I like simple flavors; I like rustic cooking; I like spicy; I like southwestern flavors; I like the combination of sweet and salty; but something I don’t like much…olives. This is why the perfectly pretty and dainty tomato basil tartlets with olive tapenade didn’t make the cut. I honestly couldn’t tell if I liked them or not. I just couldn’t get around that overpowering olive flavor. If I would have only gone with my gut and replaced the olive tapenade with a rich tomato sauce – you would be reading a different post. But anyways, I digress…
Finally after a weekend of hot pans, mountains of dirty dishes and a load of unsatisfying cooking I made a real winner – shredded chicken tacos. Not your traditional ground beef hard shell tacos, but rather a shredded chicken taco with gooey Chihuahua cheese. Mix in some crisp lettuce, diced tomato, fresh cilantro and a bit of Siracha and you are set. This is a recipe that is nutritious – it is tasty – it is easy. It is all of those things and more. Hold onto this one – you may end up using it often.
Shredded Chicken for Chicken Tacos
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and quartered
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 4 dried chili peppers
- ¾ cup of your favorite beer
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot or saucepan and add water to cover. Turn the heat to high, bring to a boil. Partially cover and adjust heat so mixture simmers steadily. Skim any foam that comes to the surface. Cook until meat is very tender, about 40 minutes. Remove the chicken from the liquid and set aside to cool.
2. Strain the solids from the simmering liquid and return to the heat. Let simmer until slightly reduced. Turn off heat and let cool.
3. While your simmering liquid is cooling, shred your chicken thighs. Do so by pulling the pieces of chicken apart by hand – this seems to be the easiest and most effective way.
4. Once your simmering liquid is cooled, add about ½ cup of it back into the shredded chicken and toss. Your chicken is now ready; you can now assemble your shredded chicken tacos.
Shredded Chicken Taco Assembly
What You Will Need:
- Flour or corn tortillas, 6 inch in diameter
- Cheese, shredded – I like Chihuahua cheese for this recipe
- Lettuce, shredded
- Tomato, seeded and diced
- Cilantro, the leaves removed from the stems
- Sour cream
- Siracha, or your favorite hot sauce
1.) Wrap your tortillas in foil and place them in an oven at 350 Degrees to soften for 5-7 minutes.
2.) Lay your softened tortilla down on a plate, add your shredded chicken and top with your favorite toppings. Be sure to add hot sauce.
3.) Eat and repeat.