As a filling for tortillas, a topping for nachos or simply something to serve over rice, this shredded Mexican chicken cooks on its own in your slow cooker while you go about your day.
I like set-it-and-forget-it recipes. And I love my slow cookers (yes, I have multiple). Most of all, I like recipes that make a bunch that I can freeze and reheat. This is one of those recipes.
For the chicken, you can use fresh/thawed or frozen boneless chicken breasts. I usually end up using the frozen chicken because I’ll forget to take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge the night before. Using frozen or fresh only makes a difference in the cooking time (less for fresh/thawed, a little longer for frozen).
The spices can all be increased or decreased to taste, depending on how spicy or bold you want the flavor to be. If you are looking for something spicier, add some hot sauce at the end.
We ate this tonight over rice, garnished with cilantro with a side of black beans, but I plan on making tacos tomorrow night with leftovers. The rest I will freeze for use later.
Slow Cooker Shredded Mexican Chicken
- 4 boneless chicken breasts frozen ok
- 1/2 cup medium salsa you can use mild if you don't want it spicy
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes drained
- 1 4 oz can diced green chilies drained
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke optional
Spray the crock of a 6qt (or larger) slow cooker with cooking spray. Place the chicken at the bottom of the slow cooker.
In a large bowl, combine the salsa, green chilies and diced tomatoes. Stir in the spices, salt, pepper, and liquid smoke (if you are using it). Dump the mixture on top of the chicken in the slow cooker.
Cook on high for 2-4 hours, or low for 6-8 hours, time depending if your chicken is frozen or thawed. Cook until the chicken is tender enough to easily shred.
Remove chicken from slow cooker and rest for 5 minutes (allows juices to settle). Shred chicken and return to slow cooker; cook for 20 minutes on low so the chicken can absorb some of the juice.
Serve over rice, tortillas or tortilla chips. Top with cheese, enchilada sauce, scallions, cilantro, etc. You get the idea -- very versatile!
Recipe NotesIf you prefer more heat after it has finished cooking, add some hot sauce to taste.