Slow Cooked Chicken Tacos

I’m like always eating tacos, but these chili chicken tacos are kinda my specialty: Juicy slow-cooked chicken breast that just shreds apart. Plus! You could use this meat for a lot of different Mexican dishes!

You’ll need:

  • chicken breasts
  • onion
  • garlic
  • bay leaves (lagerblad)
  • tomato paste
  • beer or water or chicken broth
  • vinegar
  • smoked paprika!
  • cumin (spiskummin)
  • chili powder
  • oregano
  • whole dried chilies (New Mexico, red chili, chipotle, etc.)
  • salt

For the tacos:

  • corn or flour tortillas
  • ‘queso fresco’ cheese (or the feta hack)
  • quick pickled radish (splash of red wine vinegar & salt)
  • red onion
  • cilantro (which is coriander! See blog header)

Queso Fresco hack:

When you make a nice slow cooked meat, you want to use the good stuff: queso fresco. But it’s hard to find where I live… SO! here is a little food hack using feta cheese as a substitution: Easy Mexican Queso Fresco Food Hack

How to:

First are going to go ahead and brown the chicken breasts in a little oil… your not cooking them through just browning the outside… then set aside.

We are going to start our chili chicken tacos the way most delicious things begin: With onion & garlic. Also, add your bay leaves… and a splash of water if needed to keep things from burning. Go ahead and cook that down.

Next, add in a splash of vinegar… it will sizzle and release all the nice brown bits stuck to the pan… that helps get more delicious into the chicken!

Add in a nob of tomato paste and your cumin, chili powder, oregano and salt. ALSO, the main event: smoked paprika.

I love a little heat, so I’m adding it a few dried chilies:  New Mexico, chipotle, and some random red chilies I found in the cabinet… chili flakes are good too.

Add in a nice lager beer… it helps to break down the meat and gives great flavor. You could just use water or chicken broth as well.

Finally, add the chicken breasts back to the pot and let that heat up to a nice simmer, then turn the heat down to low and cover. Slow and low is key.

Be patient… it will look like the chicken will never fall apart, but after 30 min or so it will soften up… give it another 30 min or so and it will be totally shredded.

This meat has so much flavor that I want to  keep the toppings simple… plus its so juicy & spicy that it’s like having salsa built into the meat! Enjoy!

 

Tip: Don’t throw out those whole chilies when the chicken is done! Chop them up and mix them into the meat or make a quick hot sauce with them… throw them into a sauce pan with just a little water, a splash of vinegar, and a sprinkle of cornstarch. Blend together with an immersion blender. Then, turn on the heat to medium and slowly heat it up. When it is bubbly and thick, remove from heat. Boom! Hot sauce!

Leftovers: Use in enchiladas, nachos, and quesadillas.

 

Related blog post: Homemade Corn Tortillas

Chicken Tacos