husk on a medium-hot grill and cook for 25 minutes, turning as the husks char. Remove from grill and let cool, then remove kernels.
  3. Place cabbage in a bowl with the corn kernels, sliced green onions, and crumbled queso fresca. Squeeze the juice of the three limes over the mixture. Set aside.
  4. When chicken is finished cooking, let it cool and then remove meat, discarding the skin and bones. Serve the chicken pieces on a platter next to the corn, cabbage slaw, and warm tortillas.
  5. To assemble: Place the chicken on a tortilla, add slaw, sour cream, and cilantro (if desired), and roll into a taco or burrito.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • whym
  • Desired Cooking
    Desired Cooking
  • Millie | Add A Little
    Millie | Add A Little
  • Tereza

5 Reviews

whym September 3, 2022
So delicious! I can easily see myself making this recipe over and over again. By substituting a rotisserie for a home-roasted chicken, it came together in minutes with very few dishes. And the flavors worked really well together! The lime juice cuts through the soft, bready flavor of the flour tortilla, and the corn adds a note of sweetness that ties everything together.
Works with whatever type of cabbage you have handy. I had some green cabbage that I needed to use up, and this recipe worked like a charm. I also charred my corn & tortillas in a hot skillet, since I don't have a grill handy. Made a half-recipe and still have leftovers-- so I'm already looking forward to having these tacos again for lunch :)
Tereza September 9, 2015
Fun dinner option!
Desired C. December 7, 2014
Yummy! I will definitely be trying this one :)
Millie |. June 22, 2014
Yum! I love tacos and these look great for a taco bar/party!
Nicole June 12, 2014
I pulled this one together the other night and it was a great, fresh meal! I'm still eating the leftover slaw and it's great by itself, and I will probably make that on it's own as a side (I eat a LOT of cabbage these days). Living without a grill right now, I cut the corn off the cob and cooked them in my cast iron with some garlic, giving a bit of nice char. As someone who firmly believes that tacos should be served with as many toppings as possible, I topped the tacos with fresh mango salsa, avocado slices, and a squeeze of lime. The chicken wasn't the juiciest or most flavorful. Next time I will use Ina's never-let-me-down engagement chicken, subbing in limes for the lemons. This would also be great with fish!