CROCKTOBER! Liz Campbell's Crockpot Shredded Chicken Tacos

October 7, 2020
Crockpot Shredded Chicken Tacos

Liz Campbell

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It's CROCKTOBER! The perfect time to share and showcase our favorite crockpot recipes. I LOVE my crockpot and I use it A LOT! I use it mostly to shred chicken that I can choose to use in a spinach lasagnia or maybe a tasty chicken salad... but my favorite crockpot recipe is my shredded chicken tacos. What's great about this recipe is that it can be as elaborate or as simple as you like. Enjoy tacos tonight!

I start with frozen chicken tenderloins that I defrost, but I've also been known to use fresh chicken breasts. I drain and toss the chicken into the crockpot and set to high. (This is where I remind you to use care with raw chicken and don't actually *toss* it in! Wipe down any surfaces the raw chicken touches and wash your hands as well!) I then add a bottle (or can) of Corona or Landshark or about a cup of margarita mix depending. You don't have to add alcohol here though, any sort of lime flavored liquid works - or you could use a little water or broth base if you like).

After the chicken is in the crockpot (where it's going to be for several hours), I start on the peppers. I like to use a combination of red, green and yellow peppers along with at least one jalepeno (or two if you want these really hot). I chop the peppers and add them to a sautee pay with a little oil (or bacon grease if I have it). I sautee them just long enough that you can start to really smell the aroma in the kitchen. Then I transfer these to the oven for a slow roast on about 200. 

Then I do the onions. These are sauteed until carmelized on the stove top. Don't let anyone tell you that you can carmelize onions in under 40 minutes, they are lying. ;)

While all this is cooking, I start the pico. This is my labor intensive act of love to myself. I love pico. Now, garden fresh tomatoes are really the best here, but it's fall, so I use grape tomatoes for my pico. I slice them into fours and add to a bowl. Then, I chop up a red or yellow onion until diced (sometimes I dice both). Finally, I add cilantro that has been finely chopped. Next step is garlic and I use a lot, but really this is to taste. I add the juice of one lime and then  I add salt and pepper and stir. And a little trick if you've never done it, is to add a bit of white sugar. This needs to rest so all the flavors can combine and the salt  can work it's magic. If I have leftover corn, I'll add that also (the photo shows about a cob or two of corn cooked and cut to toss in). On really special occassions, I also add mango (also in picture). 

Once the onions are sauteed, I add them to the crockpot along with taco seasonings (or fajita seasons). Sometimes, I will add some chili powder or a mix of the taco and fajita seasoning. Then I add the peppers from the oven and stir it all, cover and just let it cook still on high. 

Check it regularly and work to shred the chicken as it cooks. It's going to take a while for this to cook, but that's what great about a crockpot. You can get the kitchen cleaned up from the prep, you can play with the kids, you can do lots of things while dinner is filling the house with amazing aromas. 

When it's time to shred the chicken, just do it right in the crockpot. All I ever need is a fork or two. Then I lower the temp to medium and just let the shredded chicken and peppers really come together. 

When it's just about t ime for dinner, all you need to do now is heat the shells (soft or hard) and shred some cheese. 

They are so good. And what's great is you can totally revise this recipe. You can opt for no pico and use salsa, you can choose not to roast peppers or you can use different peppers. You can choose lettuce instead of pico. You can substitute the chicken for pork or beef. You really can do anything that tastes good to you! Sometimes, if I'm just too lazy, I've been known to just add a jar of salsa into the crockpot with the seasonings and chicken and ... that's still been awesome and easy.  

Crockpots make any version of any recipe really work. So these are my ideas and you get to infuse your own. 

Here's the grocery list in case you want to experiment this month...

Ingrediants:
Chicken
Red, Yellow, Green Peppers
Jalepeno Peppers
Taco & Fajita Seasonings
Red and Yellow Onion
Grape Tomatoes
Cilantro
(Corn, Mango) 
Salt
Pepper
Sugar
Garlic
Flour or Corn Shells (soft or hard)
(Jar of Salsa)