Monday, June 24, 2013

Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Tacos

If you've been enjoying some early summer salads and are looking for a change of pace, try this dish.  It's a great as salad, and as an appetizer, and works year round as an easy supper.  Since this is a year round dish, it's been in the queue for a while waiting to be published.
Last week I was participating in a G+ Food Bloggers Community Education event with +Chef Dennis Littley  and +Larry Deane, and Larry said "give your readers what they want".  That struck home with me, so since I've gotten requests for this recipe, it's bumped some fresh-from-the-CSA recipes to come out today.  How did folks know to request this?  They saw the photo on my FB page, that's how.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/06/slow-cooker-greek-chicken-tacos.html

I intended to title this post Greek Artichoke Lemon Olive Chicken in a Slow Cooker, in the interests of being as descriptive as possible.  Then I thought about how we actually ate the resulting chicken, asked folks on FB for suggestions, and decided that Slow Cooker Greek Chicken "Taco" Meat is really a more apt title.  This dish is cooked in my crock pot, and does contain the artichoke, lemon, and olives I originally mentioned, but we use it like we use taco meat:  stretched on tortillasover grains, or in a salad.  And the leftovers?  They make the best Greek Five Layer Dip I've ever had.  Possibly the only Greek Five Layer Dip I've ever had, too.  Try this in the summer when it's too hot to cook, or during football season for a delicious dinner/appetizer that's just familiar enough not to be weird and a delicious twist on a classic.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/06/slow-cooker-greek-chicken-tacos.html

I may have alluded to my cold kitchen over the winter months.  Either the reference to the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve in the cold (down to 50 degrees Fahrenheit!) corner of my breakfast nook, or the photos of the frost on the inside of my kitchen window, seen in my Gardening Photos album on my FB page, would get the point across.
As cold as my kitchen is in the winter, it is correspondingly hot in the summer.  I do what I can, covering the East-facing windows with heat-blocking drapes in the morning and using the oven less.  I intend to get my grill on this summer, but there is another way to cook your food without heating the kitchen--a slow cooker.
This dish started with my desire to use my slow cooker to do the cooking while I was at work, and turned into a game to see how many complimentary layers of flavor I could add to the dish.  I was inspired by these other Greek Chicken Slow Cooker dishes, seen here and here, but since I had tortillas but no pitas, I went in a taco direction.  Then I read about Avocado Feta dip, and it was a great accompaniment to the chicken.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/06/slow-cooker-greek-chicken-tacos.html
Ignore the olive oil and garlic--photo crashers.
http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/06/slow-cooker-greek-chicken-tacos.html
http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/06/slow-cooker-greek-chicken-tacos.html
Go here to see how to make this dip! 

Slow Cooker Greek Chicken "Taco" Meat with Avocado Feta Dip (serves 4-6 with leftovers)

1 package boneless skinless chicken breasts (2 giant breasts, a bit over a pound of meat)
1 onion, about 3/4 cup diced
1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts, chopped small
3/4 cup marinade from jar of artichokes
1 teaspoon Pampered Chef dill mix (or any dill seasoning blend)
1/2 teaspoon rosemary/garlic bread dipping spice blend (or dried rosemary and minced garlic)
2 bullion cubes
zest and juice of 1 lemon

3/4 cup (6 ounces) plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup chopped olives (I used green)
1 Tablespoon olive juice from the jar

2 avocados
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 Tablespoon finely chopped jalapeño
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 Tablespoons chopped oregano
juice from 1 lemon
a generous pinch of kosher salt

cooked rice or tortillas, chopped red onion, chopped olives, salad mix to serve

Place the chicken, onion, artichoke hearts + marinade, dill and rosemary seasonings, garlic and bullion
cubes in the slow cooker.  Zest the lemon over all, then cut in half and squeeze the juice from both halves into the slow cooker.  Cover, remember to turn the darn thing ON to Low and PLUG IT IN (seriously, set your car keys next to it when you set it up so you can check that it's in fact working before you fly out the door).
After 6 hours on Low, remove chicken from the slow cooker and shred it with 2 forks.  Strain the liquid that remains--return the solids and the chicken to the slow cooker, and set aside the liquid.  Stir in the yogurt, olives, and olive juice with the chicken, adding 2 to 4 ounces (1/4 to 1/2 cup) of the set aside liquid until the meat is moistened to your liking.  [Save the rest of that juice--I used it to tenderize a pound of beef stew meat which became Greek Stew Meat Tacos, perhaps a future blog post.  That's a threefer, then.  Can you tell my mom was visiting? She doesn't even waste pickle juice!] The meat is ready now, but can hang out in the slow cooker for 30 minutes or so still on Low.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/06/slow-cooker-greek-chicken-tacos.html

Serve the chicken over rice, or on a tortilla spread with Avocado Feta dip, or on a bed of salad greens.  Top with chopped red onion and green olives.  And save the rest of the chicken meat for my next post!

For instructions on how to make the Avocado Feta Dip, please head over to Two Peas for Maria's recipe.  This dip was still bright green the following day--must be all the lemon juice!

This post is shared on the Clever Chicks Blog HopTasty Tuesdays, What's Cooking Wednesday, What's In The Box,
http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2013/06/slow-cooker-greek-chicken-tacos.html
Five minutes after the finished Greek 5 Layer Dip photo--this.  You'll want to make this appetizer, so save some meat and avocado dip for it.

30 comments:

  1. I can't believe you left the olives on your plate. I can only assume you can back and scarfed those down moments after the last picture was taken.
    You know how else you know your kitchen gets cold? Your mom wears a hat indoors.
    I always break out the crockpot in the fall, but I really need to start doing it in the summer when it's too hot to cook (like now).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Meghan,
      My mom rocks the hats no matter the season: http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2008/05/pimms-original.html

      I saw some mediterranean-marinated chick peas at the grocery store down the street the other day that would be a terrific sub for chicken in the appetizer coming on Wednesday.
      And the spouse scarfed up those olives.

      Delete
  2. This is great - can't wait to share it with our readers at homesteadlady.com.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tessa,
      Wonderful--I appreciate it!
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  3. This looks fantastic!! Thanks for stopping by the blog! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sheena,
      I'm happy to visit a great blog like yours.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  4. thanks for the shout out Kirsten, glad to hear you enjoyed our event!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chef Dennis,
      I've learned so much with each event, I'm amazed that such a wide variety of bloggers can benefit from this events.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  5. I go in cycles with the crockpot – using it for a few weeks, then forgetting it for months. I will definitely get more use out of it this summer. So easy to use it instead of the oven or stovetop on those steamy summer day! Thanks!
    Sarah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah,
      I do the same thing! All of the large kitchen appliances live in the basement, so they are frequently out of sight out of mind, or in sight and in use! (Except the stand mixer, that lives on top of the fridge and is my upper arm workout.)
      Thanks!

      Delete
  6. Hi Kirsten I just commented on your Finnish kale soup - and now this is another winner I'd say... already on the shopping list for tomorrow's dinner!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gigi,
      I'm glad you saw something you like when you visited.
      Thank you so much!

      Delete
  7. What a fun taco recipe! I love using the crockpot this time of year.

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    Replies
    1. Jen,
      I do too. I seem to move into houses that have warm upstairs bedrooms, so I will do anything to keep the house cool in the summer.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  8. This sounds absolutely delicious, and perfect for summer!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa,
      I agree, perfect for summer--and fall and really any time I can get my hands on avocados. One of my new year's resolutions was to add more avocados in my life in 2013 (really the only drawback of loving my CSA and not living in California) and this is a great way to do so.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  9. This looks so tasty! I'll have to save it for fall though - I have no central AC, so I can't handle the crock pot in the summer. I'm making a vow to make up for that once the weather turns cooler though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie,
      I completely understand. In the winter I can always put on a thick pair of socks, a sweater, a blanket, and sip a mug of hot tea. In the summer . . . . yeah, I got nothing.
      I think this would be great for a Superbowl party since it's easy to make, easy to eat.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  10. The flavors in this dish sound so wonderful. I am going to have to try this, very soon. Thank you so much for sharing at Tasty Tuesdays - I can't wait to see what you link up next week. Pinning this recipe right now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jess,
      Thanks for pinning, I appreciate it!
      One of these days I will join Pinterest and wonder why I dragged my feet for so long . . .

      Thanks!

      Delete
  11. Ooooh I will be making this one for sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tammy,
      It's very tasty--you can't go wrong with this one for sure.
      Thanks!

      Delete
  12. I am all over this Greek Chicken taco meat! We love Greek flavors (ate Greek tonight, actually). For some reason I forget about my crockpot and I'm not sure why. It's so hot, I should use it everyday! Pinning & sharing on Google+ Sounds perfect for me and my family.
    Michelle @Ms. enPlace

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michelle,
      I appreciate your pinning and sharing this. Either the crock pot or the bread machine keeps trying to head downstairs where it lives, but I keep grabbing back from the top of the steps to try something else.
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  13. I LOVE the idea of these tacos so much! :) A nice break from the traditional! Thank you so much for linking up with me this week at Tasty Tuesdays! I’ve pinned this & shared it with my followers! Please be sure to stop back by the party and check out some of the other links!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anyonita,
      Thanks for pinning--I appreciate it!
      And thanks for hosting!

      Delete
  14. You are so completely on trend. I just wanted an episode of Chopped today (love that show!) and 2 of the competitors made greek tacos...and you are the third. Is the universe trying to tell me something? Ah, yes...make these now!

    Thanks for sharing and linking up :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heather,
      Me, trendy?
      Never!
      But you should make these now.
      Thanks for hosting!

      Delete
  15. I made this tonight for some friends, and we loved it! I didn't have the seasoning mixes, so I just used Italian seasoning and dried dill instead. It was delicious! I served it in pita bread with chopped tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and feta. This recipe will definitely be a go-to crock pot meal in my house! Oh, and I couldn't keep my hands off the Greek guac! :)

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    Replies
    1. Ashley,
      I'm delighted you enjoyed it--it's such a keeper. I bet it was delicious with tomatoes--looking forward to making it again when we have some in the house.
      Thanks!

      Delete