Saturday, September 18, 2010

Slow Cooked Chicken Verde Tacos with Mexican Rice and Black Beans

It was Taco Night in the anti-Chef household. I've been working a ridiculous number of hours lately, so I wanted a meal that required minimal effort on my part. This chicken uses a crock pot to achieve its slow-cooked status (and allows me to sleep while my electronic sous chef does all the work). The protein has a lot of flavor, so I recommend keeping the toppings simple. As you can see in the photo, I just used some fresh avocado and cilantro to finish my soft tacos. My oldest used some leftover Chilled Avocado Soup to top hers; the youngest didn't use any toppings at all.

Slightly more time-intensive were the side dishes. The black beans and Mexican rice were made for a potluck at work, and I was blessed to have some leftovers. I've included the recipes here, of course. Know that these work quite well made ahead of time! The microwave is my friend....

I finished off the meal with a little shredded cabbage slaw and some roasted bell peppers. Aside from the chicken, this meal counts as vegetarian and vegan. Perhaps some seitan instead for the non-carnivores out there?

Slow-Cooked Chicken Tacos in Verde Sauce

6 tomatillos, husks removed and halved
2 serrano peppers, stems removed and halved lengthwise
1 small yellow onion, quartered
2 cloves garlic
3/4 c cilantro
1/4 c fresh oregano
zest and juice from 1 lime
2 tbs honey
2 tsp salt
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
12 corn tortillas
toppings of choice

Preheat oven to 450F. Place tomatillos and serrano peppers, cut side down, on an oiled baking sheet. Roast in oven 15-20 minutes, or until skins start to blacken.

Place roasted produce in a blender with onion, garlic, herbs, lime juice and zest, and honey. Puree with 1 teaspoon of the salt until well blended. Season chicken with remaining salt and the pepper and place in the crockpot. Cover with the tomatillo blend and cook on "Low" for 6 hours.

Using two forks, shred chicken and stir to distribute the sauce. Allow to cook another hour or two. Serve shredded chicken on warmed corn tortillas with toppings of your choice. Served 6.

Mexican Rice

1 tbs butter or olive oil
1 c uncooked rice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 15oz can corn, drained
1 8oz can diced tomatoes with chilis
1/2 c spicy tomato juice
1 1/2 c cold water
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
1/4 c cilantro or parsley, finely chopped

Heat butter or oil over medium heat in a large skillet (a wok works nicely for this). Cook rice in the oil for about 10 minutes, stiring frequently, until rice just starts to brown. Add the garlic and oregano; cook another minute.

Stir remaining ingredients in and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Allow to cook for 20 minutes, or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let rest 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and salt to taste. Stir in cilantro. Makes about 5 cups of Mexican rice.

Mexican Black Beans

1 tbs light olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbs fresh oregano, finely chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp lime zest
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 15oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 c Mexican lager of choice
salt to taste
1/4 c cilantro or parsley, finely chopped
lime wedges

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, then add garlic, oregano, and cumin; saute one more minute.

Stir in zest, cayenne, beans, and beer. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and stir in cilantro. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over beans. Makes about 4 cups of black beans.


  1. I don't cook nearly enough with tomatillos...
    I love the sound of that sauce.

  2. Thank you! I adore tomatillos. Roasted and in a sandwich or on a salad....yum! And of course, in salsa....