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Bite-sized BBQ Pulled Chicken Sopes! Great make-ahead appetizer for backyard parties. Topped with BBQ pulled chicken, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, avocado and BBQ-spiked sour cream.
This post is brought to you in partnership with Stubb’s Bar-B-Que
On a sultry summer day, few things hit the spot like good barbecue — especially when you add chipotle, cumin, and tequila to the mix of flavors.
Sopes are thick, bite-sized tortillas shaped with a handy rim for holding in the sauce. Here they get topped with tender pulled chicken and a smoky, spicy, tequila-infused barbecue sauce.
These sopes are the perfect appetizer to serve at a backyard party while the grill is warming up. They’re like the Mexican version of sliders!
You can find pre-made sopes for this recipe at any Mexican supermarket, or you can also make your own using masa harina (corn flour).
To make your own sopes, first make the masa dough just as you would for corn tortillas. Then shape the sopes by pinching off walnut-sized pieces of dough and shaping them into a thick, flat patty with a slight rim. Fry them as directed in the recipe.
When it comes to that frying step, take care not to overcrowd the pan or the sopes won’t crisp up properly. Work in batches and drain the fried sopes on paper towels to absorb any excess cooking oil. Keep them warm in a low oven until you’re ready to pile them high with toppings.
Speaking of toppings, this barbecue pulled chicken is seriously simple and can even be made a few days ahead.
Spike some barbecue sauce with spices and tequila, add your chicken breasts, and cook until tender. Shred the chicken with two forks, and then return the chicken to the pan and toss with the sauce. Easy!
Chicken breasts with the bone in and the skin left on are best for this recipe. This gives both the meat and the sauce more flavor and helps make sure the meat stays moist. This said, you can certainly make this dish using chicken thighs or boneless, skinless chicken breasts if you prefer.
When you assemble these sopes, pile them with whichever additional toppings you like — shredded lettuce, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and avocado. Just don’t skimp on the sour cream! It’s a key component, one that reinforces the barbecue-y goodness of the meat.
Serve these pulled chicken sopes with a pitcher of margaritas or limeade nearby. Don’t expect any leftovers, either – these are a crowd-pleaser of the finest sort!
BBQ Pulled Chicken Sopes Recipe
Look for pre-made sopes at any Mexican grocery store, or make your own using masa harina.
To make your own sopes, first make the masa dough just as you would for corn tortillas. Fry them as directed in the recipe.
For the chicken:
- 3/4 cup Stubb’s Sticky Sweet Bar-B-Q sauce
- 1 tablespoon tequila
- 1 chipotle en adobo, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from the can of chipotles en adobo)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 large bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (3/4 to 1 pound total)
For the sopes:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus additional as needed
- 8 sopes (see Recipe Note)
For the toppings:
- 1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 large ripe tomato, finely chopped
- 2 pitted avocados, flesh removed and diced
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon Stubb’s Sticky Sweet Bar-B-Q sauce
1 Make the cooking sauce: Combine the barbecue sauce, tequila, chopped chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, cumin, lime juice and water in a medium saucepan. Stir thoroughly to combine.
2 Cook the chicken: Add chicken to the pan and turn to coat with sauce. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and continue to cook 20 to 25 minutes until the chicken is tender, no longer pink, and registers 165F in the thickest part.
Remove the pan from heat.
3 Shred the chicken: Remove chicken from poaching liquid and transfer to a cutting board. Reserve the reduced barbecue sauce. Let the chicken cool for 5 minutes.
Remove and discard skin and bones from chicken. Shred the chicken using your fingers or two forks.
4 Toss the chicken with sauce: Return meat to the pan and toss with sauce to evenly coat. Return to low heat and simmer to meld flavors and warmed through.
At this point, the chicken can be cooled and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Reheat over low heat on the stovetop before continuing, adding a little bit of water to the bottom of the pot to prevent it from sticking if needed.
5 When ready to serve, fry the sopes: Place a baking sheet in the oven and preheat to 225ºF degrees. Place a plate lined with paper towels near the stove.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add the sopes in a single layer with some space between each one. Work in batches to prevent overcrowding if necessary.
Fry for 2 minutes or until the underside is golden, then flip. Fry another 2 minutes or until golden. Transfer to the plate with paper towels to drain for a minute or two, then transfer to the oven.
Continue frying the remaining sopes. Add additional oil to the pan as needed.
6 Assemble the sopes and serve: Arrange the sopes on a platter and top each with a generous mound of pulled chicken. Add lettuce, cheese, tomato and avocado.
Whisk together the sour cream and barbecue sauce in a small bowl, then drizzle a spoonful over the top of each sope.
Serve immediately while warm.
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