Tacos are always a welcome dinner in my house. New varieties are even more welcome. 🙂
These chicken tacos were a mildly sweet from the fresh orange juice. Because the seeds are removed from the chilies, the finished dish was not spicy at all. They were really delicious with all of the assorted toppings.
This recipe was adapted from 177milkstreet.com. We ate the tacos with refried beans, brown Basmati rice, and street corn on the side. Fresh and fabulous.
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
1 ounce guajillo chilies (5 medium), stemmed, seeded and torn or cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice (I used 4 large oranges)
5 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 T white vinegar
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp honey
1 teaspoon dried oregano or Mexican oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed (I used 9 thighs, about 2 1/2 pounds)
warm tortillas, for serving (I used Trader Joe’s corn-wheat tortillas)
diced white onion, for serving
sliced radishes, for serving
cilantro leaves, for serving
crumbled queso fresco, feta, or shredded Mexican cheese blend, for serving
sour cream, for serving
rice and refried beans, for serving, optional
Squeeze the orange juice into a liquid measuring cup.
In a 12-inch skillet over medium-high, toast the chile pieces, pressing with a wide metal spatula and flipping halfway through, until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes total. (I used a 12-inch stainless steel all-in-one pan.)
Transfer to a small bowl and pour in the juice; press on the chilies to submerge. Let stand until the chilies have softened, about 10 minutes. Set the skillet aside. (I placed the chilies in the liquid measuring cup with the freshly squeezed orange juice.)
In a blender, combine the chilies and juice, garlic, vinegar, coriander, honey, oregano and 1 teaspoon salt. Puree until smooth, about 30 seconds. (I used a Vitamix.)
Pour the puree into the reserved skillet and bring to a boil over medium-high.
Trim the chicken thighs of any excess fat to prevent the finished dish from becoming greasy.
Nestle the chicken into the sauce, cover and cook over medium-low, stirring and flipping the chicken halfway through, until tender and opaque when cut into with a paring knife, about 20 minutes.
Using tongs, transfer the chicken to a large plate and set aside until cool enough to handle, 10 to 15 minutes. Using 2 forks, shred into bite-size pieces.
While the chicken cools, bring the sauce to a simmer over medium-high and cook, stirring, until thickened and reduced to 1 cup, about 10 minutes.
Stir the shredded chicken into the sauce, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
Warm the tortillas. (I microwave them in a tortilla warmer with a damp towel for about 1 minute.)
Serve the shredded chicken with warm tortillas and assorted toppings, as desired.
This is a great summer meal. We have already tried a couple versions!
The first time I served this meal, I shredded grilled chicken thighs and dressed them with Trader Joe’s mustard barbecue sauce. We topped them with the quick dill pickles (below) and ate them as classic sandwiches.
The second time, I served the sandwiches in an open face fashion and we ate them with a knife and fork. I shredded a rotisserie chicken and dressed the meat with the tomato-based barbecue sauce (below) and topped them with my favorite Easy Fridge Dill Pickles.
This recipe was adapted from Sara Moulton.com. I used various barbecue sauces and pickles. I also served the sandwiches on slices of a Honey Beer Bread loaf. We ate the sandwiches with potato chips on one occasion and with homemade Curly Fries on the second occasion. Corn on the cob would also be great. The original recipe suggests serving them with cole slaw- next time!
I have made slow-cooker pulled chicken sandwiches in the past but felt like they would be improved with slaw. This version fulfilled that wish! We ate them on soft potato rolls with chips. It was a wonderful, casual dinner that we enjoyed outside on a beautiful night.
This recipe was adapted from Just Cook It! 145 Built-to-be-Easy Recipes that are Totally Delicious by Justin Chapple. I used broccoli slaw as a base for the cole slaw topping and opted to not toast the rolls. With minimal preparation required in the morning, it’s a great dish to serve after a busy day.
Yield: Serves 6 to 8
For the Pulled Chicken:
1 cup apple cider
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, finely grated
freshly ground black pepper
3 pounds boneless, skinless, chicken thighs (about 8 to 10)
potato sandwich rolls, split, toasted if desired, for serving
slaw (recipe below), for serving
For the Slaw:
1/3 cup mayonnaise
3 T apple cider vinegar
3/4 tsp celery seeds
12 ounces broccoli slaw (Trader Joe’s) or Brussels sprouts or shredded cabbage
1 large Ruby Frost or Granny Smith apple, cored and julienned
1 very firm Anjou or Bartlett pear, cored and juilienned
freshly ground black pepper
To Make the Chicken:
In a slow cooker, whisk together the apple cider, ketchup, sugar, vinegar, garlic, 2 tsp coarse salt, and 1 tsp pepper.
Add the chicken thighs and mix well.
Cover and cook on Low for 6 to 7 hours or High for 3 to 4 hours, until the chicken is very tender.
Using 2 forks, shred the chicken in the sauce and then season generously with salt and pepper.
To Make the Slaw:
In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vinegar, and celery seeds.
Using a mandoline set to 1/8″, julienne the apple and pear. Slice the Brussels sprouts lengthwise by hand, if using.
Add the fruit to the mayonnaise mixture, followed by the shredded cabbage/broccoli/Brussels sprouts.
Season with salt and pepper and mix.
Chill until ready to serve.
Pile the pulled chicken on soft or toasted potato buns, top with slaw, and serve.
Note: The pulled chicken can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before serving.
I can’t believe it, but I am tired of pulled pork. What is even more surprising is that my husband is in agreement! This was a nice variation and the sauce was tasty with a subtle spicy kick; I omitted the liquid smoke as I am not partial to smoky flavor. The chicken was really moist even after five hours in the slow-cooker too.
This recipe was adapted from Cook’s Country Magazine, via cookingwithauntjuju.com and talkingonmagazines.com. Perfect to feed a crowd. Perfect for guests because it can be made ahead of time and reheated in the slow-cooker prior to serving.
We ate it with Provencal Tomatoes and corn on the cob but it may have needed coleslaw and potato salad (too?!?). Next time… 🙂 Nice!
Yield: Serves 10 to 12
4 (10-12 oz) bone-in split chicken breasts
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
2 T vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 tsp chili powder
2-3 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
4 oz (1/2 cup) tomato paste
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup molasses
2 T brown mustard
4 tsp apple cider vinegar
4 tsp Sriracha or other hot sauce, plus more for serving, if desired
3/4 tsp liquid smoke, if desired
12 sandwich rolls (I prefer potato rolls)
Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Generously season with salt and pepper.
Combine onion, oil, garlic, chili powders, cayenne, and tomato paste in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave until the onion softens slightly, about 3 minutes.
Transfer the onion mixture to the slow-cooker and stir in the ketchup, molasses, mustard, and cider vinegar.
Add the chicken to the slow-cooker and toss to combine with sauce. Cover and cook on low for 5 hours, or until chicken shreds easily with a fork.
Transfer cooked chicken to a cutting board or rimmed baking sheet and loosely tent with foil. Let rest for 15 minutes.
Using a ladle or large spoon, skim the fat off the surface of the sauce. Discard.
Stir the hot sauce and liquid smoke (if using) into the sauce. Cover to keep warm.
Remove and discard chicken breast skin and bones. Coarsely shred the breast meat using 2 forks. Roughly chop the thigh meat into 1/2-inch chunks.
Return the meat to the slow-cooker and combine with sauce. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve on sandwich rolls with hot sauce to pass at the table, if desired.