How do I cook chicken tacos on a crazy weeknight? Tuesday was a blur of pickups and drop-offs. Thank goodness my oldest has his license now, or I would have been circling Akron until 9 PM. In between Dad-As-Taxi service, I had a brief moment at home. It was just enough time to throw some chicken in my Instant Pot before rushing off to the next scheduled pickup.
“Throw together” is the key phrase. Quick shredded chicken is barely a recipe. If I have the time to do it right, I make Chicken Tinga Tacos. When I don’t have time, this is how I get dinner on the table. The chicken goes in the pot, and warming mode keeps it ready for whenever I get home. The rest of the meal comes straight out of the fridge or pantry – tortillas, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, jarred salsa. Toss them on the table and taco night is served.
I use both chicken breasts and thighs in this recipe because of my local grocery store. Mixed packs of breasts and thighs are often on sale – so I grab them. You can use all breast meat or all thighs if you want. If I had to choose, I’d get all thighs. Breast meat tends to overcook in the pressure cooker, but thighs are better when they’re a little overcooked. (And I’m a dark meat fan, so I’d really rather have the thighs. But I can’t pass up a good sale.)
And, luckily for me, the size difference between the breast and thighs makes them cook for the same amount of time – the larger breasts take long enough to cook through, giving that the smaller thighs enough time to overcook and get right where they want to be. Serendipity!
Video: Pressure Cooker Quick Chicken Tacos (1:41)
Video: Pressure Cooker Quick Chicken Tacos [YouTube.com]Print
Pressure Cooker Quick Chicken Tacos. When life is crazy, and dinner has to be on the table with the least amount of work, I reach for this shredded chicken taco recipe.
- 1 cup water
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts and/or thighs
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (A chili powder blend, or Ancho chili powder)
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 10– to 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies
- Shredded Mexican cheese
- Shredded lettuce
- (And any other favorite taco toppings)
- Everything in the pot: Sprinkle the chicken with the salt, garlic powder, chili powder, and ground pepper. Fit the chicken into the pot in a single layer. Pour 1 cup of water into the pressure cooker pot, and then spread the tomatoes with green chilies over the chicken. (Don’t stir – the tomatoes may scorch if they’re at the bottom of the pot.)
- Pressure cook for 10 minutes with a natural pressure release: Lock the lid on the pressure cooker and bring it to high pressure. Pressure cook at high pressure for 10 minutes in an electric or stovetop PC, and let the pressure come down naturally, about 15 more minutes.
- Shred the chicken and serve: Remove the chicken to a platter with a slotted spoon. Shred the chicken with a pair of forks. Scoop as much of the tomatoes and green chilies from the pot as you can with a slotted spoon, and stir into the shredded chicken. Add a ladle or two of the liquid from the pot, just enough to moisten the chicken, and serve with the tortillas and accompaniments.
- Don’t have diced tomatoes with green chiles? Substitute 1 to 2 cups of salsa. (Or skip them.)
- The toppings are entirely up to you. Want the taco night of my youth? Go with crispy taco shells filled with chicken, and topped with shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, sliced black olives, and taco sauce. Today? I prefer corn tortillas, and top with guacamole salsa, crumbled cojita cheese, diced onion, and minced cilantro. What are your favorite taco toppings? Set them out, and let everyone build their own favorites.
- 6 quart or larger pressure cooker (I love my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker)
- Category: Weeknight Dinner
- Method: Pressure Cooker
- Cuisine: Tex-Mex
What do you think?
Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
Pressure Cooker Chicken Tinga Tacos
Pressure Cooker Shredded Chicken with Black Mole Sauce
Pressure Cooker Thai Green Chicken Curry
My other Pressure Cooker Recipes
My other Pressure Cooker Time Lapse Videos
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