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Still alive!  Still enjoying autumn in Winston-Salem.  It’s really lasted much longer here than it does further north, where cold and windy weather seems to strip trees earlier in the season.  My apologies for the lack of posts- I’ve still been cooking but frankly have just been too lazy to get on and tell ya about it.  With the holidays coming up, I am not promising any improvement, but will at the very least aim to post once a month.  I hope to pick things up again in the new year!

Tonight, Dr. Matthews and I are both eagerly anticipating the arrival of his sister, Julie, her husband, Matthew, their 2 1/2 month old daughter, Gwen and almost 8 month old son, Ian. They are coming for a long weekend visit and I have planned a couple of slow-cooker meals, plus maybe a pizza night, so as to spend less time in the kitchen and more time visiting.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being in the kitchen, but I also don’t want to get so wrapped up in preparing meals that I’m not making the most of our time.

The first of the two slow cooker meals I’ve planned is Martha Stewart’s slow cooker chili chicken tacos.  This was one of the first meals I made when I started using a slow cooker and one of Dr. Matthews’s original favorites.  It has very few ingredients (depending on how many fixings you like) and is crazy easy.  The secret is to use chicken thighs which, while not technically as good for you as breasts, pack a lot more flavor and moistness.

Slow Cooker Chili Chicken Tacos

Ingredients 

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6)
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (you can always increase this if you’re a garlic fan- more is always better!)
  • 1/2 cup prepared tomato salsa, plus more for serving (optional) (I use an entire large jar, plus have additional for serving)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo (I left these out this go-round, in case it got too spicy for Gwen, and am serving sriracha on the side for anyone who wants additional spice.  The chiles add a great flavor!  Go for one rather than two if you don’t like a lot of spice.   You can find them in the ethnic section at any grocery)
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 hard corn taco shells (I prefer soft)
  • Cilantro, shredded cheese, lime wedges, and sour cream, for serving (optional)
Not pictured: adobo chiles

Not pictured: adobo chiles

Directions 

  1. In slow cooker, combine chicken, garlic, salsa, chiles, chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper. Cover; cook on high, 4 hours (or on low, 8 hours). (I did low for 6 1/2 hours- thighs take longer than breasts but in my slow cooker still did not need quite 8 hours)

  2. Transfer chicken to a serving bowl, and shred, using two forks; moisten with cooking juices (or use your handy dandy kitchen aid mixer strategy, then dump back in the slow cooker). Serve in taco shells, with toppings, if desired.

We like to use a LOT of cilantro!

We like to use a LOT of cilantro!

These turned out great, even without the chiles.  I think the chili powder added plenty of spice and I used sriracha to give it a little more kick.  Not sure what Gwen will think, but Julie made slow cooker Asian glazed chicken (a previous recipe I posted that has some spice to it) and Matthew commented that Gwen gobbled it up!  If all else fails, I’ve got cheerios and “cackers” on hand with her name on them 🙂

I am also making slow cooker chicken and noodles and will try to stay motivated to post about that meal, as well.  It is an absolutely perfect and fool-proof fall meal that warms you to the bone!  Hope everyone has a great weekend 🙂

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