Now that you’ve seen how simple it is to make your own tomato sauce, I’m sure you’re ready to put it to good use. Today we’re going to make pulled chicken tacos by braising a few chicken thighs in tomato sauce until they’re fall off the bone tender. Since my sauce recipe is flavorful but basic, we’ll add a few spices to give a South of the Border flavor your whole family will love.
A meal of this type is perfect for preparing with children (or husbands :)). The thighs will take about an hour to cook and only require the occasional turn or stir. Put your kids to work by letting them prepare the toppings. I used shredded cabbage, chopped radishes, chopped parsley, onions and guacamole. We didn’t have cheese on hand (a rarity for us) otherwise I would have grated some. Any of the toppings can be prepared by a child with a little supervision on your part. Little guys too young to handle knives can still put toppings into bowls or perform tasks like washing lettuce.
We prefer our own taco seasoning blend but we’re not above using store bought flour tortillas for our tacos. If you’re feeling adventurous you could make the corn tortillas described in this post.
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 pound chicken thighs
- 2 cups tomato sauce, more or less
- olive oil
- Mix up the taco seasoning and set aside.
- If not already skinless, remove the skin and any excess fat from the thighs. Sprinkle about half the seasoning on the thighs.
- Cover the bottom of a large dutch oven with a little olive oil and brown the thighs on both sides.
- Add the tomato sauce and turn the thighs over to coat. The sauce doesn't have to completely cover the thighs. You can add a little more sauce (or water or broth) if needed while the thighs are cooking.
- Reduce the heat to medium low and cover the dutch oven.
- It will take about an hour to cook the thighs through at which point you can turn the heat off under the dutch oven and remove the thighs to a platter or bowl to cool.
- When cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the thighs and pull into shreds. (I use my hands for this).
- Eyeball the remaining sauce and if you feel like it's too much for the meat, take some out.
- Return the shredded meat to the sauce and season as desired with the remaining taco seasoning. Add more sauce if needed.
- Use any leftover sauce to moisten the pulled chicken taco meat before storing in the fridge.
This is a perfect recipe for making a double batch and freezing half for later. Pulled chicken makes a great sandwich, too.