A sentence I never imagined I'd utter: I'm a fool for shredded meat. I'm a bigger fool for shredded meat made in the slow cooker, which does all of the work of breaking down the connective tissue so I just come along at the very end of cooking, and have at it with a couple of forks. Nothing could be easier. Over the past few months, I've been slow cooking and shredding lots of chicken, rolling and stuffing it into sandwiches, tortillas and pitas. One of my favorite variations, these tomatillo chicken and black bean tacos, starts with store-bought tomatillo salsa. Fresh tomatillos are hard to find in my small Rhode Island town; neither the markets nor farmstands have them, so good quality, all-natural salsa is a great option, and it's something I always have in the pantry.
Slow cooker tomatillo chicken and black bean tacos
Inspired by a recipe in Southwest Slow Cooking. Serves 6-8.
1 small onion, chopped
2 chipotle peppers in adobo, roughly chopped
6 oz store-bought tomatillo (green) salsa
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano
2 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
2-1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
6-8 small corn or flour tortillas, lightly toasted, for serving
Optional toppings: salsa, mashed avocado, guacamole, fresh cilantro, sour cream
Place the first 8 ingredients into a 4-quart slow cooker, and stir to combine. Add the chicken and stir gently.
Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours, stirring once or twice during the cooking.
Turn the cooker to HIGH, and with a slotted spoon, remove the chicken and beans to a mixing bowl, leaving excess liquid in the cooker to reduce slightly. Use two forks to shred the chicken, then return the chicken and beans to the slow cooker. Cook uncovered on HIGH for 15 minutes, then turn the cooker off. Remove the chicken and bean mixture to a serving bowl.
Serve hot, in tacos or burritos (topped with any or all of the optional toppings), or over rice. To freeze for later use, remove chicken and beans from the slow cooker and pack into freezer-safe containers. Allow to cool completely before refrigerating or freezing.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Slow cooker hoisin chicken and slaw sandwiches
Slow cooker lemon-garlic chicken and white bean stew
Slow cooker sweet and smoky beef
Slow cooker Cuban-style ropa vieja
Slow cooker Pakistani "old clothes" beef curry
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Slow cooker spicy shredded chicken lettuce wrap tacos with avocado salsa, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Crock Pot Buffalo chicken lettuce wraps, from Skinnytaste
Arepa with shredded chicken and avocado, from My Colombian Recipes
Balinese chicken (ayam pelalah), from Rasa Malaysia
Chipotle chicken taco, from Homesick Texan
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