Mexican Shredded Chicken
Do you have a staple meal in your freezer that you can pull out for a quick dinner? One staple in our house is Mexican Shredded Chicken. I make Mexican Shredded Chicken in my large Crock-Pot and freeze the extras. Then, I can thaw the chicken and use it to make a quick dinner of quesadillas, nachos, soft tacos, wraps, salads, etc. We typically use the Mexican Shredded Chicken once or twice a month. Our December was absolutely crazy with something scheduled almost every afternoon or evening. Unfortunately we used our last Mexican Shredded Chicken early in the month and I never had a chance to make more.
I don’t use a consistent recipe for Mexican Shredded Chicken. I use the same basic ingredients each time, but sometimes make adjustments based on what ingredients I have on hand.
Yesterday, I used:
- a family pack of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (~4 lbs) – frozen or thawed
- 3 cans of diced tomatoes (14.5 oz) – undrained
- 1 can of whole corn (15.25 oz) – drained
- 1 can of diced green chiles (4oz)
- 1/4 cup McCormick taco seasoning – approximately 2 individual packets
- ~2 cups Minute Rice – uncooked
I usually add diced onion and garlic, but I was late starting the crock pot and was out of onion, so I simplified the recipe. You could also add beans to the recipe. I don’t use beans since no one in my family is fond of beans. If your family likes beans, it would be easy to add a can or two of beans to the recipe. You can also adjust the spice level for your family’s preference by using more seasoning, spicier seasoning, or adding hot peppers or hot sauce.
In a slow cooker, combine all ingredients except for the rice and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4-5 hours. Today, I forgot to prepare the dish until lunch time and was using frozen chicken, so I cooked it for ~5 hours on high. When the chicken is done, it will shred easily with a wooden spoon. After shredding the chicken, I add the uncooked rice and set the slow cooker on high for an additional 30 minutes. Generally, the rice will absorb most of the remaining liquid. Yesterday I left the rice cooking on high for longer than 30 minutes since I was outside shoveling snow. The chicken and rice absorbed all of the liquid, so I added a little water so it wasn’t as dry and turned the temperature down to warm.
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Last night we used the Mexican Shredded Chicken, to make quesadillas, my daughter’s preferred way of using it. However, it is very versatile. We also eat it on soft tacos, nachos, or on a salad – sometimes we each eat it a different way. Today for lunch, I made nachos with the Mexican Shredded Chicken.
Clean up from subsequent meals is relatively minimal – a pan used to heat the quesadillas or a cookie sheet/baking pan for nachos (actually I usually use a baking mat or foil).
From yesterday’s batch, we had dinner, and I filled 6 plastic freezer containers (3c each). Each freezer container yields more than a meal for our family of 3. The containers aren’t all filled uniformly, so sometimes there is enough for two meals for all 3 of us, other times it is just enough for one person to have as leftovers.
How would you use the Mexican Shredded Chicken?