Semi-Chilaquiles – Second Meal Brunch (Chicken tacos)

This is a Second Meal using leftovers from Chicken tacos It Was inspired by a traditional Mexican dish, chilaquiles. While I didn’t have all the traditional ingredients, I decided to do what I do, and make my own version with my OHI. .

After I made chicken tacos in the crock pot, I had a bunch of meat leftover and was trying to think of another, different way to use it. I was having a late breakfast – kind of a brunch – that day, so I came up with this. It was really really good, lots of protein (so it’s filling), and not too bad for you either since the chicken taco meat is all homemade using no preservatives.

So here’s what I did!

First reheat some of that chicken – until it’s warm, but not steaming hot.
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Next add a little shredded cheddar cheese and one slice of Provolone.
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Before you put the cheese on, move the meat over... you need to leave room for another ingredient!


Heat for another minute or so in the microwave (or I suppose you could do it in a pan or on a griddle also) until cheese is melted.
Now add some homemade guacamole to your plate (which you also have leftover from your taco meal!).
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Meanwhile, cook two overeasy eggs. When they’re finished place them atop the cheese and chicken taco meat.
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And that’s it! Now eat and enjoy!
I’m telling you… it’s really good!

Happy cooking!

Crock Pot Chicken Tacos

I know I haven’t been super consistent with this series, but… it’s Crock Pot Wednesday!

I’ve seen lots of recipes floating around out there for chicken tacos in the crock pot, but most of them used a lot of store-bought ingredients. So I waited for the right time, when sales and time were on my side, and cooked this up! (See what I did there? πŸ˜‰

What you’ll Need
Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs*
1 can diced tomatoes with chilies
1 batch Cassie’s Homemade Taco SeasoningsΒ (measured in teaspoons)
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*More often than not, the thighs are sold with bone-in and skin on. These were miraculously on sale one day and I knew it was perfect for this recipe:
#1. I like the thigh meat better – it’s more tender and juicy, and it’s also usually cheaper.
#2. I didn’t want to worry about pulling bones out of the crock pot, or worrying if there was a small bone mixed in with my child’s taco. If you can’t find the boneless skinless variety, you could probably skin them yourself and pick the bones out when it’s finished. But I was feeling lazy ;
)

This one’s really simple. Just put your chicken in the crock pot, season with some salt, and pour the taco seasonings over top.
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Use a pastry brush to spread across the surface area of all the chicken. Use a tongs to lift chicken thighs up and get the seasonings underneath as well.
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Then add the can of tomatoes & chilies and a thin layer of water (I think I used too much because I had to use a slotted spoon to remove my meat later – but use your discretion).
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Set on low for 6 hours. Or, since I was short on time but didn’t want my chicken to be overcooked, I set it on high for the first hour and a half, then separated the meat a bit, and then set on low for the last 2-3 hours. To separate the meat, just take a metal spoon or a flat wooden spatula and poke at the chicken until the pieces fall apart. It will be pretty easy.

Here’s what it looked like with the chicken separated and cooking up in the juices:
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If you have older kids that are in lots of activities, or if you and your hubby have opposite schedules one night, this is a great meal to make, because you can prep everything, and leave the crock pot to “Keep warm”. This way everyone can eat when they’re ready.

Then serve it on up with your favorite taco fixins! We use whole wheat tortillas, sour cream, salsa, limes, Mexican cheese, and I also made homemade guacamoleΒ (if you’ve read this recipe before, check it out again – I changed something that I completely forgot was the most importantΒ ingredient!).

Now wait, that’s not all…Β because tomorrow I’m sharing a REALLY good Second Meal using the leftover chicken!

Happy cooking!

Cassie’s Homemade Taco Seasonings

Can I start by telling you that currently, my house is QUIET. So quiet I can hear the clock ticking, the cars a few streets over, and the key tones on my new tablet sound almost deafening. Quiet is nice, for once!

For awhile now I’ve skipped purchasing taco seasoning packets and just done it myself. I honestly don’t remember how I learned what spices to use, but I usually just add them to taste as I go – most often when making my Second Meal of twice-cooked pork tacos. Because I’m usually using pre-cooked (and pre-seasoned) meat, you won’t see salt on the list of ingredients. However, if you are cooking pork or chicken for the first time, I would season your meat first OR add at least 1-2 parts salt.
I like doing this because not only do I not worry about preservatives and mystery ingredients, but I can also adjust to my family’s taste preferences. Plus I’m sure it’s cheaper!

So here’s the recipe for my homemade, easy, family-friendly taco blend!

Cassie’s Taco Seasoning Mix
4 parts Garlic Powder
3 parts Cumin
2 parts Paprika
1 part Cayenne
1/2 part Chili Powder
*If you aren’t using fresh onions with your meat, you can add 2 parts Onion Powder.

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Put all seasonings in a medium sized bowl and whisk to combine.

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This is enough to season about 2lbs or so of meat: chicken, pork, and though I haven’t tried it yet, probably beef.

Tonight I tried it using chicken thighs in the crock pot; It was pretty delicious.

You will likely need some moisture from somewhere if cooking directly in a pan or skillet. A bit of water, chicken stock, or tomato juice works well. When I make my twice-cooked pork tacos, the liquid is from the pork itself and from beer. When I made the chicken in crock pot, I used a can of diced tomatoes and green chilies (not drained), then some water too. Experiment to see what your family likes best!

So now you have a go-to, quick taco mix. You can prep it ahead of time and save it in an empty spice jar, a store-bought glass one, or even a tupperware if you plan on using it pretty quickly. Honestly, spices last pretty long, so it’s not a huge deal as long as you’re storing in a cool dry place.

Try this your next taco night and let me know how it goes!