After spending most of Spring Break away from home, I finally got back in the kitchen today to try another new recipe. I chose the Hungry Girl’s Slow-Cookin’ Mexican Chicken in honor of St. Patrick’s Day…or not. The real reason was that Tex-Mex sounded good to me, and after finding out (courtesy of my Weight-Watching in-laws) that Mission’s extra-thin corn tortillas are only 1 point apiece, I wanted soft tacos for dinner. (I at least wore my St. Patty’s Day t-shirt while I was cooking up the Mexican feast.)
While I am clearly a fan of The Hungry Girl, one thing that I often do not like about her recipes is that she uses partial amounts of ingredients from cans and jars, therefore leaving me with half-a-can of this and one-fourth-a-jar of that. Either I have to go looking for other recipes calling for the same ingredients or put the extras in the fridge. Usually it’s the latter, and inevitably a few weeks later I come across said extras once again, now sporting a healthy growth of mold.
That being said, I decided to try this recipe anyway. Stay tuned to see if I use up my extra crushed tomatoes and diced green chiles before they go bad.
The chicken was easy to get in the crock pot; there are not too many ingredients and very little that needs chopping. I used chicken breast tenders, which I put straight into the crock pot as is. After 3 hours on high, I spooned the chicken tenders out to shred. The juices in the crock pot were very liquid-y, so instead of putting the shredded chicken back into the crock pot as the recipe says, I added the juices to the shredded chicken one large spoonful at a time. In the end, I added back most of the liquid, but I wanted to make sure the chicken wouldn’t be too runny and therefore messy on soft tacos.
I served the chicken on corn tortillas for me, flour tortillas for John. I chopped up romaine lettuce and tomatoes for filling. John made up a batch of quick guacamole and I whipped up The Pioneer Woman’s salsa to complete the tacos. In the end, the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. The chicken by itself was okay, not spectacular. It earned 3 stars by itself. The tacos put together, however, moved up to 3.5/4 star range. Guacamole truly makes everything better.
I am not sure whether I will make the chicken recipe again or not, but I enjoyed today’s trial, either way.
Slow-Cookin’ Mexican Chicken
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
½ cup roasted red peppers packed in water, drained and chopped
¼ cup canned diced green chiles
1 TB taco seasoning mix
½ TB garlic powder
¼ tsp red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1/8 tsp black pepper, or more to taste
1 ½ lbs raw boneless skinless chicken breasts, halved
1. In a crock pot, mix all ingredients except chicken. Add chicken and stir to coat.
2. Cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours (3 hours on high did the trick for me) or on low for 7-8 hours, until chicken is fully cooked.
3. Transfer chicken to a large bowl and shred with two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the crock pot and mix well.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: about 2/3 cup). Per serving, 3 PointsPlus.