Learning to Cook · Miss Mary · Recipes

Learning to Cook, Taco Tuesday – Mark Bittman’s Shredded Chicken

2016 LTC Taco Tuesday 8On a visit to my daughter and her husband in St. Louis they took us to Mission Taco Joint (MT).  Baby!  St. Louis has a bevy of fantastic restaurants but this is one of my favorites.  Their take on serious variety from meatless, to vegetarian, to seafood, is undeniably delicious. High quality with lots of fresh everything.

There’s also a fun little thing for Tuesdays that’s been hopping around Social Media, Taco Tuesday.  I was looking for a Taco recipe that would mirror my experience at @MissionTacoSTL  Hello, New York Times (NYT) pet chef Mark Bittman.

2016 LTC Taco Tuesday 7My variations on Taco meat have to do with seasonings and sautéing.  Not really knowing how to cook Mexican dishes, I believe Chef Bittman took a more traditional approach to this Shredded Chicken for Tacos recipe.  It is extremely easy, inexpensive, delicious, probably could do it in a crock pot, and did I say delicious?

Rule of thumb in my kitchen, use what you have.  I purchased chicken thighs (bone in skin on $.49 a pound) about 3 weeks ago at Aldi and froze half of the “family pack” package to be used at another time.

BTW, I have a fear of heat in foods. I confess, I did not add the dried pepper, but I did add a can of diced Lapreferida mild green chilies that were cut up.  The most fantastic thing about this recipe is, in my version, there is NO FAT added, NO SALT added, it is all flavor.  Hi five on the bulge scale.  Plus, it makes a lot – meal prep, hello.  The thing about heat, you can ALWAYS add it back in through your sides.

This will be made again, and I’ll try it in the crockpot for a crowd!  My niece’s wedding she had a Taco Bar that was a huge hit.

I always use fresh pico de gallo.  Around here Joe Caputos has the best, but I add sliced black olives and minced garlic.  There is nothing worse than making really fresh tacos and using store bought salsa.

Chef Bittman is a voracious writer, just check out Amazon with all his books.  The NYT graciously created his “best recipes” in one link.  Check them out and show me your samples.  He has a Shredded Pork recipe, a Grilled Carne Asada recipe, and a Salsa Fresca.

2016 LTC Taco Tuesday

Printed version 2016 LTC My verstion of Shredded Chicken for Tacos

My version of Shredded Chicken for Tacos

  • 2 pounds (about 4) chicken thighs, bone in and skinned removed
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and quartered
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 .4 oz can of Lapreferida mild Green Chilies diced
  • 5 cups water

2016 LTC Taco Tuesday 2In a Dutch Oven, or large pan, combine all the ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Using a large spoon, skim any foam that comes to the surface.  Partially cover and simmer for 45 minutes.  Remove chicken.  Keep simmering the sauce till reduced by half – another 20 minutes.  Remove the bay leaves.

2016 LTC Taco Tuesday 5(You can see how far the sauce was reduced in this photo.) After it’s cooled, shred the meat with two forks.  Return to sauce and heat through.  Awesome sauce!!!!

2016 LTC Taco Tuesday 4Sides

  • Cucumber – spiralized – thinly cut
  • Fresh Jalapenos, thinly sliced
  • Black beans
  • Fresh pico de gallo
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Cheese
  • Light sour cream
  • Corn Tortillas


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