Making chicken taco meat in a crockpot (also known as a slow cooker) is a convenient and flavorful way to prepare a delicious meal. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started:
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs
- 1 packet of taco seasoning (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 cup chicken broth or water
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chopped bell peppers
- Jalapeno slices
- Canned diced tomatoes
- Prep the Chicken: Trim any excess fat from the chicken breasts or thighs. If using whole chicken breasts, you can also cut them into smaller pieces to ensure even cooking.
- Seasoning: Sprinkle the taco seasoning evenly over the chicken pieces. You can use a store-bought taco seasoning mix or make your own by combining chili powder, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, and a bit of salt.
- Layering: Place the chopped onion and minced garlic at the bottom of the crockpot. If you’re using any optional add-ins like bell peppers or jalapenos, you can layer them in as well.
- Chicken Placement: Lay the seasoned chicken pieces on top of the onion and other ingredients.
- Liquid: Pour the chicken broth or water into the crockpot. This will help keep the chicken moist as it cooks.
- Cooking: Cover the crockpot with its lid and set it to cook. Cooking times can vary depending on your crockpot’s settings. Generally, you can cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. The chicken should be tender and fully cooked when done.
- Shredding: Once the chicken is cooked, you can use two forks to shred it directly in the crockpot. The chicken should easily fall apart into smaller, taco-sized pieces.
- Mixing: Stir the shredded chicken into the flavorful juices in the crockpot. This helps the chicken absorb the flavors and ensures even distribution of the seasoning.
- Adjust Seasoning: Taste the chicken and adjust the seasoning if necessary. You can add more taco seasoning, salt, or other spices according to your preferences.
- Serving: Serve the chicken taco meat in your favorite tortillas, taco shells, or as a topping for salads, rice, or nachos. Don’t forget to offer a variety of toppings like shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and guacamole.
- Storing: Leftover chicken taco meat can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days or frozen for longer storage.
Enjoy your homemade chicken taco meat with your favorite toppings and sides!