Monday, July 25, 2011

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tacos

MmmMmm TACOS! If I had to eat one kind of food for the rest of my life it would be tacos. Chicken tacos, beef tacos, fish tacos, shrimp, pork, veggie, scrambled egg tacos. The filling and the topping possibilities are endless. 

I grew up with ground beef tacos, which I absolutely adore. Especially when they're served in a freshly fried crispy corn tortilla. Not the store-bought hard taco shells - I'm talking about corn tortillas fried in oil right before the tacos are assembled. Fried deliciousness! It makes me happy just thinking about them.

BUT! These healthier slow-cooker chicken tacos are giving the comforting ground beef tacos a run for their money! They are the easiest and most delicious chicken tacos I've had. I originally found the recipe in Martha Stewart's Living magazine a few years back. I tried them and I WAS HOOKED. 

Martha. Seriously. You had me at Taco. 
And then you had me again at Slow-Cooker. 

Slow-Cooker Chicken Tacos

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 6)
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 cup prepared tomato salsa
1 or 2 chopped canned chipotle chiles in adobo
1 tablespoon chili powder
Coarse salt and ground pepper
8 corn tortillas

Cilantro, shredded cheese, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, lime wedges, hot sauce, sour cream - whatever you like! 

A note about the ingredients:

I buy bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs because they're always cheaper than the other. And then I always kick myself later for being a cheap-ass. I take the skin off before I throw them in the slow-cooker and that's a pain. After the chicken is cooked, I have to shred around the bone and that's a pain, too. But I do it Every Single Time. And Lord knows, the next time I'm staring at the chicken in the grocery store, guess what I'll be buying. Yep. Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs. Because I'm a money-saving martyr.

I've talked about chipotle chiles in adobe before. If you have never tried them, don't be afraid! Start with one and see what you think. They really add such a nice smoky flavor. If you are too afraid, go ahead and make the tacos and skip the chiles. You'll still be my friend. But SO HELP ME if you tell me that you think cilantro tastes like soap... we might have an issue. The issue being that cilantro is fantastic and you're wrong. That's right. I said it.

Every time I make this, I double the chicken recipe. I use all the leftover chicken and garnishes to make FANTASTIC chicken enchiladas. I'll tell you all about those in my next post. They're worth the wait!

Make It:
In slow cooker, combine chicken, garlic, salsa, chipotle chile, chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Cover; cook on high, 4 hours (or on low, 8 hours).

Here's my chicken slowly cooking away. The dark red pieces that you see in the picture are the chipotle peppers. I also added a chopped tomato to this batch because I had one that was getting a little too soft. I didn't add it to the recipe above because I'm a rebel like that.

Transfer chicken to a serving bowl, and shred, using two forks; moisten with cooking juices. 

Here's my finished, shredded chicken. Doesn't it look delicious?

Serve in taco shells and load with your favorite toppings!

I've been trying to NOT fry my tortillas lately. You know, to make the tacos more healthful. It's SO BORING! They're still delicious, but I do think that frying the tortillas brings the tacos to a whole new level of tastiness. 

Ignore my soft corn tortilla picture and Go! Go forth and fry your tortillas! 


If you could only have one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?


Candice said...

Looks great! I put my tortillas in the oven on 375 and let them drape over the oven grates like so they are shaped like a taco while they cook they fall more and form into a taco shell, just keep your eye on them because they can cook fast. They are really crunchy and you don't have to fry them, even though fried tortillas are just delicious!

Ali Richardson said...

Mmmmmmmm. BUT, I am a cilantro hater. ICKY! My one food would have to be pizza. Or maybe cereal. As you know, I have really gourmet taste buds :)

4kidsgrandma said...

I want to try this and use Candice's idea with the tortilla (thanks!). Do those chiles only come with cilantro? Because, you know, cilantro tastes like soap! (Hi, Ali!)

4kidsgrandma said...

Oh, and I guess my one food would have to be strawberries...yum!

Katie @ This Chick Cooks said...

How awesome that these are made in the slow cooker! Love that :) Your pictures look scrumptious! I host a recipe swap every week and I'd love for you to come by and show off a recipe or two. Have a blessed day :)

LrSchwtz said...

This looks so tasty. Your photos are great too. Please stop by and link up to my Share the Wealth Wednesday Link Party! I'm your newest follower!

Anonymous said...

These look so yummy! I love mexican is my favorite! The picture with all your topping looks very appealing! said...

Darcy, that looks pretty darn good girl. Oh and you are so funny about the chicken, I know what you mean though, lol.

Hope you are having a great summer so far!!

I'd also LOVE to invite you to check out my weekly parties. I would be so happy if you linked up, this and any other fabulous project you are working on.
Stop by anytime to say hello!!!
Hugs, Bella :)
**AMAZE ME AUGUST** @ Bella Before and After Any projects, recipes, diy welcome.
**PARTY PLANNING TUESDAYS** @ Euro Style Cakes. All your party planning tips, decorations, invitations, and recipes welcome at my NEW party.

Hines-Sight said...

These look good. I've been wanting to make chicken tacos like this.

I'm doing a link up on August 1 called "meal Planning made easy". My blog has the details. I would love it if you would join me.


A.Vang said...

Yummo! I am making these! Thank you so much for the yum recipe!

Crystal said...

Those look amazing and I am so hungry now.

I really need to buy thighs more often. I know they are so much more affordable.

Thank you so much for linking up.

Felicia @ All Things Fee said...

Yum! You had me at slow cooker and taco!

Envy My Cooking said...

We would love to feature you and this recipe. We have 2 blogs that we would like to feature you on. Please email us at and will give you more info.. if you like us come follow us!!

this looks so yummy

Brittany said...

I want to make these tomorrow! Thanks for sharing.

Cyndee @ Restyled Junk said...

I'm going to make these this week! It's been so hot lately that I have been making a lot of things in the slow cooker. The stove competes with the air conditioner too much. My family will love this recipe.

Lisa @ Turning Tables said...

I am totally late to this delicious party, but Yummmm-to-the-meee!!!! Yummy!! I must agree that if I had to choose my favorite food, it would be tacos too!! My fav is make-your-own-taco too, but I too am a rebel and like to make my own "double decker" taco. Fixings all in a fried shell, a layer of refried beans spread on the outside of the shell and then a warm flour (or corn) tortilla wrapped around the shell. The perfect amount of soft and crunch! Definitely not as healthy, but yummy in the tummy for sure. And as far as me and cilantro go, there is no "hate" word being thrown around, but not "love" either. We are just okay. And I am ok with that!! lol :) xo See you Tuesday for some wild rivers fun!!!

Heather@The Black's Best said...

These look awesome! When you fry your tortillas do you do it after you put the chicken mixture in, or before?

Darcy said...

Hi Heather!
I fry the tortillas before I put anything in them. :)

Hines-Sight said...

Thanks for linking up today. If you will please tell you readers that you are linking up with me until August 15th so that people will know about it.

La-Dee-da crafter said...

I am trying this tonight. Looks so yummy!!!
following you now.

Lisa {Smart Food and Fit} said...

I'm trying this tonight! I'm so glad I came across your site from Leigh's linky party!

Hines-Sight said...

I love this recipe, and am writing it down. Thanks again, Leigh

Jamie said...

These look so yummy. Can't wait to try them. I would love for you to stop by DIY Home Sweet Home today and link up your tacos and any other projects you would like to share. Happy Monday!!

June Scott said...

Love tacos! We have fish tacos about once a week. Found a great recipe on (shhh! the secret is the cinnamon) ;) Your slow cooker recipe looks delish, Darcy! Thanks for sharing!

TimeForLemonade said...

Made these...they were awesome! (even as leftovers)

susan Stearns said...

I am a teacher and LOVE to come home and feed my family of 5 something already cooked! This recipe is perfect! Tell me water added in the crock pot when cooking the chicken?
I hope I get a response because I'm trying this on email is


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