Slow Cooker Love : “Chipotle” Chicken

I really hate it that my kids do extra curricular activities.  There, I said it.  I like rhythm and routine and predictability. Activites throw massive wrenches in the works. And because I cook 95% of our family meals from scratch (due to multiple food allergies/intolerances/paleo), having wrenches thrown into our routine means I have to do some serious thinking ahead.  Of the 5% of the meals we eat outside of the home, one of the places we can (pretty) safely eat is Chipotle.  We are all huge fans of their chicken burrito bowls.  Though Chipotle is fairly inexpensive, for a family of 5 it adds up quickly, so if we decided we’d try to replicate it at home.

I found this recipe a while back for Chipotle’s chicken and it was a hit with everyone.  Except it involves marinating and frying which takes time, which, as we have already discussed, I don’t always have.

Last week, when I was trying to plan for a night when I knew we wouldn’t have a lot of meal prep time, I thought “why not just pop it in the crock pot with the seasoning and see what happens”.  Cue heavens parting, angels singing, yadda yadda. We serve over rice (or lettuce for me) and add warmed canned black beans, Trader Joe’s guacamole and salsa. Sometimes the Man will have sour cream and shredded cheese if we have it on hand. Easy breezy.

Since last night was a lot of busy busy with Mack’s school conference and Hopper’s basketball (kill me now) I decided to make it again and grace these here internets with a recipe of sorts.  You are SO welcome.

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Slow Cooker Chipotle Chicken (for burrito bowls)

gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free

Ingredients

3 Tbsp of Seasoning Mix* (more, or less, to taste)

~ 5 lbs of bone-in chicken thighs (skin and excess fat trimmed off)

1. Place a layer of trimmed chicken thighs in the bottom of your slow cooker.

2. Sprinkle 1.5 Tbsp of seasoning mix evenly over them.

3. Place remaining chicken thighs on top of your first layer.

4. Sprinkle remaining 1.5 Tbsp of seasoning mix on top. Do not add any liquid.

image

5. Cook on HIGH for 3 – 4 hours.

6. Remove cooked thighs carefully and place them on a plate.

7. On a seperate, heat friendly surface (I use another plate) take each thigh and remove and discard the bone and any cartilage.

8. With two forks, shred the meat.

9. Optional: return shreded meat to crock pot.  Depending on the amount of liquid, this could make your chicken very saucy.  Another option is to spoon the liquid over your finished burrito bowls for extra flavor.

10. Assemble burrito bowls by placing rice** or chopped lettuce (grain free version) in your bowl and top with chicken, and other accouterments of your choice like beans, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, and/or salsa.

I only got that one picture of them going in the slow cooker because I was so hungry by the time it was all ready that I devoured it without even thinking about taking a picture.  Sorrynotsorry.

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*Seasoning Mix (from this recipe)

2 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp garlic powder

1 Tbsp onion powder

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1.5 tsp dried oregano

1.5 tsp black pepper

Mix this together.  It makes enough for TWO batches. Store the rest in an airtight container.

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** Lime-Cilantro Rice

Sometimes, if I have the time and ingredients, I’ll throw together Lime-Cilantro rice to really fancy things up.

Rice (white or brown)

Lime juice (1 Tbsp per cup dry rice)

Fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (1/4 cup per cup dry rice, chopped coarsely)

1. Measure water and/or rice according to package directions.

2. Add lime juice to your rice/water mixture at the start of cooking.

3. Cook rice according to package instructions.

4. Once rice is ready for fluffing, fluff with a fork and then gently fold in chopped cilantro.

5. Add more lime and/or cilantro to taste.

Done!

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