good food + awesome travel & occasional odd bits

Chicken Tomatillo Tacos

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As the nights get a bit cooler, the grill gets far less action and the slow cooker makes its grand appearance. I love my slow cooker and am always looking for new recipes that practically cook themselves. I tend to prep everything at night before bedtime and right before I retire for the night, the slow cooker gets switched on and voila! By morning, dinner is made.

This recipe is more labor intensive as it calls for de-boning chicken breast and thighs and making a quick chicken stock from scratch. If you’re pressed for time and want a quicker way, you can brown the chicken, bones on and all, add the vegetables and saute for a few minutes. Remove and place the whole lot into a slow cooker and cover with water. It will still yield a flavorful dish and is perfectly acceptable when short on time and who isn’t, right? But for the times when you have some extra to spare, you’ll love the full blown homemade chicken stock version and bonus! Extra stock for future delicious dishes like soups, sauces, braises, etc… But, be warned, this recipe is spicy¬†so if you’re sensitive to spicy foods, just scale back the chiles to 2-3 and you should be fine.

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For the Chicken:

yield: 4 servings

1 breast, bone in

2 thighs, bone in

1 onion, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 celery rib, chopped

1 teaspoon peppercorns

1 bay leaf

1 tablespoon grapeseed oil

6 cups water

2 teaspoons kosher salt

Remove the bones from the chicken pieces and set the meat aside. Make a simple chicken stock by browning chicken bones in a neutral oil such a grapeseed oil. Add the onion, carrot, and celery. Cook over medium heat until vegetables are softened but not brown. Add the water, peppercorns, and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and cover partially with the lid, simmer on low heat for 1 1/2 hours. Add salt, stir to dissolve and strain into a clean container.

Place the boneless chicken breast and thighs into a slow cooker. Pour in chicken stock, enough to just cover the chicken. You will have leftover stock to save for a soup or freeze for future use.

Set the slow cooker for 6-8 hours (depending on how much time you have).

Tomatillo Salsa:

8 tomatillos, husked and washed

10 red chile peppers

1 clove garlic

splash of white vinegar

salt to taste

Blacken the tomatillos, peppers, and garlic over a gas flame, dry skillet, or on a comal. Place all in a blender and process until smooth.

When the chicken is done in the slow cooker, shread the meat and add about 1/4 cup of the salsa. Gently mix to combine. Serve with cubed avocado and cilantro.

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