Monday, 9 June 2014

Easy Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken

Don't you just love easy, slow cooker meals that take a few moments to prepare in the morning, and then a couple of easy minutes in the evening of throwing things together?

As per my last post, I've been craving winter warmer meals, and being one of those people who works from home I really love the excitement of a slow cooker meal - as the day goes on you start to smell it more and more until it's nearly ready and the whole house just has a warm, cooking smell! Or, the other option which is you set the slow cooker in the morning, head out for the day, and come home to the most delicious aroma that gets you instantly in the mood for a warm meal. Either way, a slow cooker really creates a sense of anticipation for your meal, and the only downside to working at home while it's cooking is that I am certain my daily food intake doubles as all of the yummy food smells trigger my hunger so much more than normal!

Tonights dinner was a spicy slow cooked Mexican chicken dish, and the slow cooker component of it only had 5 ingredients - that's my kind of dinner! I came across a new 'easy meal' solution at the supermarket the other day. Usually I am all for making all of your own sauces/condiments/accompaniments etc, but there are times when convenience is really what you are after, and when you are striving to eat clean, healthy meals that can be hard to achieve as about 99% of ready made sauces etc are full of all sorts of rubbish. This one however contained nothing but natural ingredients, and whats more it tastes great!

 Here's the sauce - I found it at New World but it will probably be available elsewhere too.

Here are the ingredients - tomato, jalapeño, onion, coriander, salt. Easy to replicate if you can't find this one at the shop.

 In the slow cooker ready to go...

 Cooked, tender, succulent, and so so tasty!

Chicken shredded - ready to serve

Plated up, yum! Shredded chicken, shredded lettuce, salsa, extra jalapeños, topped with fresh coriander

Easy Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken

Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, nut-free, soy-free, sugar-free

3 large chicken breasts
3 cups swiss brown mushrooms, cut into large chunks (any mushroom variety will do)
1 large onion, cut into thick slices
2 tins La Morena Red Mexican Sauce (or you could use 1 400g tin tomatoes, a handful of fresh coriander, or 3 tbsp dried coriander, 1 large onion, finely diced, 5 or 6 jalapeños, finely diced, 1 tsp salt).
1 red and 1 yellow capsicum

1 large tomato, diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/2 an avocado
salt and pepper to taste
a handful of fresh coriander, roughly torn

1/2 a head of lettuce, roughly shredded
extra jalapeños and coriander to garnish

1. Get out the slow cooker. In the bottom, place the onions, then the mushrooms, then the chicken, then top it with the tins of sauce. Job done! Cook on low for the day, or high if you're starting at midday, and just wait for the yummy aromas to flow through the house. 
2. Half an hour before you want to eat, you can start putting together the rest of the meal. This is also the time to add the capsicum to the slow cooker. You can add it at the start, but I like having one ingredient in there that is still quite firm. You can also shred the chicken now, or just before serving - either or. To shred the chicken, just grab 2 forks and tear away at it. It should just shred without any effort at all. You can turn the slow cooker onto warm, or even turn it off completely at this stage - the residual heat will cook the peppers and keep the meal nice and warm. 
3. If you would like to serve this with rice (hubby and the kids had it with theirs), cook your rice. 
4. To make the salsa, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to combine. You may want to add some extra jalapeños or chilli if you like it spicy, and you can play around with the quantities of the lemon/salt/pepper to suit. If you have a family of coriander haters, just leave it out. 
5. Time to plate up - if you are having rice, pop some rice on the plate, top it with the yummy shredded chicken (make sure to get plenty of the juices - mmmmm!), add a good helping of lettuce and salsa, and top it all with the jalapeños and coriander.