Valentine’s Day was a good one for me and my wife. We had a great romantic dinner on the Jersey City waterfront with the beautiful Manhattan skyline as our backdrop. The food was excellent, the view was spectacular and everything was a hit. Because I was working from home the day after, we decided to save some money and do a nice dinner at home. Because I wanted to continue to treat my wife, I told her I would handle dinner duties. I decided that since I was going to be home all day, I might as well utilize the slow cooker we own – which I think is one of the most versatile and underrated cooking accessories out there. I have been trying to use this thing more often because of our hectic work schedule and because, as the tagline says, you can just set it and forget it.
I did a little perusing on the net and found something I thought she would like – Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos. What’s even better is that I found a recipe that incorporates beer into the mix. Me likes that idea. See below for recipe.
I went to the supermarket and picked up the items I needed – chicken breasts, corn tortillas and a bottle of salsa verde. For anyone who doesn’t know what this is, it’s simply green salsa. The beer I already had at home (obviously) – plus I had limes, onions and shredded cheese in my kitchen already – so it was easy to fulfill that requirement without spending much more money. I was able to complete my purchase for about seven bucks. Not a bad deal at all.
When it came time for cooking, it was pretty simple – refer to the recipe list below for more info. Take out the chicken breasts and throw them in the slow cooker. Cover with chicken breasts with the salsa verde, sprinkle in the salt, pepper and cumin and then top with beer. Set it on high and let it cook for four hours or put it on low for eight. Up to you. Either way, you’ve got a great meal in preparation while you go off and do whatever you need to. Maybe brew up your next batch?
For this recipe, because the one I was borrowing from yields 6-8 servings, I decided to cut all the numbers in half. So instead of a full bottle of beer, I went with half. You can guess where the other half went. Also, the original specified a hefeweizen in the recipe as the beer of choice, but I went with an IPA – Stowaway IPA from Baxter Brewing Company out of Lewiston, ME. Any good flavorful beer will help add to this recipe, but I would stay on the light side. Call me crazy, but something tells me porters and stouts will work better with beef dishes. But again, it’s up to you. If you wanted to add a Negra Modelo or Bohemia or whatever Mexican beer – just for authenticity’s sake – feel free. You can always tweak the recipe the next time you make it again.
Once cook time is finished, take the breasts and shred them with a fork. They are already tender as all get out, but then you take them to the next level by stirring it all up in the beer/salsa mix. BAM! Flavor baby! Take your corn tortillas and lay them out, grab some tongs and put down the chicken, then add some freshly chopped onion and cilantro. This gives it a whole new dimension of flavor. You can also add a small spoonful of the salsa verde out of the bottle. Dab it on and spread. Then throw in a couple slices of fresh avocado to the mix, in the taco or on the side. I opted to throw some shredded Mexican cheese in the mix myself, but that’s not a requirement. Again, it’s all up to you.
As a side, I threw in some rice and of course the avocado mentioned above. This was so easy to make, yet so tasty to eat. This is a game changer for guys who want a nice meal without too much work and you get to be creative by mixing beer and food. It turns out my wife actually liked this better than the expensive meal I splurged on the night before. And don’t forget, the finished product definitely goes well with a cold cerveza too. Cheers!
Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos Recipe
|6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts||Add chicken to slow cooker.
Cover with salsa verde and spices.Add beer!
Set slow cooker on high for 4 hours/low for 8 hours
After cooking, remove and shred the chicken with a fork. Incorporate the shredded chicken in salsa beer mix. Using tongs, take shredded chicken and place on a warm corn tortilla.
Add desired optional additions (more salsa, onion & cilantro, cheese)Add side dishes if desired (I had rice and sliced avocado) Crack open a beer and enjoy your meal!
|2 cups salsa verde|
|2 tsp cumin|
|Salt and pepper (pinch of each)|
|1 bottle of beer|
|cilantro (chop and serve)|
|onion (chop and serve)|
|Mexican blend cheese (or other of your choice)|