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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

It all started last Christmas, when my stepbrother gave me a crock pot.  I'm not a great cook, but there are a few things that I make well.  The crock pot has been something I can use to make things that are simple, but taste like I slaved over a stove for hours!

A common problem in our household is the issue of finding food that both my husband and I will eat.  We're both rather picky and quite stubborn.  In the past, we've made chicken tacos (I won't eat ground beef and he won't eat ground turkey, so this is our compromise), but ground chicken just doesn't cook up well, and the taco seasoning mix turns to sludge.  I finally found a solution that we both love:  Crock pot shredded chicken!  It's so easy, and perfect for cooking in the summertime so you don't have to stand over a hot stove or hang out in the kitchen:


2.5 lb bag of frozen chicken breasts (about six chicken breasts)
2 packages of Ortega taco seasoning (or whatever type you prefer)
1.5 cups chicken broth

Other taco ingredients you will want once the chicken is done:
Tortilla shells (I prefer burrito shells for these, as they can be messy)
Shredded cheese
Hot sauce

First, put your chicken breasts into the crock pot (right out of the freezer).
Add 1.5 cups of chicken broth (or, for less sodium, 1 cup chicken broth and 1/2 cup water)

Set your crock pot to high for 4 hours.  All you need to do is turn the chicken breasts over after 2 hours.

Once time is up, use a fork and remove the chicken breasts from the crock pot and put them on a cutting board.  Using 2 forks, shred them.  Make sure to pick out any pieces of gristle and throw them away.

If there seems to be a lot of extra liquid in the crock pot, be sure to scoop it out and dispose of it at this point.  There will also be chicken fat floating around at this point, and I usually remove most of the larger chunks, but it will add flavor if you leave it. You may leave it in or take it out. At this point, there should be some liquid, but not "soup."  The proper amount is not an exact science, but I aim for about one cup of liquid or less.  If your chicken comes out a little dry (it shouldn't), then I usually leave some liquid in the crock pot and store the chicken in the liquid, that way the leftovers taste pretty good. Again, you would rather have too much liquid than not enough, because you can always take more out or cook it down more, but it's more difficult to add water later.

Add the shredded chicken back into the crock pot.Add 2 taco seasoning packets to the crock pot and stir well.  Leave the lid off and let the liquid cook off until desired consistency (optional step as necessary).

The finished product should look like this:

Now, you're ready to have delicious shredded chicken tacos!

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