Posted on | April 21, 2010 | 16 Comments
We had a baseball game tonight, and Jason wanted me to stop and pick something up on the way home because it was already getting late and everyone was starving. Nothing sounded good, and I knew that I had leftover diced chicken in the fridge from last night’s herb roasted chicken. I also knew that I had whole wheat tortillas, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, cheese and plain yogurt (my healthy substitute for sour cream – tastes the same for much fewer calories) in the fridge. What I didn’t know was if I had chicken taco seasoning, though I knew I had regular taco seasoning. I knew that tacos would be quick and easy, but I didn’t want to thaw hamburger meat. Turns out, I didn’t have chicken taco seasoning when I got home, so I googled it and found this great recipe for homemade. I’ve never made my own seasoning…I’ve always just used the McCormick packets. I don’t think I’ll ever use those packets again. Man, these were SO good. They tasted really fresh and I’m sure had much less sodium than the packet seasoned chicken. You wouldn’t think there’s that much difference in buying it versus making your own, but I’m telling you that the homemade is so much better. You can make this in double or triple batches or more and it will keep in an airtight container for about 6 months in your pantry. I used the leftover chicken from a 3 1/2 or 4 pound chicken, which probably yielded about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds of meat. This recipe yields just a little bit more than comes in one packet, so adjust the seasoning according to how much meat you have and how heavily you like your chicken seasoned. This seasoning is very mild, so don’t be afraid to add a lot, but taste as you go.
The way I made these tacos was to place the meat in a large pan and added one batch of seasoning to about two pounds(maybe a litttle less) of cooked, diced chicken. I added about 1/4 cup of water to the pan as well and cooked the chicken over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the meat was heated through and the water had evaporated. You can also make chicken taco meat in the crock pot, and the I’ve put the recipe at the end of this post.
Chicken Taco Seasoning
3 tsp. chili powder
2 1/2 tsp. paprika
2 1/4 tsp. cumin
1 1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Dash cayenned pepper
Mix all spices together in a small bowl. One batch makes 9 tsp. seasoning, and there are about 2 heaping tablespoons of seasoning in one taco seasoning packet. Store in an airtight container for up to six months.
Chicken Taco Meat in the Crock Pot
3 frozen boneless skineless chicken breasts
1 batch chicken taco seasoning
1 c. chicken broth or water or 1 can Rotel tomatoes, undrained
Place all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours. Before serving, remove meat from the crock pot and shred with a fork and return to juices. To freeze, place the meat and juices in a large freezer bag and freeze. To serve, thaw and reheat.
*If you can shred the meat halfway through cooking time,then return it to the crock pot to finish cooking, it will soak up more of the juices and seasoning and will result in a more flavorful meat.
Source: Adapted from Mex-Recipes.com