Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Yummy Taco Chicken plus Five Ways to Serve It

When I was recovering after the arrival of Superman right around the New Year, several friends brought our family supper. It was an unbelievable blessing. One friend (Thanks, Christie!) brought us fresh chicken tacos complete with avocados and whole grain tortillas from Whole Foods. The chicken she brought was shredded and seasoned with a recipe she found on Food Renegade. Our family loved it so much, I looked up the recipe and added it to my repertoire...

Only, as you well expected, I tweaked it a bit . :-) I never have onion powder on hand. And my chicken seemed dry if I didn't use some stock with the seasonings. So this is what I did...

I started by cooking a pastured chicken all day in a crock pot. I only added a cup of water and generous sprinklings of salt and pepper. (Sorry this is the only photo of the process! By the time I got home to finish the meal, I was desperately behind. There was not time to document in pictures.)


After cooking all day, I put the chicken to cool on a cutting board. Then I strained the cooking juices and let the fat rise to the top. After skimming most of the fat, I poured the liquid into a large skillet and set it on medium heat. I added the following (see Food Renegade for the original spices):

•1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
•1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
•1/8 - 1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper 
•1/4 tsp. Dried Oregano
•1/2 tsp. Paprika
•1 1/2 tsp. Ground Cumin
•1 tsp. Sea Salt
•1/2 tsp. Black Pepper

I stirred up the seasoning and chicken stock until well blended, then let it simmer. While it was simmering, I pulled the chicken off the bones and added it to the skillet. With each addition I stirred to blend the seasonings into the meat. After all the meat was in the skillet with the seasonings, I used two forks to pull apart any clumps. I left it to simmer until most of the liquid was reduced.

And there you have it. Terrifically spiced Chicken Taco Meat.

We have used it for:
  1. Chicken Taco Salad... oh so perfect for these warm GA spring days!
  2. Chicken Enchiladas... I usually make my own enchilada sauce, but this time around I just used some tomato soup that I made way too spicy for the kids. It worked perfect as enchilada sauce!
  3. Chicken Quesidillas... using Sprouted Wheat tortillas and Cheddar Cheese
  4. Chicken Burritos... wrapping up the chicken with sauteed onions, peppers and cheese
  5. And, last but probably the best, Southwestern Chicken Noodle Soup... this was a last minute invention because second grade math lessons ate up my afternoon yesterday.

 (The soup was steaming when I snapped this picture, so the stock looks blurry... sorry again!)

This soup was so delicious. My husband even ate thirds! It's quite simple... Throw all of this in a large soup pot:

  • 2 quarts chicken stock (or a combination of water and stock)
  • 2 cans of petite diced tomatoes with the juice
  • 1 can of drained and rinsed kidney beans (it would be best if you had soaked and cooked these properly, but I made do with canned)
  • 1 cup of frozen corn
  • 1/2 of a chicken cooked in the taco seasonings above
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • A few generous dashes of Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 bunch of kale or chard, finely chopped (or, if your children are not used to greens, less)

Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Add about 8 ounces of whole grain pasta and continue to simmer until tender. Serve with a sprinkling of grated cheddar cheese.

I hope you enjoy these recipes!


busymomof10 said...

This sounds delicious! I love Mexican type food. I make a similar type of soup, but look forward to trying your recipe one day! Please don't tell me that you got ALL of those meals out of ONE cooked chicken! Yikes! My family Eats So Much!!! ;o

Amy Ellen said...

Hi Elizabeth,

No :-) I made the Taco Salad and Enchiladas with one chicken... three meals because the enchiladas made leftovers. Then the Taco Salad and Soup with another chicken... again, three meals because the soup made leftovers. Then, the Taco Salad and Quesidillas with another... can you tell we like Taco Salad?

:-) ae