Monday, April 22, 2013

Chicken Taco Stew

This is a favorite that I've been making for years.  It's simple to make, delicious, filling and fairly healthy until we ruin it with sour cream, cheese and tortilla chips.  And while it's perfect without all the garnish, it gets that much better with the fanfare.  Beans, corn, tomatoes, and onion combine with seasoned chicken to create a chunky bowl of yum.  There's not enough liquid to consider this a soup but a little too much to be a chili, and the chunks just beg to be scooped up with chips.  This chicken taco stew makes frequent appearances for pot lucks, parties and for delivery dinners for friends in need.  Crock pot meals don't get much simpler than opening a few cans, chopping an onion, adding some seasoning and tossing some chicken on top.  And it just makes the kitchen smell so good.

A former boss of mine shared this recipe during a healthy recipe swap, but I understand it shows up with mild variation on various weight loss websites, although I don't know the original source.  The stats on the stew alone are pretty impressive, lending a cup of the stuff to be lenient for a little reduced fat cheese and fat free cream cheese.  Depending on my mood, sometimes I season the chicken with a little chili powder before adding it to the crock pot.   This is another one of those recipes where you can control the heat, adding chili powder or an high octane version of taco seasoning, or opting for diced tomatoes with green chiles (I usually do one can with, on without).  I've shredded and chunked up the chicken and both ways work wonderfully.  Below I show you how to make quick work of shredding chicken using your stand mixer.  And again, I must discuss the toppings.  Whatever you would put on your tacos belongs here: any type of shredded cheese, sour cream, guacamole, avocado slices, red onion, olives, the list goes on.  Crush some tortilla chips on top or use them to shovel a fine bowl of this stew into your mouth, there is no wrong way.  And if you choose to have your version healthy and au natural, you'll still be quite happy and satisfied. 

Chicken Taco Stew


1 onion
15.5 ounces black beans
15.5 ounces pinto beans
11 ounce can corn, Mexican-style
8 ounces tomato sauce
14.5 ounces diced tomatoes
14.5 ounces diced tomatoes with green chiles
3 Tablespoons taco seasoning
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 12 ounces)

Chop the onion and place in a 4-5 quart slow cooker with both beans (and liquid), corn, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and taco seasoning.  Stir to combine.

Lay chicken on top of bean and vegetable mixture.  Note: You may choose to season the meat with salt and pepper, more taco seasoning or chili powder to taste, but it's not necessary.

Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Remove chicken and shred or chop.  Note: For quick shredding, place chicken in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Pulse for 20-30 seconds until chicken in shredded to desired consistency.  

Return chicken pieces to crock pot and stir to combine.  Cover and cook for another 30 minutes.  Distribute into bowls and garnish with cheese, sour cream, avocados, tortilla chips, etc.

Makes 8-10 servings.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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