Stovetop Shredded Mexican Chicken is a simple and hearty filling for tacos without the use of sodium heavy salsa or taco seasoning! Perfect for nachos or enchiladas too!
I’ve been cranking out new recipes pretty frequently lately, but relying on my iPhone for photos! The change of seasons usually brings out the desire to switch from simple eats like BLT’s and watermelon to something more hearty and warm.
Stovetop shredded mexican chicken isn’t exactly *new* but the method is. At least it was to me, that’s why I’m sharing it! If you’ve made tacos with shredded chicken before you most likely dumped a jar of salsa over top along with a packet of taco seasoning and waited to shred it and stuff it in a taco shell.
I’ve done that too.
This is better.
Lower in sodium.
I love my new deep dish skillet from Costco. Nothing sticks to this baby, not even eggs! I tested it with no spray when making our family favorite italian egg sandwiches.
The sauce starts with a green bell pepper and onion, finely diced. I also added a few jarred jalapeño slices (these aren’t that spicy but add a little zip, safe enough for the kiddos, i.e.; sensitive ones) garlic and spices.
An entire can of crushed tomatoes goes in and simmers without the lid for about 20-30 minutes. The sauce recipe, known as ranchero sauce, came from Iowa Girl Eats. I’ve followed her for 3 years now and her photos never disappoint, much like her recipes. She recommended a splatter screen (which I don’t own) or tilting the lid of your pot to let out a little steam as the sauce simmers.
This didn’t work for me. The lid collected too much steam and didn’t allow my sauce to thicken even after 20 minutes. I removed the lid and surprisingly it didn’t splatter everywhere like spaghetti sauce is known to do.
So…try it without the lid if you’re not getting results.
Boom! Thick and beautiful sauce.
Shortcuts to any recipe are fabulous and my deep covered baker by Pampered Chef helped me achieve that. It cooks chicken perfectly to shred in 12 minutes! No worries if you don’t have one, just poach the chicken in a pot over medium heat until it’s fork tender and can be shredded easily.
You can add some ranchero sauce before it’s thickened like I did, with some salt and pepper and juice from 1/2 lime when poaching. Reserve some of the leftover liquid for later.
Immediately toss the shredded chicken into the sauce so it can absorb some of the juices and stay tender.
Toss in a handful of chopped cilantro…
Now you’ve got an amazing flavorful mexican shredded chicken to be stuffed in whatever vessel you choose! My preference is a baked corn tortilla sprinkled with salt and lime juice. Baking helps them crisp up a bit and hold their shape better.
I topped mine with a simple black bean spread, a good heaping of mexican shredded chicken, fresh avocado and topped with a mixture of greek yogurt and sriracha sauce and finished with a good squeeze of lime juice. Very filling and very very good.
- 2 pounds chicken breasts, cut in half, poached then shredded
- 15oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 green pepper, finely diced
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 5 jarred jalapeno slices (or fresh if you want heat!)
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tsp cumin
- salt and pepper
- juice of 1 lime
- handful of fresh chopped cilantro
- 4 cups unsalted chicken broth (1 carton)
- Begin the sauce by adding a bit of olive oil to pan and toss in diced green pepper and onion. Simmer over medium heat about 5 minutes until softened. Add jarred jalapeños, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir to incorporate.
- Carefully pour in crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Add juice from 1/2 a lime and 4 cups chicken broth. Bring to a simmer for about 20 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
- While sauce is cooking, begin to poach the chicken by slicing each breast in half and placing in a large pot. Add 2/3 cup mexican sauce, and enough water to just cover the chicken. Bring to a slow boil for 12-15 minutes or until chicken is white and a fork can began to shred the meat. Don't cook it too fast or it will be tough. Remove chicken from liquid and shred with two forks. Squeeze remaining lime juice over chicken and add to skillet incorporating with the sauce.
- Toss in cilantro and allow to simmer an additional 10-15 minutes to allow the chicken to soak up some of the flavor. Add a bit of reserved broth from cooking the chicken if needed.