Oct 14, 2012

Easy Dinner: Mexican Shredded Chicken

Steve and I have come a long way in preparing food for ourselves in the almost 10 years that we've been married.  Ten years ago, my repertoire of meals included ramen noodles, boxed macaroni and cheese, and Hot Pockets, and that was the extent of my culinary knowledge.  If I couldn't follow directions on a package, I was at a loss.  A few years into our marriage we discovered that not only was eating mostly pre-packaged foods making a negative impact on our health, it was also squeezing the life out of our checkbook.

Since then Steve has become an accomplished chef- he's the type of guy who just puts things together that seem like they'd make good flavors together and it turns out delicious.  He's a total improviser led by his creativity and taste buds.  I have traveled a more left-brained path.  I've slowly tried recipes, tossed the ones that we didn't love and stashed the ones that we did in my recipe binder.  This process kicked into high gear in the last two years as we've experimented with various methods of low-carb eating (paleo, keto, South Beach) and has accelerated even more with the advent of Pinterest (seriously, I should do advertisements for it, I love it that much).  What has resulted is about a collection of about two dozen road-tested, low cost-per-serving, easy to prepare, super-yummy, not-bad-for-your-health-or-your-waistline recipes.

One of my favorite go-to recipes is for Mexican shredded chicken (I found it here).  It tastes as good as anything you'd order in a Mexican restaurant and the texture is a million times better- it's nice and juicy and you can customize how thin your shred is.  We will make a batch, use some for chicken tacos or chicken taco salad (minus the taco shell for less carbs).  We'll make some extras to take for lunches during the week.  We'll use it to make chicken avocado soup, which is another favorite of ours.  I've been toying with the idea of tying to find a low-carb variation of chicken enchiladas that I could try it with, too (I love me some enchilada sauce!).

The best part of this recipe for me is that it is sooooo easy.  If you can boil water, you can do this.  If you have enough time to order take-out, you have enough time to make this.  Here's how:

Put six thawed chicken breasts in your crockpot.

Nude food.

Sprinkle enough taco seasoning on to completely cover the chicken (one store-bought packet should do it).

Dry rub, minus the rubbing.

Pour about 16 oz. of salsa on top (we are too lazy to make our own salsa so we use the store-bought stuff).


Set your crockpot to cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4.

I do this on a weekday morning on my way out the door.  It takes about 5 minutes to get everything assembled in the crock pot and then I'm done.  When I get home, the house always smells wonderful.  The chicken should be fork tender, so just use a dinner fork and shred those babies (it takes about 2 minutes).

Not Jillian Michaels' meaning of the word "shred."

This night we used the chicken for taco salads.  It took us about 5 minutes to cut the lettuce and slice the avocados, and we had a delicious, low-carb dinner for about $3 per serving.  We packaged some of the leftovers to make two lunches, and about 2/3 of the chicken is left for us to use again (it'll go in the freezer if we decide not to use it right away).

A little bit of taco goodies on a salad.
Steve's version looks like a little bit of salad on taco goodies.

For more ideas, follow my recipe board in Pinterest.

1 comment:

  1. Just found this on pinterest! What do you think about using frozen thighs instead of breast? Would the cooking time need to be adjusted? THX