Danielle Walker's "Against All Grain" cookbook has impressed me again. This time with a delicious recipe for chicken that can be used for tacos or lettuce wraps. There are many variations if you google 'slow cooker chicken tacos', but I like this recipe as it uses real ingredients, such as diced tomatoes, Serrano chilies, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, coriander.....not just taco seasoning and salsa.
I knew it was going to be good as it looked and smelled great before I even turned on the slow cooker. I like that the recipe uses both chicken thighs and breasts as each one used alone has its own issue. I think the former would be too moist and the latter too dry. There is a bit of prep as one has to chop onions, seed and chop peppers, mince garlic, chop cilantro and measure six spices not to mention the shredding of the chicken at the five hour mark before it cooks on low for one more hour. The biggest challenge was trusting the process. I didn't feel that five hours on low was going to cook 2 pounds of chicken (use one pound of each), but the magic of the slow cooker worked out just fine! I had to resist the urge to turn it onto high many times throughout the day.
In the future, I am going to have to plan ahead for this one. Due to the cooking time of five hours, then shredding, then one more hour of cooking, it will be tricky to make this on a work day (unless I come home at lunch to turn it on). I can see myself making this on a Sunday to have leftovers for the week. This recipe would also be VERY popular for our staff lunches when we have the theme of wraps or Mexican Fiesta. I could also see this dish making its appearance to a group dinner or to a Grey Cup party. Of course, this recipe lends itself to MANY uses and variations. It would be a great base for a Mexican Soup or Chili by adding in beans, corn, broth, etc. There is no shortage of things to do with the leftovers as it does make a bit.
All in all, it was a nice change from our usual tacos with ground turkey or grilled fish. We used soft corn tortillas heated up and had the usual fixin's like lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, avocado, salsa, sour cream, and hot peppers as our topping choices. You know it is a delicious meal when your husband gives you a bow as he leaves the table. I would say this recipe is a keeper!
Slow Cooker Chicken for Tacos
(it was so good, I forgot to take pictures of the tacos...oops
this is what we had leftover after our feast)