22 October 2011

chipotle chile chicken tacos

One great thing about living in Vancouver is the abundance of awesome Asian food. Every corner has a sushi place, or dimsum, or Thai, or incredibly authentic Vietnamese food. We've also come to love Korean food, which is a whole 'nother story.

Our hearts broke a little bit when we moved up here, though, because there is a great lack of good Mexican food up in the great white North. Apparently, no longer living in a bordering country to Mexico makes a difference. There's no Gorditos here, or Matador nachos, or tiny taco trucks with the best food you've ever shoved in your mouth like there are in Seattle. So we've been forced to take matters into our own hands; if we're going to eat good tacos, enchiladas and burritos, it will be in our own kitchen.

This is a recipe I discovered a few years ago and has become a staple of our dinner rotation. It's very simple to throw together, and it can simmer all day in the slow cooker or spend a couple hours in the oven depending on how far ahead you think. Either way, you get tender shredded chicken with a bit of a kick (from the secret ingredient) and tons of flavor for tacos, burritos, or whatever your little heart desires. I love making this recipe when we have guests; it can go in the oven while I make dessert, prepare toppings, and clean up the house.

The chicken is amazing on it's own, but we like to add black beans simmered in their liquid with a dash of cumin and chili powder, sauteed onions and bell peppers, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa for a true taco experience (which also makes the meat go farther... saving money is paramount these days).

The key to the success of this recipe is the chipotle chiles in adobo. They bring an amazing smokey flavor as well as quite a bit of heat. You may want to try using only one chile the first time you make this, and add more the next time if you want the extra heat.

Ready... set... FIESTA!

Chipotle Chicken Tacos
{adapted from Martha Stewart}

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 cup jarred salsa
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1-2 chopped chipotle chiles in adobo (found in the international section of most grocery stores)
ground pepper and salt to taste

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot or dutch oven with a heavy lid. If using the crock pot, set to 6 or 8 hours on low, stirring occasionally if able. If using a dutch oven, cook in a 300 degree oven for 2-2/12 hours, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked and falls apart easily with a fork.

Using two forks, shred chicken thighs and stir with juices and cooking liquid. Serve on tortillas, and top with desired toppings such as black beans, cheese, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, cilantro, lime wedges, and fajita vegetables.

1 comment:

He Cooks and She Bakes said...

Katie - this looks soooo good! I love any and all Mexican. Will have to try this! ;)

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