Archive for Mexican

Ground Chicken Tacos

Adapted from 365 Days of Slow Cooking

Mmm. Tacos. Honestly, tacos are probably one of my favorite foods. Rick’s, too.

When I told him I was making ground chicken tacos for dinner, he kind of gave me the side-eye.

“What? Don’t you think it sounds good?”

“No, no, it sounds good,” he said. “I just don’t know why you keep taking something so good and changing it.”

You see, he likes the traditional ground beef tacos. And if I had to choose only one, I’d say those are my favorite, too. But I like to try different types of tacos every now and then.

Pulled Pork Tacos
Pulled Pork Tacos #2
Chicken Tacos
Cafe Rio Chicken Tacos

And now these Ground Chicken Tacos. Yum yum. I’ve recently realized how good ground chicken is, so these really hit the spot. But, despite how much Rick and I both liked these, next time I put tacos on the menu, I guess we’ll have to go back to traditional ground beef. 🙂


Ground Chicken Tacos

1 pound ground chicken
1/2 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
8 oz. can tomato sauce

Directions:
Place the ground chicken in your crockpot, breaking up the meat as much as possible (it does not need to be browned first). Add the onion, garlic, and spices. Add the tomato sauce and stir gently to combine, but don’t over stir.

Cook on high for 2 hours or low for 4 hours. At end of cook time, drain the juices if desired. Serve with your favorite taco fixings, or on top of a bed of lettuce as a taco salad!

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Salsa Chicken Take 2

This new recipe for salsa chicken took a roundabout way of getting here. It all started when I came across this recipe for Salsa Chicken Pasta and decided it sounded really, really good. The only problem was, I didn’t have any leftover salsa chicken on hand. I decided to make some salsa chicken early in the week to use as a taco filling, then use the leftovers for the Salsa Chicken Pasta.

I immediately went to my go-to recipe for Salsa Chicken, but decided I wanted something different this time around. Stephanie Cooks recommended this recipe, so I decided to give it a shot.

This recipe was so good! It was much lighter than my original Salsa Chicken recipe, as it wasn’t weighed down by the heaviness (both in taste and in calories) of the cream of mushroom soup and sour cream. I really enjoy both of these salsa chicken recipes, so I can see myself going back and forth between the two depending on what I’m in the mood for at the time.


Salsa Chicken

1.5 lb. chicken breasts
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 cup salsa
1/4 cup taco seasoning (or 1 packet)
1 tsp. cumin

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in your crockpot, stirring to combine. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. At end of cook time, shred with two forks. Enjoy!

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Chicken Taco Bowls

Source: Budget Bytes

I made this recipe as part of my online cooking club. I love almost any Mexican recipe, so I was really excited to try this one.

It wasn’t until we were eating dinner that I realized this tasted very similar to something that I had made before: Santa Fe Chicken. After investigating this recipe that I had blogged in July of last year, I saw that the ingredients are, in fact, pretty similar. However, I prefer this Chicken Taco Bowls recipe because the ingredients are even simpler and cheaper. Why use two cups of chicken broth when you don’t have to? This will definitely be one of my go-to recipes when I need to come up with a meal with pantry staples.

Chicken Taco Bowls
1.5 lb. chicken breasts
16 oz. salsa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
8 oz. frozen corn
1 tbsp. chili powder
1/2 tbsp. cumin
1/2 tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
black pepper to taste

Directions:
Place the chicken breasts in your crockpot. Then, dump in the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. (Add about 1/4 cup water if your mixture seems too thick.) Cook on low for 8 hours. At end of cook time, shred chicken and stir back into the mixture. Serve over rice. Top with cheese and cilantro, if desired.

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Chicken Taco Soup

Source: Allrecipes.com

I made this recipe because it was chosen for a cooking club that I’m a part of. I was really excited to try this, and honestly, I can’t believe I hadn’t made anything like it before. I’ve made two Taco Soup recipes in the past, but both of them involved beef and not chicken. I was definitely looking forward to trying this one.

You may notice one unique ingredient: the beer. I was a little worried about this, especially after adding it to the rest of the ingredients in the crockpot. I’ll just say that it was a very interesting combination of smells. But as it turns out, there was nothing to worry about. The soup was really, really good. It had the perfect amount of spice from the Rotel, and the beer gave it a little bit of a bitter taste. Next time, I might replace the beer with a cup and a half of chicken broth to see which version I like better.


Chicken taco soup

1 medium onion, chopped
1 can chili beans
1 can black beans
1.5 cups frozen corn
8 oz. can tomato sauce
12 oz. can or bottle of beer
2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 package taco seasoning
3 chicken breasts (I used 1.2 pounds)

Directions:
Place onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, beer, and tomatoes in your crockpot. Add taco seasoning, and stir to combine. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours.

At end of cook time, shred the chicken breasts. Stir the shredded chicken back into the soup until well combined. Serve topped with shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips, if desired.

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Tomatillo Chicken Tacos

This is the second recipe I made as part of this year’s March Madness Tournament, hosted by 365 Days of Slow Cooking. Unlike the Tomatillo Cream Cheese Enchiladas, I was really looking forward to this recipe. Let’s face it—I like tacos. Pretty much any kind, actually. I had never cooked with tomatillos before (and rarely cooked with any other pepper besides bell peppers), so I was excited to try something new.

Honestly, though, this recipe really disappointed me. I was worried that the chicken would end up being too spicy, or maybe I just wouldn’t like the flavors of the peppers because I had never really had them before. That wasn’t the case at all—in fact, it was actually pretty bland. We were planning on having leftovers for dinner later in the week, but I’m going to plan to use them in another dish instead, because I really have no desire to eat these tacos again.

But! Karen from 365 Days of Slow Cooking gave this recipe 5 stars, so it’s definitely not a bad recipe. Everyone has different tastes, of course. Maybe I’m just finding out that I don’t really like tomatillos. If you read through the list of ingredients and think that this is something you would like, I encourage you to give it a try.

So, which recipe won this round? If you had asked me what my prediction was before I made either recipe, I would have told you these tacos, hands down. However, I was proven wrong. The winner is the Tomatillo Cream Cheese Enchiladas!

Tomatillo Chicken Tacos
1 lb. chicken breast
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
8-10 medium tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed well and halved
1 red onion, diced
1 jalapeno chile, halved lengthwise, stemmed and seeded and chopped coarsely
1 poblano chile, stemmed and seeded and chopped coarsely
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp lime juice

Directions:
Place chicken in your crockpot. Add the onion, chiles, garlic, oregano, and cumin, stirring to combine. Add in the tomatillos. Cook on low for 6–8 hours.

At end of cook time, remove chicken and shred. Strain the liquid from the slow cooker into a bowl. Puree the strained solids in a blender (or use an immersion blender). Add puree and the chicken back into your crockpot and stir well. Add more cumin, salt, and pepper to taste, as well as 2 tsp. lime juice. If needed, add in some of the strained liquid.

Serve wrapped up in tortillas with sour cream, cilantro, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes and other toppings of your choice. Or as an alternative, serve atop a nice salad.

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Tomatillo Cream Cheese Enchiladas

I’m participating in the Slow Cooker March Madness Tournament again this year! Last year, I participated in two rounds of the tournament and had a lot of fun. My first match-up was between Chicken Cordon Bleu and Creamy Corn Chowder in Round 1 of the tournament. For Round 3, Zuppa Toscana was matched up against Cafe Rio Chicken. From participating in this contest, I discovered four fantastic dishes that I might not have chosen to make on my own. I’m hoping that happens this time around as well!

This year, I chose among recipes that were already paired in duos. These Tomatillo Cream Cheese Enchiladas will take on Tomatillo Chicken Tacos. Check back next week for the winner!

Right off the bat, I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to this recipe. Even coming from me, the girl who loves her crockpot, a crockpot enchilada recipe seems counterproductive. You still have to do all the work in rolling the enchiladas, so there’s no shortcut there, and not to mention the fact that the cook time is 2 hours on high. With working full time, I get the best use out of my crockpot during the work week when I can set something on low for 8 hours and come home to a nice dinner that’s ready and waiting. With a recipe that only cooks for 2 hours, that forces me to make this recipe on the weekend. It’s just not feasible to come home after work, prepare the enchiladas, and then wait 2 hours to actually eat them. In that case, I might as well bake them.

With that being said, this dish was really good. As Rick said, he was “pleasantly surprised.” He feared that the enchiladas would be soggy, but that was not the case at all! This recipe would be great in the crockpot on those hot summer days when you don’t want to heat up your oven. I’ll definitely plan on making these enchiladas again, even if that means baking them in the oven instead.


Tomatillo Cream Cheese Enchiladas

2 1/2 cups shredded chicken
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can cream of chicken soup
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
8 flour tortillas (I used 9)
16 oz. jar tomatillo salsa verde
1 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I used cheddar)

Directions:
In a bowl, combine the chicken, beans, cream of chicken soup, cream cheese, garlic powder, cumin, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Stir until well incorporated.

Use about 1/3 cup of filling and spoon down the middle of each tortilla.  Roll up and place in the bottom of a large crockpot that has been sprayed heavily with non-stick cooking spray.  You’ll have to place some on top of others to make it all fit.

Pour jar of salsa on top of the enchiladas. Cook on high for about 2 hours.  When there is about 15 minutes left, sprinkle the cheese over the top and let melt. Serve with sour cream and garnish with lime and cilantro.

Note: The back side of your crockpot (side opposite of the controls) typically cooks much hotter.  Use a foil collar to make sure the enchiladas on that side don’t get burned.

How to make a foil collar: Layer and fold sheets of heavy duty foil until you have a six layered foil rectangle. Press the collar into the back side of the slow cooker insert; the food will help hold the collar in place during cooking.

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Pork Barbacoa

The first time I had Chipotle was in 2003. We were in college, and Rick and I had just begun dating. They were passing out coupons on campus for buy one get one free burrito, so we eagerly headed across the street to get some cheap food. I don’t remember much about what exactly I ordered on my burrito, but I remember not liking it. Really not liking it. So much so that I had horrible nightmares that night about having to eat it again. The nightmares kept me up all night. It was all I could think about.

It was awful.

Flash forward to July 2011 — 8 whole years later, and I had not had Chipotle again since that first time. The fear of having nightmares kept me away, until finally, Rick convinced me to try it again.

Thinking back on it, I have a feeling it was whatever salsa I got that gave me such horrible memories. This time around, I skipped the salsa and got tomatoes instead, hoping that they would do the trick.

I was bound and determined to take that first bite with an open mind. Hmm … this might not be so bad after all. I finished 3/4ths of the burrito, and decided that while it’s still not my favorite, I wouldn’t be opposed to having it again sometime if Rick wanted it. He promised not to make me go too often.

However, Chipotle continued to hang around in the back of my mind. A couple weeks later, Rick and I were trying to decide where to grab some lunch.

“Well, if you wanted to go to Chipotle, I wouldn’t mind … ,” I said.

And thus began my obsession.

We did go to Chipotle that day, and it was just as good as the first time. After ordering a barbacoa burrito, something clicked in the back of my mind … I think I’ve seen a recipe for barbacoa before! Maybe I could make a knock-off version of these fabulous burritos at home!

And that’s just what I did. While these burritos are no substitute for the original, they taste great and are super fun to make. Plus, they come without the guilt of going out to eat all the time … a win-win!

Pork Barbacoa
Adapted from Kelly Be Well

2.5 lb. pork roast
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 cup brown sugar
6 oz. taco sauce
10 oz. Coke

Directions:
Place roast in the bottom of your crockpot with the garlic and onions. Pour enough water alongside the roast so it is half-way covering it. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Remove roast from crockpot and shred the meat with two forks. Drain the water and add shredded pork back into the crockpot, along with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 4-6 more hours.

We ate this as a burrito filling with cilantro lime rice, black beans, lettuce, tomato, sour cream, and cheese.

Enjoy!

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