Seriously, I can’t imagine cooking chicken being any easier than this. I feel like it hardly qualifies to be called a recipe; it’s only two ingredients. The best part is you can use the meat in lots of different meals. And, of course, it’s dye free.
Let’s get to it. Gather your ingredients: a bag of frozen chicken and some salsa. We usually do three pounds of chicken and use a 16 oz jar of salsa (all the salsas I’ve seen are dye free, but always double check). I’ve also done only two chicken breasts with a 1/3 cup of salsa in a tiny crock pot and it works just fine. Tailor it to your needs. I, personally, love having leftover meat to quickly throw into a dish later in the week, so I make a lot at once.
Get out your crock pot. Pour in the frozen chicken.
Now cover the chicken with the salsa.
Put the lid back on and set your slow cooker for however long you want. I’ve done it on high for 4-6 hours and on low for 8-10. Everything turns out the same. Time it so it will be done cooking a little before you want to eat. I threw this together at 9:00 AM, so I did 8 hours since we usually eat around 5:30 PM. But I’ve also started it at 1:00 PM and cooked it on high for 4 hours and it was perfectly done in time for dinner. Don’t be afraid to try it at the faster cooking time.
I won’t lie to you. This doesn’t look extremely appetizing while it’s cooking. After a couple hours it’ll look like this.
It does smell pretty good though. So trust that and just try not to look at it until it’s done. 🙂
When your chicken is done cooking, it’ll look like this. Still looks a little weird, but hang in there things are about to get pretty.
Now get out a bowl and a couple forks. You’re going to shred your meat directly into the serving bowl, because why make extra dishes?
Use the forks to carefully transfer a couple chicken breasts to the serving dish. I usually scrape the chunks of salsa off ours a little while it’s still in the slow cooker, but you don’t have to.
Now use your forks to pull the meat apart. When the chicken is warm it shreds easily. I shred all of mine and then store any leftovers in the fridge for later. It’s not as fast to shred it once it’s been refrigerated.
That’s it! Use your shredded chicken however you’d like. The first night I usually make chicken tacos – set out some fixin’s and tortillas and you’re good to go. I like making pasta dishes or sandwiches with what’s leftover later in the week.
The meat has a really nice flavor, but you can also spice it to your taste as it’s cooking. For example, if you want to make ALL of it into taco meat, you could add a package of taco seasoning (a safe, dye-free option is McCormick) along with the salsa and then cook it. If you make three pounds of chicken taco meat, you can easily feed a large group. It’s great for a quick dinner when you’re having company, but have tons of other things to do (like clean your house, take care of the kids, etc).
Here’s a glimpse at the delicious chicken tacos we had for dinner last night. Taco nights are the best, because the kids eat so fast. No complaining, no stalling; just the beautiful sounds of chewing. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!