Easy Taco Night Thanks to the CrockPot



April 1, 2008 *

Day 92.

We love tacos. The kids always eat more on taco night than they do at any other time. They love the hands-on aspect of a do-it-yourself bar, and they like cheese and sour cream.
And olives.
Thanks to our friend Joey, we can't eat olives anymore without saying "don't eat olive 'em" or "these are just so good that I'm going to eat olive 'em." And then we laugh so hard sour cream dribbles down our chins.

We lead a fun life.


The Ingredients.

--frozen boneless, skinless chicken pieces
--can of tomatoes and chiles (and the juice)
--1/3 cup of water
--1 cup frozen corn
--can of beans (drained)--I had most of a can of kidney beans in the fridge that I used.

your favorite taco or burrito fixings, and shells or tortillas

The Directions.

--plop the chicken into the crockpot. I used frozen pieces. If you chicken is thawed, it will not take as long to cook.
--cover chicken with the tomatoes, water, and corn.
--cook on low for 7-10 hours, or on high for 5-6. Shred meat with forks and stuff into your favorite shell or tortilla.

or you could eat it over rice.



The Verdict.

These turned out great, and I was happy that I could get the meat started early in the morning and then shop for the fresh ingredients at my convenience later in the day. The chicken creates a lot of liquid on it's own, so the added water probably wasn't necessary, but it didn't harm anything to have it in there.


The kids were ecstatic to have tacos. They didn't touch the meat, however...



*  originally posted April 1, 2008. Photos updated 4/15 via DepositPhotos.

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at April 01, 2008

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What they say about this recipe

  1. That's looks wonderful to me. Unfortunately, my kids wouldn't touch it either. *sigh*. Have a great day, I can't wait to see what you make.

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  2. Great idea for a blog and you are so funny! I love the little quips about your kids. Thanks for creating this wonderful site. (BTW, I have food allergies and a posting came across on the Celiac listserv noting your blog. I'm so glad it did! I even glimpsed the bag of Pamela's baking mix in one of your photos : )

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  3. No seasonsings other than the green chiles in the tomatoes? An it was tasty enough?

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  4. Hi Stephanie,

    it was not as flavorful as it would have been if you had used taco seasoning (which would work great, if you have it on hand--there's plenty of moisture in this dish to activate it) but I was going for a "california fresh" flavor---I wanted to taste the avocados and other fix'ens.

    I was also thinking that if it wasn't spicy my kids would actually give it a try...

    your girls have much more sophisticated palates than mine do. But we're working on it!

    ;-)

    xoxo
    steph

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  5. I will definitely try this one. We love tacos-spicy ones at that so I'll be adding the seasonings.

    Love, love this blog.

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  6. Anonymous4/01/2008

    Ooh, thanks for posting. I'll definitely be making this one! We love tacos, too.

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  7. Sounds great on the chicken taco's!
    wait to see what is coming up next.

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  8. I am glad you are feeling better at your house!

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  9. Great idea for a blog! Being a single guy, the crock pot is one of my best friends.

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  10. Really love tacos. Glad that the kids like them as well. I could only imagine how hard it is to prepare meals for kids. I only have to worry about myself and on occasion my friends, who aren't too picky fortunately.

    The peanut bombs I made were a hit at the office which was good because I would have probably eaten them all myself otherwise.

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  11. Anonymous4/01/2008

    I've been a "lurker" for a while now and thought I would finally leave a comment. :-)

    Love your blog! Thanks for sharing such great crockpot recipes. :-)

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  12. Another brilliant idea! My kids would eat that, in fact they would go wild! And you're right, we could pick up the fixin's on the way home. Glad you are all feeling better!

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  13. Another brilliant idea! My kids would eat that, in fact they would go wild! And you're right, we could pick up the fixin's on the way home. Glad you are all feeling better!

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  14. My kids wouldn't touch it either. But I sure will! Thanks for the great idea.

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  15. I have been enjoying your blog. I love to cook in the crockpot too. I made your Crockpot Tacos last night. I left out the water and used canned corn and black beans. When the chicken was done and I was chopping it up I thought to myself, "I belive she left out a major ingredient, the seasoning" so I added a pack of tace seasoning. It seemed kind of blah without it. It was pretty good and much like Taco soup.

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  16. B & A, yup, it would be a lot like taco soup that way---and taco soup tastes GREAT as taco or burrito filling.
    yum.
    -steph

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  17. oh steph... that sounds soo good .thanks for sharing..i'ts making the meal plan for next week..

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  18. Great blog! Thanks for sharing!

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  19. Never never never and I mean never put frozen meat or poultry in a crockpot. It does not heat the meat fast enough to kill all that bacteria, etc. that lives in/on our food and you can, nay, will get food poisoning. Never never never NEVER put even partially frozen meat or poultry in a crockpot. Meats and poultry have to be completely thawed first, otherwise, you will be very sorry.

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  20. well there you go. Diane has spoken.

    Rival has this to say about cooking with frozen meat (you'll need to scroll down to the frozen food section).

    do your own research. trust your gut. if it feels wrong, don't do it.

    xoxo
    steph

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  21. My rival cookbook says not to put frozen or partially thawed meat or poultry in the crockpot. The reason is that the meat will heat up very slowly, giving bacteria time to multiply and give off waste. It is the waste which is toxic. When the meat slowly heats up, the frozen parts give food to the bacteria and it has enough time to grow. The bacteria may be killed during cooking, but the waste, which is the toxic part, will not be transformed and will stay there to make you and yours sick. I made this mistake last spring. It is no joke. My entire family got food poisoning because the chicken that I cooked was not completely thawed. I learned this the hard way - spare yourself!! Heed my warning.

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  22. ick, Diane, that totally stinks.

    I'm so sorry that you and your family got sick.

    xox
    steph

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  23. I really wanted to try this because I needed a crockpot meal to throw together before going to work for the day, but I had already made tacos the night before! So, I just added 8 cups of chicken broth, a can of kidney beans, and a cup of wild rice. (oh, and some taco seasoning) and it was an AWESOME soup that my kids (2 and 3) LOVED!! They ate a ton! We put sour cream and cheese on the top. SOOO GOOD!

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  24. How 'bout "Olive olives" or "Olive you!" We use those when we have olives!

    Love your blog - just found it, and I'm having a blast looking through all the old posts!

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  25. Anonymous4/15/2008

    we tried this tonight and it was a huge success...even the four year old and the two year old gobbled it up. My husband couldn't beleive it came from the crock-pot!
    Thanks for a great recipe.

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  26. Anonymous4/16/2008

    Oh my. So good. Put frozen chicken breasts (added warm water first as Rival instructs, although I have been using frozen chicken in the crockpot for years w/o a problem). The only addition was my usual seasoning (cumin, oregano, garlic powder, chile powder). Best tacos in a long time. We are about to start RVing. This will be great for those meals on the road. Thanks.

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  27. Loved this! I ended up using 2 cans of tomatoes, black beans and I added some onions. I did put a few spices at the end but I would have liked it without those though. It's the rest of the family who likes things spiced up! This was very simple and nummy! Thanks!

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  28. Ooooh, I made this last Wednesday, and it was AWESOME! I used the meat Wednesday night for soft tacos. Thursday for lunch, I put it on top of a salad. And Friday morning, I use it to stuff homemade kolaches. (Can you tell I made too much!?!?)

    My family loved it, and I did too! Thanks for the great recipe

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  29. lol, Jen!

    Carolyn, Jee, Crabbymom, and Lisa, I'm so glad that it worked out for you--thanks for reporting back!
    -steph

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  30. The kids didn't like it much (too spicy for them), but WOW! My husband and I loved it. This was so easy and tasted fabulous. Thank you!
    Oh--I did add a few TBS of my Penzey's chicken taco seasoning.

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  31. Hey Stephanie, I love your stuff so much. I was just reading your story to my wife the other night. I just did some chicken tacos on my blog and would love for you to come by and take a look at them if you have the time. I love feedback!

    http://cookingquest.wordpress.com

    Thanks,

    Joe

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  32. Anonymous7/23/2008

    i made this, and it was delicious! I too have daughters who are 6 and 3 who would not touch the meat lol. It must be a consistency thing. But hubby loved it!

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  33. I do "Taco Chicken" as a component for my once a month cooking sessions using the crockpot. It's more basic than this recipe, consisting of just frozen chicken breast strips, warm water (as recommended by Rival) and taco seasoning (mixed into the water). I put it all in the cooker and let cook for 12-14 hours on low, then shred the chicken up. I can then use it for tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, nachos, etc. by adding additional ingredients. Yum!

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  34. Anonymous3/27/2009

    I just have to say Thank You so much for this. My 5 year old, who has never ever ever touched tacos I've made before, ate 3 tacos when I made the chicken in the crockpot like this. He then went on to eat 3 more then next night, and cried the day after that when I said that all the taco fixins were gone. He has already requested it for next week. Yay!!!!
    ~Alyson

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  35. This was fantastic!

    I have a little one who doesn't like "hot" food. SO ... I substituted a can of diced tomatoes for the Rotel.

    To make more taco-ey, I sprinkled in some salt, pepper, cumin, chili pepper and garlic powder.

    It was AWESOME! Thanks for the wonderful recipe!!

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  36. BTW, Stephanie. My 2 year old, Cammy loves this recipe. We use a frozen pork tenderloin when making it. We shred it up, keep the meat on the side and top the tacos with the yummy corn/bean/rotel mixture. It's one of our favorite recipes now and we make it every couple of weeks. Thank you!

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  37. My 6yr old downed this, avocado and all. But growing up in Texas has led him to eating a lot of Tex-Mex. Thanks Steph. Great recipe.

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  38. I made this for my 16 year old son's birthday, HUGE hit! I doubled the recipe and put it in a 6 qt crock. We used the leftovers for nachos.

    This was the first of your recipes I tried, and I loved it. I now have a list. (Today I'm making Orange Chipotle Ribs and Potatoes Augratin.) I found your cookbook when I ordered a bunch from the library after being diagnosed gluten intolerant. Your book is now on my Christmas list. Haven't tried anything yet that we haven't loved.

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  39. dellydo10/04/2010

    I think this is the first of your recipes that I tried although I've been stalking your site for about a year. I used four frozen chicken tenderloins, dumped a package of taco seasoning on top, then plain diced tomatoes (didn't have the kind with green chilies), and about a cup of frozen corn kernals. I also swished about 1/4 cup of water in the tomato can and added it. I wanted to use this for homemade burritos and it seemed to be too soupy even after I shredded the chicken so I let is cook a little longer and left the top off. This mixture could be used in many ways but was really good with Mexican Rice and some cheese in a tortilla. Thanks!

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  40. Chicken Tacos in the crockpot is my new FAVORITE!!! I LOVE it!! I season the chicken and put it in the crockpot, then put either a can of Rotel and a little salsa, or a bunch of salsa and frozen corn. I keep talking about putting in a can of black beans, but haven't done it yet. We eat "soft tacos", 10 month old son just eats it and I've put it over tortillas for chicken nachos later too!! SOOO yummy!!!

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  41. Anonymous4/06/2011

    Fabulous and so, so easy. I tried this yesterday. Everything into the crock in the AM but used black beans (2 very large, very frozen chicken breasts). I added the corn (I forgot) & put everything on high while I shredded the chicken. I served it over rice. YUM YUM

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  42. cbuffy6/21/2011

    I had people coming for dinner and needed something easy that would be ready when we all arrived at nearly the same time. Boy did this fit the bill! Literally in the pot within 5 minutes (I used frozen thighs) and everybody loved it! There wasn't any left.... We served it with tortilla chips, sour cream and salsa with a green salad on the side.

    Thanks! This will be in the rotation for sure!

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  43. I made this for dinner two days ago. It turned out amazing! I used 3 frozen chicken breasts, a can of rotel, a can of drained kidney beans, some frozen corn, and seasoned with chili powder, garlic powder, a dash or two of cayenne pepper, and some cumin.

    There were lots of leftovers, and I am thinking that this would be really easy to turn into King Ranch Chicken. Just add a can of cream of mushroom soup, layer with corn tortillas, and cheese, and bake or slow cook.

    Definitely on the list to make again.

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  44. Hi there,
    Thanks for posting this, it looks wonderfully simple. Could you just clarify - do you add the beans right at the beginning? It seems like they might be mushy by the time you serve them otherwise.

    Also, I have leukemia and I've been told not to cook any meat from frozen in a crockpot as my immunities are low and the heat is never quite hot enough to kill the bacteria properly. This is probably worth bearing in mind if you have little kidlets or elderly parents you are going to be serving to. I overcome this by Zapping my dish in a microwave for a minute or two before eating, I know that probably kills all the good stuff as well but I get to enjoy the same (easy to prepare things) as my family that way and I always steam my veg or eat it raw whenever possible to make up for it.

    Just thought I'd let you know as this might ease the minds of some who are concerned about the frozen chicken aspect.

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  45. Im gonna go ahead and guess that the seasoning they sell for tacos has gluten in them. Thats probably why it was left out. please correct me if I'm wrong. I'm new to the whole GF world. trying to learn it all. with in a year a handful of family members have been diagnosed with celiac. this site has made a lot of lives easier!

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  46. Hi @cola, actually McCormick Taco Seasoning has all gluten free ingredients, and my family uses it quite regularly. I originally wrote this back in 2008 and manufacturers weren't labeling things as well as they do now.
    I hope this helps!

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  47. jackie7/03/2012

    these were AMAZING!!!!!! my picky 3 year old and VERY PICKY husband ate this with rice and we made an imitation taco bell chicken and rice burrito with it. i added Ortega chipotle seasoning but just sprinkled it on top of the chicken, not the whole package and it was the best tacos we have ever have thank you!!! ;)

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  48. Thanks for the recipe, I am going to try it tomorrow! I think I will add my usual seasonings of cumin, garlic salt and paprika and some extra green chiles too and serve over rice with cheese melted on top and tortilla chips on the side - sounds YUM!

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  49. Love this recipe. We make this or variations of it probably once every other week at least. I'll even add in either fresh or frozen bell peppers. And in trying to lower how much sodium we eat, I have found that the Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime works great to season this dish instead of a taco seasoning packet.

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  50. Anonymous8/31/2013

    This sounds divine! I'm always on the look out for new ways to prepare chicken and this sounds great! Thanks for posting this.

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  51. I found this an odd recipe to decipher. The amount of chicken isn't listed. I used about 1 1/4 pounds of chicken. The lack of seasoning was confusing as well. I added two diced cloves of garlic, about 1 1/2 tbsp of chili seasoning, and about a tbsp of ground cumin. I skipped the corn, and added fresh green pepper strips and yellow onion strips. I also didn't add the beans. I warmed up refried beans in the microwave instead.

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