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Shredded Chicken for Mexican Food

July 21, 2010

Mexican food, in my opinion, is the easiest cuisine to make vegetarian.  It just comes naturally, I think, because of the multitude of flavors, textures, beans, and cheeses that make Mexican food what it is.  Meat can easily be omitted and never missed.  Even though I’m eating a little meat here and there, I still tend to gravitate towards vegetarian entrees when eating Mexican cuisine.

When I ran across the recipe featured here (from PinkParsley), however, I couldn’t help but be intrigued.  The chicken was simmered with cilantro and orange juice – not some tomato based product like you usually see.

It didn’t add tons of fat and unwelcome calories to the meal, either, so I was up for giving it a chance.  And as much as I enjoy a vegetarian entree when we eat Mexican, I always find myself cooking meat for the Omnivore.  He likes beans as much as the rest of us, but he likes meat with his pintos.  Well, actually, with his black beans.  It sounded better if I said pintos, though.

And of course, my dear Omnivore gave this chicken preparation his ultimate seal of approval by asking the question, before he was even finished with his two chicken soft tacos, “Are there leftovers?”  Luckily there were.

One Year Ago: Vegetarian Sushi for 1

Chicken Soft Tacos (serves 4, adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, Light and Healthy 2010)

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoons minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided and chopped
1/4 cup orange juice (half of a freshly squeezed orange)
1/2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 boneless, skinless chicken  breasts
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
salt and pepper

Heat a 12-inch skillet sprayed with cooking spray over medium heat until shimmering.  Stir in the garlic and chipotles and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in 1/4 cup of the cilantro, Worcestershire, and the orange juice.

Nestle the chicken into the skillet and bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until the thickest part registers 160-165 degrees on a thermometer, about 12-18 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

Remove the chicken from the pan and transfer to a cutting board.  Shred into bite-sized pieces using 2 forks.  Take pan of sauce off heat.

Return shredded chicken to pan, stirring in mustard and cilantro.  Season with salt and pepper.  Put chicken over low heat and cook 5 minutes more until chicken is coated in sauce.

Per serving
Calories 140.6
Total Fat 1.5 g
Total Carbohydrate 2.3 g
Protein 27.5 g

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2010 7:38 am

    that looks wonderful – I love cilantro. Will have to try this!

  2. July 21, 2010 11:59 am

    This really is a great recipe for any Mexican dish, like you said. The leftovers were great on a salad too!

    • July 22, 2010 6:21 am

      We love Mexican, but get sick of the tomato-based sauces that most recipes call for. I love cilantro, so I’ll have to try this one.

  3. July 23, 2010 10:42 pm

    Totally versatile…and delicious! Love the pictures, too!

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