TACO BELLE

I'm a little late, but happy Cinco de Mayo! I'm all for a day that promotes tacos and tequila- I mean, a day that celebrates the Mexican army defeating the Frech in the Battle of Puebla!

But since you mentioned tacos... Is there anything more glorious than tacos? Perhaps taco-themed clothing and accessories... like this tank and this glitter taco clutch from Charming Charlie.

I could also entertain arguments for potatoes, wine, or pizza... but tacos, in all forms, are way up there!

If you have spent any time on my blog, you know that I am a fan of Mexican dishes. I love that this cuisine just focuses on fresh, tasty ingredients. Recipes are usually simple, arguably healthy, and decidedly delicious. This recipe is no exception.

The use of the crockpot makes this recipe ridiculously easy. Additionally, the smoky spice of the chipotle, sweetness of the honey, and hint of lime make this recipe so delectable, it may be the only taco recipe you'll ever need again!

This chicken shouldn't be limited just to tacos, either. It's also terrific on nachos, in quesadillas, in enchiladas, in burritos, and on salads. I can personally vouch for the viability of this chipotle chicken in each of these entrees.

The ingredient list may look daunting, but you really only 7 ingredients to prepare this protein. The others are optional or used only to dress your tacos.

The only difficulty with this recipe is that it is very nonspecific. However, that is only because it is so customizable. I've made a single pound of chicken before for my husband and myself, but I've also made batches of over 5 pounds. You can use as much or as little of everything as you like. The only true guideline I would offer is that you want enough liquid to fully submerge your chicken.

Like I said, there are 7 must-have ingredients:
Boneless skinless chicken (I have used breasts or tenderloins, and I have cooked 1-6 pounds at a time)
Honey, to taste (you could also use sugar or agave nectar)
2 tablespoons oil (your choice)
Garlic (1-4 cloves)
Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I use a full 7 ounce can for 5+ pounds of chicken)
Lime juice, to taste
Chicken broth (I use a 32 ounce container for 5+ pounds of chicken)

Optional Ingredients:
Chipotle Tabasco sauce
Cayenne
Onion or shallot
Chipotle chili powder
Fresh chilies
Chili powder
Cilantro
Onion powder
Oil
Garlic powder
Salt & pepper
Cumin
Red pepper flakes
Paprika

Get started by dropping two tablespoons of oil into your crockpot. Using a paper towel, rub the oil around to coat the pot.

Chop your chicken. The smaller you chop it, the quicker it will cook. Toss it into the oiled crockpot.

Combine chipotle peppers, broth, honey, garlic, lime juice, and any optional ingredients in a blender. I used all but fresh chilies and additional oil in this batch.

After your mixture is liquefied, taste it. You may wish to add more lime or sweetener to suit your tastes. But beware, the blend is spicy!

Pour the chipotle liquid over the chicken in the crockpot. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8-10 hours until your chicken shreds. You can help your chicken to shred by pressing it against the walls of the crockpot with a spoon.

Feel free to skip the next step and use the meat just like this. However, for extra deliciousness, heat a few tablespoons of oil in a nonstick pan on the stovetop. Fry chicken to desired char and crispness.

After frying, I plopped the chicken back into the crockpot and set a whole spread of taco garnishes!

I used corn tortillas, fresh corn, black beans, queso fresco, sour cream, diced red onion, cilantro, and fresh avocado to dress my tacos. They were heavenly, especially paired with this Sierra Nevada gose-style ale.

If you wish, serve beside your taco purse!

Click here for the printable recipe.