I’m almost embarrassed to post this as a recipe. Why you ask? Because it’s so insanely simple and easy. I’ve made it dozens of times. We share this dinner with friends quite often and the recipe is one of my “most requested”. I do feel like the it’s more of a dirty little secret, though. Hopefully, you’ll agree it’s the best kind of secret to share! I hope you add it to your repertoire of crock pot chicken recipes.
The type of tortillas you use (crunchy, soft or both) and the toppings you add to this crock pot chicken taco recipe are entirely up to you. I’ll share what we like to put on our chicken tacos and you can take them or leave them.
The guys in our family… they like soft taco shells, but the ladies prefer crunchy. Thankfully, Old El Paso sells a combo box of soft and crunchy shells. It’s perfect for our family. I don’t bother buying the taco “kit” because we don’t need the seasoning or sauces.
The awesomeness in this recipe is achieved by 2 key factors:
- cooking the chicken low and slow in the crock pot (or your oven) and
- using a flavorful salsa verde as a braising liquid.
I prefer chicken thighs any time I’m cooking chicken low and slow. As you can see by the photos, I used chicken breasts here. My grocery store had a great sale on them and I couldn’t refuse! Why do I prefer dark meat over white, you ask? It is a personal choice, so don’t fret if you like white meat better. Here are benefits and reasons I typically like to use dark meat for braising or slow cooking:
- I think thighs are juicier, more tender, and more flavorful than chicken breasts.
- Chicken thighs are typically less expensive. If you’re going organic, this can help lessen the financial impact of purchasing more expensive organic meats.
- There are also some lesser known nutritional benefits to dark poultry meat.
If you have leftover taco meat (white or dark), it makes a great quesadilla or can be worked into a casserole. We’ve also frozen it and used it at a later date without compromising the taste at all.
Please give this crock pot chicken recipe a try and let me know:
Did you use white meat or dark? -AND- What are your favorite taco toppings?
- Salsa Verde or Tomatillo Salsa (medium heat, 16 oz.)
- Boneless, skinless chicken thighs or bone-in, skin-on breasts (approx. 1 lb.)
- Taco Shells (crunchy or soft tortillas)
- Sour Cream
- Shredded or crumbled cheese (cojita, queso fresco, cheddar, pepper jack, etc...)
- Pickled Red Onions or Jalapenos
- Place the chicken in the crock pot and season with salt and pepper.
- Pour the entire jar of salsa verde in and around the chicken.
- Put the lid on your crockpot and set the temperature to 250 degrees.
- Cook for 6 hours, then keep warm until you're almost ready to serve.
- Just before serving, shred up the chicken (careful to remove any bones if you used a bone-in cut) and place the shredded meat back in the salsa verde. Keep warm until you serve.
- Warm your tortillas in the oven according to package directions.
- Place the sour cream in the shell first and spread along a narrow line where the rest of the toppings will be added.
- Next, add the chicken
- Then add the cheese
- Then add the cilantro
- Finally, add the pickled red onions or jalapenos
- Dig in and ENJOY!