The best thing about cooking food in the crock pot is that you can multitask while you cook. Usually I have other errands, chores, phone calls, e-mails, grad school work, etc. to complete in addition to cooking a tasty and HEALTHY meal. These are the days I depend on the crock pot. Also, crock pot dishes are usually excellent to have if you are having a bunch of people over: pork loin, chicken, vegetables…just throw it all in and ta-da! Instant party!
I’ve found that while eating at Mexican restaurants is relatively inexpensive, I feel like poo after I have to roll out of my chair to the car. The solution to this problem: shredded chicken tacos (in the crock pot of course!) This is probably the easiest recipe and dish to make…seriously! You could be the worst cook in the world and not mess up this recipe.
The original recipe does provide purty pictures as to how each stage of preparation looks, but for this dish you really don’t need visuals to know if you are doing it right or not. However, just in case you need to know what I crock pot looks like while cooking the chicken with the lid on, I have provided a visual below 🙂
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (rinsed in cold water)– (I cut my (range-free, no antibiotic) chicken breasts (from Kroger) into smaller chunks in order for it shred easier and cook a little bit faster. Also, I use between 4-6 chicken breasts, but I have a HUGE crock pot…so you be the judge of this. We had friends over ,and I did 18 chicken breasts and was still a success)
- Chopped onion (optional)– (If you use chopped onion, cut them smaller than shown in the picture. Otherwise, you may end up with a mouth full of onion instead of chicken.)
- Chopped green pepper (optional)–( We don’t like nor buy green peppers, so this is totally up to you!)
- 1 packet taco seasoning– (The downfall to taco seasoning is that is super high in sodium. You can use cumin and garlic powder to get the same taste…much better for you too! Also, paleo approved!)
- 16 ounces salsa (that’s 2 cups, if you’re using a larger bottle)– (If you are trying to meet paleo requirements, do not use store-bought salsa. See my salsa post for how to make realllllly tasty homemade salsa that meets paleo requirements. However, if you do not have the time or energy or ingredients to make salsa, I would suggest “Jack’s Salsa” instead. It is the freshest salsa, and it is preservative free. You can find it in the cheese/hummus section of Kroger or Publix.)
- Flour tortillas, corn tortillas, or taco shells– (Again, depending on how paleo you want to be, this would be optional. I use lettuce instead of taco shells or tortillas. I end up with a shredded chicken salad pretty much.)
- Toppings (optional): lettuce, sour cream, grated cheese, tomatoes, salsa, diced purple onions, olives, guacamole, etc.– (Again, here’s where you may it your own! Everything listed above, except cheese, is paleo!)
– Place a crock pot liner in the crock pot. This will mean a quick and easy clean up! Just be sure you don’t puncture the liner.
– I put a dab of olive oil in the botton of the crock pot and then add the chicken breasts, onion, and green pepper (optional).
– Mix the seasoning (or cumin and garlic powder) with the salsa and pour over the chicken. If you want to add water you can (but not too much) because the chicken will produce enough juice to keep it tender.
– Now cook the chicken! The original recipe says on high in the covered crock pot for 4-6 hours and low 6-8 hours. I don’t know about anyone else’s crock pot, but mine usually takes 4-5 hours on low–maybe! You will need to check the chicken every so often to make sure you don’t end up with mexican chicken soup.
-You will know the chicken is ready when you can easily shred it with a fork, or a plastic spatula as my significant other tried last time. (I would suggest shredding the chicken on a cutting board and putting it back in the crock pot unless you are going to eat it right away. Most crock pots have a “warm” setting; this will keep the food warm without continuing to cook it. )
-Finally, serve it up with your toppings of choice! Enjoy!