There are certain dishes that consistently work. They come together perfectly, they're easy to prepare and everybody loves to see them served when they come to the table. As a working mom and a dietitian, I know this dish is not only delicious but it's filling and healthy! The perfect combination to make this a staple in the menu rotation at (what my daughter calls) "Mama's Kitchen."
This recipe is a fabulous 2-for-1 hit. Part one is the slow-cooked chicken and part two is assembling the tacos, This recipe makes so much food that I will often use the chicken in tacos the first night and the next night I'll either use it in burritos wrapped in whole wheat flour tortillas, as a quesadilla filling or I'll add over it a fresh salad for a quick lunch to take to work. Just like a good lasagna, I think my slow cooked chicken tastes even better the following day!
It's no secret that I love the set-it-and-forget-it cooking method. Every time I use my slow cooker, I thank myself when I walk through my door after a long day at work. The house smells amazing and I know that dinner will be ready in a snap because the hardest part is already done! I often tell people that using my slow cooker feels like my evening-self is giving my morning-self a high-five. Why? For being a little more organized than usual and for relieving myself of the whole "what's for dinner" evening angst. The night before, I chop up all my vegetables, season the chicken and take out all the pantry items I need so there's limited fumbling around during my morning rush. This way, everything is ready to be dropped right into the slow cooker and the only thing I need to remember to do, is turn it on!
This recipe uses a combination of fresh ingredients and healthy pantry staples. The vegetables take on a wonderful flavor from the chicken and the meat is melt-in-your-mouth tender. You can also use any leftover broth for soup or as gravy in a second dish! To set up your taco station, line up a stack of warm corn tortillas, shredded chicken and your toppings. Even better, have everything set out on the table and have everyone assemble their own tacos. It's great for a family dinner or a night with friends!
"using my slow cooker feels like my evening-self is giving my morning-self a high-five."
Slow Cooked Shredded Chicken Tacos
Recipe by Christy Wilson
Serves: 16-18 tacos
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 8 hours
+ For slow cooked chicken:
- 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, diced
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 1 rib celery, sliced
- 5 medium mushrooms, chopped
- 2 1/2 pounds organic chicken thighs
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon whole dried Mexican oregano, smashed between your palms
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup torn cilantro leaves
+ Topping for tacos:
- chopped cilantro
- diced tomato
- shredded cheddar cheese
- diced avocado or guacamole
- freshly squeezed lime juice
- Cut all vegetables and add to slow cooker.
- Season chicken with all dry seasonings listed (from paprika to ground black pepper).
- Lay chicken on top of the vegetables and pour tomatoes, chicken broth and cilantro over the meat and vegetables.
- Cover and cook on low heat setting for eight hours.
- Once chicken is cooked, transfer a few pieces of meat and 1/4 to 1/2 cup broth out of the slow cooker into a large bowl. With two forks, shred the meat. Continue adding chicken and some broth to the bowl until all meat is shredded. Either transfer meat back into the cooker to keep it warm, or keep it in a separate bowl for easy taco assembly.
+ To Assemble Tacos:
To warm corn tortillas do one of the following:
Over a cast iron griddle (a comal or placa), warm corn tortillas individually
Stack four to six corn tortillas wrapped in foil in a 250 degree Fahrenheit oven for 10-15 minutes
Stack four to six corn tortillas wrapped inside a damp cloth towel and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until pliable
Lay down a tortilla and fill with about 1/4 cup shredded slow cooked chicken, two teaspoons of slow cooked vegetables, one teaspoon of cilantro, a tablespoon of diced tomato, one tablespoon of shredded cheese, diced avocado and juice from 1/2 a key lime.
Repeat process and enjoy!
Nutrition Facts per serving: 2 tacos
Calories: 160; Fat: 6gr; Saturated Fat: 1.5gr; Trans Fat: 0gr; Sodium: 80mg; Total Carb: 14gr; Dietary Fiber: 3gr; Sugar: 2gr; Protein: 12gr; Vit A: 10%; Ca+: 4%; Vit C: 10%; Iron: 4%
*RD NOTE: Nutrition based on the following serving of food: 2 corn tortillas, 1/2 cup cooked chicken, 1 tbsp cooked vegetables, 2 tsp cilantro, 2 tbsp diced tomato, 2 tbsp shredded cheese, 1 tsp lime juice, 2 tbsp diced avocado
Enjoy! Buen provecho!