Monday, February 21, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken Chipotle Tacos

Let's be real, one of the best parts about a slow cooker is the convenience factor.  Don't get me wrong, it does a great job making food tender and delicious, but I can also do that by simmering something on my stove or cooking it in the oven.  The beauty of a slow cooker is that you can leave it on your countertop all day while you are at work and not worry about burning the house down.  Well, not worry too much about it, I guess.  The problem is that most slow cooker recipes are not really suitable for a weekday morning throw-in-the-ingredients-and-go.  I may manage to chop an onion before work, but I have no expectations of being able to pan fry some chicken before going to work.

That's why this slow cooker recipe is particularly wonderful.  Sure, it tastes great, but the magic lies in the fact that you throw in raw chicken before heading to work and then come home to delicious shredded chicken for tacos.  Assuming you can handle microwaving some tortillas, cutting a lime, and slicing up some iceberg lettuce, dinner is done.

I've made this recipe twice already and it is going to continue in rotation.  It uses chipotles for a bit of heat and smokiness.  The chicken has some kick to it, but add the amount of chipotles you feel comfortable with based on your heat tolerance level.  For me a year ago this would be about a 1 on a scale of 1-10.  Nowadays I'm more likely to go for a 5 as my idea heat level.

The recipe works well with chicken breasts or thighs, so use whichever you prefer.  It tastes a lot less time than any other taco meat method and had the bonus of being healthier than ground meats of any sort.  I like these tacos best without cheese, though I'm not sure why.  To me they taste best with shredded lettuce and a nice squeeze of a lime.  Sour cream is a perfect addition too, if you have that on hand.  So next time you are craving tacos, skip the ground meat and break out your slow cooker.  You won't be sorry.

Slow Cooker Chicken Chipotle Tacos
Adapted from Martha Stewart

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1-2 cups tomato salsa (your own or store bought)
1-2 canned chipotle chiles in adobe, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
Kosher salt
Ground pepper

For serving:
Taco shells/tortilla
Sliced iceberg lettuce
Sour cream

Add chicken, sliced garlic, chopped chipotles, salsa, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper, and chili powder in a slow cooker.  Mix until chicken is covered with other ingredients.  Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.  Do not remove lid until cooking is complete (or almost complete).  Pour chicken and sauce into a large bowl and shred with two forks (it should be falling apart).  Serve with heated taco shells or tortilla, shredded lettuce, sour cream, and a nice squirt of lime juice.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post! I have been looking for a slow cooker chicken taco recipe!


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