We have taco night fairly regularly. Like, at least once a week. I almost always have chicken breasts frozen in my freezer, and 78 bottles of salsa open in my refrigerator, so tacos are never far away. And as much as I love tacos, and as much as I think the recipe for baked then shredded chicken that I use is the easiest and tastiest, sometimes taco night can get, well, boring.
With this in mind, I set out to spruce taco night up a bit. The chicken would still need to be shredded, lest we fall in to fajita territory, but I wanted something more flavorful, more saucy. After perusing a couple of different recipes, I combined the best parts of each and created what I can only describe as a winner.
Anyway, whether you’re looking to spice up your taco night, or just looking for a weeknight chicken recipe to serve with rice or other carb of choice, this is it.
At this point you could pretty much do anything you want. Serve this chicken over a bed of Spanish rice, fold it into a tortilla with some cheese and sour cream, eat it as is and call it Mexican Chicken Stew, or–and this might be my greatest idea yet–mix in some cream cheese, wrap it in a tortilla, bake it, and call it a saucy taquito. Oh dear Lord.
As I said, we chose taco night, while watching football and drinking cheap beer. This was after K built me a screen for my awkward skinny, 7 foot tall window. Like, from wood and nails and a staple gun. Sure, anyone can shred chicken, but can you do that? I sure can’t.
The next day I packed this for lunch and ate it like soup, and it was just as good. You really can’t go wrong with smoky, spicy, tender chicken. Also! I found a similar recipe that makes this with a slow cooker, so if you’re slow cooker inclined, try it out! As if this needed to get any easier. It’s the perfect weeknight meal starter.
Here’s the recipe!
Saucy Shredded Chicken (very loosely adapted from SkinnyTaste)
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts, or 3 fairly large ones
- Salt, Pepper, and Seasoning salt for chicken
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more to taste)
- salt and pepper as needed
- 1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles
- 2 cups chicken broth
- Chopped cilantro for garnish (I didn’t do this, but I always love cilantro!)
- Season chicken with salt, seasoning salt, and pepper on both sides. Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet until shimmering. Add chicken and brown on both sides, then remove to a plate.
- Add onion and cook until slightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, jalapeno, corn, and seasonings and cook for 3 minutes more. Add tomatoes and green chiles and chicken broth and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the skillet as you do.
- Add chicken and any juices that had accumulated on the plate back to the skillet. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for about 45 minutes, or until chicken is completely cooked through. Remove chicken from skillet and shred with two forks. Meanwhile, bring liquid to a boil and reduce by half, about 8-10 minutes. Add chicken back to liquid and stir to combine.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve either with rice, tortillas, or as is!