May 2, 2012

In the Crock-Pot: Mexican Shredded Chicken

There is nothing overrated about walking in the front door after a long day to the aroma of dinner simmering in the Crock-Pot.

Maybe it's all those years living in the Southwest, but there is nothing more comforting to me than Mexican food. And among my favorites, shredded chicken tacos. With Cinco de Mayo just a few days away, I couldn't help but be inspired for a new Mexican dish!

Recently while spending the afternoon with a friend of mine, he introduced me to his newest obsession: the Crock-Pot he received from his sister as a birthday gift. Now let me tell you, this guy can cook (yes, we have hosted dinner cook-offs with friends and competed against each other ... that's how much we love to play in the kitchen!) So when Jason says, "You have to try this ..." I know I"m going to be beside myself in short order. He introduced me to slow cooker chicken. Ummmmm.

I have always associated my Crock-Pot with pot roast, my mother's (infamous) shredded beef, and my homemade 3-bean chili (before the days I introduced Le Creuset in my kitchen.) Shredded chicken? Why hadn't I thought of that?? Thanks to Jason, I started researching recipes online, merged a few together, and this is what I came up with:

Mexican Shredded Chicken*
serves 6-8

2-1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (either frozen or thawed)
1 packet taco or fajita seasoning (I prefer the gluten-free varieties)
1 12-oz. jar of salsa or 1 can enchilada sauce (I prefer green sauce, but red is totally great, too)
1-1/2 cups chicken stock

*You can purchase all your ingredients for about $13 at Trader Joe's

Place all of the ingredients in the Crock-Pot - no need to stir. Cook on low for 6-hours (if thawed) or 9-hours (if frozen). Cooking times with Crock-Pots vary, so the true test is once the chicken falls apart when pierced with a fork. Shred the chicken directly in the Crock-Pot. Serve with flour or corn tortillas accompanied with shredded cheese, black olives, cilantro, lime wedges and sour cream.

Time crunch? Cook the chicken on high for 4-hours if you're home and can keep an eye on it.

xx JN

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