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Crock Pot Chicken Tacos with Mexican Rice + Local Panera Get Together

Posted Sep 27 2012 4:38pm

We’ve got a code red here, people! Or is it a code blue? I can never remember which one requires immediate attention be paid to the situation at hand…probably both, now that I think about it.

Screw it – we’ve got a code crock pot here, people!

I need to inform you of one of the easiest, most delicious crock pot recipes I have ever come across, so you can go get the ingredients to devour Crock Pot Chicken Tacos with Mexican Rice ASAP!

Lean chicken breasts are seasoned and spiced with just 2 ingredients – taco seasoning and jarred salsa – then cooked low and slow in a crock pot until they’re so tender they simply fall apart.

The juicy, shredded chicken is then layered in crunchy taco shells with shredded cheese, and popped into a piping hot oven to warm, melt, and create an irresistibly cheesy NACHO-ESQUE taco. I KNOW.

Served alongside savory, fluffy Mexican Rice, this was one of the best meals I’ve had in ages!

Get your crock pots out, and appetites ready – it’s taco time!

Start the Crock Pot Chicken Tacos by making the crock pot chicken, which could not be any easier. First slice 4 large chicken breasts in half. We’re aiming for 2lbs of chicken total.

Lay the chicken halves into the bottom of a crock pot in one layer, then sprinkle on 1 packet taco seasoning (or a double batch homemade taco seasoning ,) and pour in 1-16oz jar of your favorite salsa. I died a little inside when I had to say goodbye to this entire jar of Tostitos Restaurant Style Salsa (my kryptonite) but I knew it was for a good cause…sigh! ;)

Place a lid on top, then cook the chicken on low for 4-6 hours, or high for 2-3 hours, or until it’s super tender. Shred the chicken then add some or all of the cooking liquid back in. That’s it. Juicy, tender, and unbelievably delicious – you would never know this only has 3 ingredients in it!

So the chicken’s cooked and shredded. Now what? About 30 minutes before you’re ready to dine, cook up a big, fluffy batch of Mexican Rice. Just saute 1/4 cup minced onion in 1 teaspoon olive oil until tender, then add in 1 cup salsa, 1 cup jasmine rice, and 2 cups vegetable broth.

Bring the mixture to a boil, then place a lid on top and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20-25 minutes.

When the rice has a few minutes left, place some of the shredded chicken into corn taco shells, top with shredded cheese, then bake at 425 degrees for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese melts. This step does double duty of warming the shell AND melting the cheese!

Add the toppings of your choice (chopped tomatoes, green onions, and truck loads of salsa for me,) then chow down!

Print this recipe!

Serves a crowd

Mexican Rice from The Fitnessista

Ingredients:
2lbs chicken breasts (about 4 large, or 5 medium,) cut in half
1 packet taco seasoning (or a double batch of homemade taco seasoning )
16oz jar salsa
Corn taco shells
Taco toppings: chopped tomato, lettuce, green onions, cheese, black olives, etc

For the Mexican Rice (can easily be halved):
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup minced onion
salt & pepper
1 cup salsa
1 cup jasmine rice
2 cups vegetable broth

Directions:

  1. For the Chicken Tacos: Lay chicken breasts in a single layer in bottom of crock pot. Sprinkle on taco seasoning then pour in salsa. Lift chicken breast halves to get salsa underneath. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, or high for 2-3 hours, or until chicken breasts are tender. Shred then mix with some or all of the cooking liquid.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add shredded chicken into the bottom of taco shells then top with cheese. Bake on a foil-lined baking dish for 2-3 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top with desired toppings.
  3. For the Mexican Rice: Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion, season with salt & pepper, then saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add salsa, rice, and vegetable broth then bring to a boil. Lower heat then place a lid on top and simmer until rice is tender, about 20-25 minutes. Serve alongside Chicken Tacos.

I could hardly control myself around this chicken – it is so flavorful, so tender, and so juicy. Plus, hello, it’s surrounded by melted cheese. How bad could that be? ;)

The Mexican Rice definitely gave the tacos a run for their money, though. I’ve had the recipe from The Fitnessista in my back pocket for over a year, and could just slap myself for waiting so long to use it. Creamy, fluffy, and sooo yummy.

If your crock pot doesn’t have a timer on it, cook the chicken on the weekend or at night. That way it’ll be ready and waiting for yummy chicken tacos any night of the week. Tacos are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to using this chicken, though. Try it on top of nachos, or in salads, burritos, or southwest egg scrambles! (Random…)

KCCI News Segment

My fall-themed KCCI segment went well (I think) yesterday! Here’s the video in case you care to view (I heart Katie Ward, btw!):

Local Panera Get Together!

Guess what? My awkward self is giving a sandwich making demo at the Panera on University Ave in West Des Moines on Tuesday, October 2 to some Panera Club Members, but afterwards Panera has offered to host a little “meet and greet” with you, me, and FREE SNACKS including their luscious, Pink Ribbon Bagels that are only available in October – whee!

Anyone and everyone is welcome to come chat and snack from 7-7:45pm. Let me know if you’d like to come (so we can get an estimate for snacks) by leaving a comment below. I’d love to see you there! :D

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