{ slow cooker citrus chicken tacos }

{ slow cooker citrus chicken tacos }

slow cooker citrus chicken tacos
 { easy + tasty midweek excitement }

Doesn’t this photo look exciting? I’ve been futzing with this for what feels like a lifetime. I started when I still had persimmons on my tree in the fall…it’s been awhile. I started out in a carnitas direction and then, to be frank, these tasted nothing like carnitas to me. But I LOVE them nonetheless. As soon as I came to terms with the fact that they weren’t carnitas, I loved them even more. They’re a fresh, healthy and easy mid-week taco. Throw everything in the slow cooker in the morning and that evening your dinner is ready. Done. To make life easier I would even consider chopping all the taco toppings the night before, minus the avocado. Save that and tortilla heating for right before dinner is served.

A couple of quick notes… You could technically put the lime juice in and have it cook in the cooker all day, but I personally think the squeezed lime at the end tastes fresher. I also like to use half chicken thighs in this for the added moisture (and fat) that they add to the dish. It helps keep everything luscious. But I know some people have an aversion to thighs, so you could strictly be a breast person, if you wish. You will miss out on some moisture if you do this…just saying’…it’s a chemistry thing.

These are perky little tacos for drab days…like we’re having today. This is also beer food…so make sure you add that to the top of the shopping list.

{ slow cooker citrus chicken tacos }

Makes 6-8 Servings

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1.5 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tangerines, juiced (1/4 cup juice)…you could totally substitute oranges here
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • Drizzle of veggie oil over the top
  • 5 smashed garlic cloves
  • 2 shallots cut in slices
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1-3 tsp fresh poblano chili, seeded, deveined and minced; you can also use a jalapeño
  • Salt and pepper…don’t be shy with the salt. Add a decent amount (say, 1/2-1 teaspoon and then add more when it’s finished cooking if you feel like they need it…always try to add your seasoning slowly at first, because you can go big later.)
  • 2 limes, juiced (1/8 cup of juice or more to taste) to splash on just before serving
  • ¼ cup cilantro, cleaned and chopped to add with the lime juice

To serve with your tacos:

  • Queso fresco…I like the salty bite with this (If you can’t find this you could sub in a feta or goat cheese…totally not even remotely Mexican, but it would add some fun flavor…I’ve done it, it works.)
  • Pickled red onions, recipe here
  • Cilantro…cleaned and shredded
  • Persimmon salsa…recipe here or salsa of your choice
  • Purple onion, diced
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt (I use the latter…because I like it)
  • Avocado, cubed in chunks
  • Tortillas, I prefer corn
  • Limes for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Place meat in the slow cooker.
  • Squeeze the tangerines on top; pour the chicken broth in as well, along with a drizzle of the vegetable oil.
  • Give a good shake with the spices and herbs…I would kinda massage into the meat if that’s not going to gross you out. Sprinkle the shallots and garlic about. Give a healthy shot of salt and pepper and boom, you’re done. A quick side note on the poblano…I stop at 3 teaspoons, but if I wasn’t concerned about fragile mouths I would kick that up…perhaps double to make it spicy. So, let your conscience be your guide.
  • Set the slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours, I did 8.
  • After 6-8 hours in the cooker, shred the chicken.
  •  How’s it looking? How’s it tasting? Do you need to adjust any seasonings? More salt? Now, you can serve at this point. I’ve done it MANY times and it’s been mighty fine. The next step was inspired from its’ original carnitas roots, so proceed if you’re feeling it.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Strain the shredded chicken meat into a casserole dish and reserve the remaining liquid in the slow cooker. Drizzle the shredded chicken with about 1/3 cup of the liquid.
  • Cook for 20 minutes, until it gets a little crispy (but not dried out). Then toss with roughly 1/4 cup of the remaining liquid. Squeeze the lime on top and toss around a bit. Taste…how is it? Toss around little more. Sprinkle with the cilantro. Does she look purty?
  • Dinner’s done. Double boom.

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