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Now that it’s officially the holiday season, I have been finding myself on a cooking and baking spree. This isn’t the old me, for sure, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that sometimes people don’t change at all, and sometimes they do when they really need the change. And the fact is – I’ve been building my days differently. There’s still the morning rush – which is sometimes slow and rich and deep and soulful. And sometimes we rush and cough and want to cry. Mostly we ease our ways there – with good breakfast and even better music. I drop my kids off at daycare and school, come home for a beautiful and alone breakfast, and then I construct the day. It always involves writing and photography, and errands and appointments.
Occasional breakfast dates and pie bars and meetings. Photo shoots and lunch dates and just an hour to read email sometimes. And then lately, it’s more. It’s errands and ingredients. It’s bringing out the slow cooker. It’s experimenting.
I’ve only just discovered my love for the slow cooker, but I know I have loved it from afar for many years, while enjoying dishes that OTHER people have made. It’s rewarding and fun to get into cooking this late in the game, but it’s opened up a whole new world. We have so many holiday events coming up. House guests and parties and potlucks and feasts. I personally love this slow cooker chicken recipe because it’s so easy! Then you can customize it however you want! Lately I’ve found a real love for La Morena Jalapeño Peppers. I first found them at a little bodega/market in the next town, over the bridge.
La Morena has been providing US consumers with the highest quality products made in the style, and with the taste, of authentic Mexican home and traditional recipes for over 25 years. La Morena is the leader in the chiles and peppers category, and a La Morena customer is one who appreciates quality and tradition. I find their taste to be very distinct.
The actual slow cooker chicken is the easiest recipe in the world!!! You just buy 1-2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts and put them at the bottom of the crockpot. Then add a salsa of choice (I used Newman’s Own Farmer’s Garden Salsa) and a packet of taco seasoning. I buy the kind without MSG. Cover the chicken breasts evenly with taco seasoning and salsa, put on your slow cooker. And walk away. That’s really it for the chicken itself! I’ll put it all out in a nice recipe for you:
- 1½ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 1.25-ounce packet taco seasoning - I like low sodium or no MSG
- 1 16-ounce jar of your favorite salsa - I use Newman's Own Farmer's Garden Salsa because I really love the little vegetable chunks
- For serving tacos: tortillas or taco shells - I used taco boats, as you can see! Then I personally love La Morena Peppers, black beans, cheese of choice, sour cream of choice, and vegetables of choice. Hot sauce too
- Place chicken breasts in the bottom of the crock-pot
- Sprinkle taco seasoning evenly over chicken
- Pour salsa on top and spread it out evenly
- Cook on low (for 6-8 hours) or high (for 4 hours) - I did four hours and it was perfect
- Just before serving, use two forks to shred the chicken. It will be like pulled chicken at the end, in consistency. And I used a very chunky salsa so results may vary!
- Stir to evenly distribute salsa throughout chicken.
- Serve immediately with desired toppings. Take photos on your deck. Enjoy!
Results may vary because tacos mean something differently for everyone. For me, the peppers make it really special and an awesome holiday recipe. Add some red sauce and it can totally be red and green too, if you’re feeling very festive, like I often am. You can cook your chicken any which way, but for me, the slow cooker did a nice and even job and I LOVE the shredded/pulled consistency of the chicken in the end. It also makes the house smell incredible all day long.