Chicken Taco Filling

Looking for something to do with your chicken?

How about making

Chicken Taco Filling

This recipe restored my faith in slow cooked chicken.  It uses dark meat, in this case thighs, because they are juicer and they have better flavor than white meat.  As it turns out, this is one of my family’s favorite taco fillings, though because it is stewed, it takes a while to prepare.

The good news is that making Mexican chicken is something that can be done the night before.  Simply prepare the liquid, add the chicken, and let it simmer for about two hours. If it is not going to be eaten immediately, remove the chicken and put it into a storage bag with about half a cup of the juice to keep the chicken moist in the refrigerator.  Save the rest of the liquid in a second plastic storage bag.  Continue where noted in the recipe for an amazing Tex Mex meal.

Deliciously Simple Chicken Taco Filling

You will need:

  • 1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes (or 2 14.5 oz cans)
  • 1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 chopped red onion
  • 1 chopped green pepper
  • 1 chopped red pepper
  • 1 chopped jalapeno pepper (optional)
  • 4 finely chopped cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of pepper
  • 1 halved lemon
  • 1 halved lime
  • 1 bunch of cilantro stems cut into ¼ inch pieces
  • 8 pieces of chicken, bone-in with the skin on, thighs or legs

To prepare the liquid, drain the can of diced tomatoes and sauce into a pot.  Add the diced onions, green, red and jalapeno peppers, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Roll the lemon and lime to loosen their juices and then halve them.  Squeeze their juice into a strainer over a cup to catch any seeds.  Add the juice and the squeezed halves to the stewing liquid.  Finally, add the cut stems and give the mixture a good stir.

Turn the stove on medium to medium high heat and add the chicken.  Once the liquid has come to a boil, cover the pot and cook on the stove’s lowest setting or in a 250 degree oven for two hours.  The chicken should be cooked through and have reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

If the dish is not to be served immediately, stop here and store as mentioned above.

When the meal is to be prepared, remove the bones and skin from the chicken.  Look for pieces of gristle and make sure they are removed as well.  Take a pair of forks and shred the meat.  Add the chicken to a skillet and pour in one half of a cup of the sauce (if the chicken was stored over night, still add the extra half cup.)  Depending on the each cook’s preference, more or less sauce may be added depending on how juicy the cook wants the finished dish.

Heat the chicken, stirring the occasionally, over medium heat until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is warmed through.  Serve on tortillas with refried beans, and cheddar cheese.

Also, the remaining liquid can be reduced down to make a nice Tex-Mex sauce.

This Recipe Serves 4.

Thanks to Stu Spivak for the pic.

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