Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Slow-Cooker Mexican Chicken and Spanish Rice

Have you ever found a recipe that's just so good you have to share it? It's happened to me a few times but, honestly, the phenomenon is rarer than I'd like - so when I tried this simple, five-ingredient recipe for Mexican-isnpired chicken last week, I just couldn't wait to get it on the blog.

Sure, I may have discovered it by accident (after buying salsa, but no chips) and sure I may have only made it twice so far (although that's a lot for one week!) but I just know you're going to love it!

Served with homemade enchilada sauce

This recipe is so simple that you'll wonder why you'd never thought of it before, and so delicious that your husband will start requesting it for dinner every night (if he's anything like mine, that is). It requires less than a handful of ingredients, but the chicken is packed with tangy, Tex-Mex flavor and can be easily transformed for use in enchiladas, fajitas, tacos and chimichangas, to name just a few.

You can dress it up with some roasted bell peppers, a bit of avocado or some sour cream (we paired ours with my favorite homemade enchilada sauce) or just enjoy it with a few spoonfuls of Spanish Rice. And the best part? The hands-on cooking time is about 10-15 minutes, which makes it perfect for busy moms.

I know it may sound like hyperbole, but I haven't had a recipe I've been this excited about for a long time, and it's so easy. But, enough of my rave review - get out your crock pot, thaw out a few chicken breasts and make this meal tonight!

Easy Slow-Cooker Mexican Chicken

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs
1/2 packet fajita or taco seasoning (about 4 teaspoons)
1 cup salsa (I recommend the Great Value Garlic and Lime)
1 cup water
lime juice, to taste (optional)

Place chicken in a lightly greased, 5-quart slow-cooker. Cover with fajita or taco seasoning. Top with salsa and water (and lime juice, if desired). Cook on low for 4-6 hours, or until cooked through (chicken should be fall-apart tender). Remove chicken breasts from slow cooker and shred with a fork. Remove most of the juices for use in Spanish Rice and return shredded chicken to the slow cooker, with some juice to prevent drying, to keep warm. Use in fajitas, tacos, enchiladas or any other dish that would benefit from a bit of Mexican/ Tex-Mex flavor!

Spanish Rice
White or brown rice
At least 1/2 cup juices from Slow-Cooker Mexican Chicken

Prepare rice as directed on package, substituting the salsa 'juice' for some of the water. If rice seems dry after cooking, add additional juice.

A few notes: I used a salsa with a hint of lime and I'd really recommend it. If you use regular salsa, you should consider adding a few drops of lime juice as this really makes the recipe. Also, the recipe calls for defrosted chicken, but you can easily cook it from frozen - just adjust your slow cooker's power to high for at least the first 3 hours of cooking. I'm assuming you could refrigerate or freeze any leftover chicken but I can't be sure - we've never had any leftovers!

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  1. I will definitely be putting that lime salsa on my shopping list, it sounds great. I love slow cooker recipes like this! Stopping over from Wow Me Wednesday. -Kelly @ Semi Homemade Mom

  2. Sounds delicious and easy!!! Thanks for the recipe!

  3. This is great! My mom used to make something similar when I was a kid.
    I would love it if you come by and link this up at From Scratch Friday @ Marriage from Scratch! It’s live already on the blog.


    1. You were a lucky kid! I'm only sad I didn't discover it until now ;) I'm sorry I missed your link party - I'll try to stop by this week! Thanks for the invite :)

  4. I love the GV lime and garlic salsa, my favorite and I will most definitely be making this recipe. Thanks.

    1. It really is good salsa (but I love limes). I've made the recipe with other salsas, and it's good, but the GV lime just adds something special.

  5. That looks good - I just Pinned it so I won't forget to make it! Thanks for sharing!


  6. Oh yum! My mouth is literally watering!! Thanks for sharing at oopsey daisy!

  7. This looks so yummy! I would love for you to visit my new food blog, The Sweet Spot, and link up your recipes to my Mouthwatering Monday Link Party!

  8. I'm saving this one for the vault. This looks gorgeous. I want to thank you so much for linking up each week to my "Thriving on Thursdays" linky party. You always have such fantastic ideas. The party will be starting again in just over 12 hours so if you get a chance, I'd love to see what you've been up to this week.

    Anne @ Domesblissity xx

  9. This looks delicious and we love slow cooker recipes! Thanks so much for joining us on "Strut Your Stuff Saturday." We loved having you and hope to see you back next Saturday with more of your recipes!! -The Sisters

  10. Oh yum! Love a good slow cooker recipe. Thanks so much for linking up!

  11. Looks terrific! Found you on Its So Cheri and am now a linky follower.

  12. Just made this and it was excellent, rice too!! Thanks!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! It's become one of our favorites, too.

  13. This sounds great! How can I print it?

  14. Just found this...looks so yummy! I searched for your homemade enchilada sauce, but couldn't find it. Do you have a link you can share?

  15. I've made this several times and love it. I add some jalapeno peppers too for some kick. So good.