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I used the following two recipes for my Kick-Ass Tamale recipe, but these shredded meats can be used for anything from cassaroles or enchiladas to tacos and burritos. You end up with a lot of meat, so if you want to make ahead of time you can freeze these for up to three months.

Everyday Shredded Chicken Filling
America’s Test Kitchen

  • 1 onion, minced
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 8-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1.5 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, trimmed
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  1. Microwave onion, chili powder, oil, jalapeño, garlic, coriander, and cumin in bowl, stirring occasionally until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Stir tomato sauce and sugar into slow cooker. Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to slow cooker and coat evenly with sauce mixture. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 4-6 hours on low.
  3. Transfer chicken to large bowl, let cool slightly and then shred into bite-size pieces. Cover to keep warm.
  4. Let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using a large spoon. Toss shredded chicken with 1 cup braising liquid, add more liquid as needed to keep meat moist and flavorful. Stir in lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Smoky Shredded Chipotle Beef Filling

  • 2 onions, minced
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 3 tablespoons minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded and minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 3-lb boneless beef chuck roast, trimmed and halved
  • salt and pepper
  1. Microwave onions, chili powder, chipotles, oil, garlic, jalapeño, tomato paste, and cumin in bowl, stirring occasionally until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.
  2. Stir tomato sauce, sugar, and liquid smoke into slow cooker. Season beef with salt and pepper, add to slow cooker and coat evenly with sauce mixture. Cover and cook until beef is tender, 9-11 hours on low.
  3. Transfer beef into large bowl, let cool slightly, then shred into bite-size pieces, discarding excess fat. Cover to keep warm.
  4. Let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon. Toss shredded beef with 1 cup braising liquid. Add more liquid as needed to keep meat moist and flavorful. Season with salt/pepper to taste.
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