This month feels like an experiment in testing the limits of lazy dinners, seeing just how many days I can consecutively utilize my slow cooker before finally stashing it back in the cabinet. It’s also a challenge to gauge how many tacos I can truly handle.
Speaking of tacos, that’s a quest in itself. A few weeks ago, I made the perhaps overzealous decision to purchase a jumbo-sized package of tortillas at the wholesale grocery store. Now, I’m slowly realizing that it might have been a tad excessive, possibly to the tune of 200 tortillas too many. But hey, that’s life – you live, you learn, and you savor a few hundred tacos along the way. There are certainly worse dilemmas to have!
If you’ve been following along for a while, you might recall those Chicken Tinga Tacos I whipped up a few years ago. Well, this new recipe may strike you as quite familiar because it’s pretty much in the same ballpark. In fact, it’s so similar that you could say they’re both slow-cooked shredded chicken drenched in a smoky tomato-chile sauce, versatile enough to use in burritos, enchiladas, nachos, or tacos.
Here’s the backstory: When I embarked on creating this Slow Cooker Spicy Shredded Mexican Chicken, my initial plan was to make those tinga tacos again (mostly for myself, just to tackle the surplus of tortillas). Or, more accurately, I aimed to make something along those lines but using the ingredients I had on hand. I took some creative liberties with the flavors, like amping up the tomato, incorporating a touch of honey, and streamlining the ingredient list. But fundamentally, I expected them to taste quite similar.
- 2 ½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 ¼ cups (about 20 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- ¼ cup honey
- ¼ cup finely minced chipotles plus sauce from canned chipotles in adobo
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Juice of 3 limes
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- Taco fixings such as tortillas, chopped tomatoes, queso fresco, and additional cilantro, to serve.
Here are the steps to make Slow Cooker Spicy Shredded Mexican Chicken:
- In the bowl of a slow cooker, combine the chicken, crushed tomatoes, chipotle peppers, garlic, honey, chili powder, cumin, onion powder, and salt.
- Cover the slow cooker and cook on low heat until the chicken becomes easily shredable, which typically takes around 4-5 hours.
- Once the chicken is cooked, shred it and mix it into the flavorful sauce.
- Stir in the lime juice and add the chopped cilantro to enhance the flavors.
- Adjust the seasonings to taste, adding more salt or other spices if needed.
- Now, you can use this delicious spicy shredded Mexican chicken as a filling for enchiladas, burritos, or tacos. Get creative and enjoy your meal!