May 1, 2016 — Birthday Party
‘It’s super easy and a new way to eat chicken you may not have tried yet. Shredding the chicken, with fresh salsa and guacamole makes it a delicious, fun summer meal for family and friends.’
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For the shredded chicken
2 chicken breasts
500ml chicken stock or 1 low salt stock cube in 500ml water
1 onion sliced very thinly
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
1 large shallot chopped finely
1 clove garlic grated
1/2 red or green chilli to taste chopped
2 medium tomatoes chopped
For the accessories
8 -12 corn or flour tortillas
1 avocado sliced
Bowl of Greek yoghurt
Sliced iceberg lettuce
Cheese (cooking mozzarella pulled into strands, grated Wensleydale, mild cheddar, compte, or feta)
Cholula chilli sauce – or other
For the pico de gallo
3 medium tomatoes
1/2 green or red chilli to taste
3 spring onions
Small bunch of coriander
Lime juice to taste
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Pollo deshabrado para tacos – shredded chicken for tacos
You see, if you don’t read the stories in your recipe books you might not know why you are cooking something the way you are. I’ve been reading my Mexican cookbooks and finally learned why Mexicans shred their chicken.
I’ve been shredding chicken for a while. But I must admit, I don’t normally see this style of filling for a taco – it’s usually strips of seared and grilled meat. And here’s why: mass produced chickens for the American and European markets are fragile young things – they’re tender, but have relatively little flavour, whereas, Mexican chickens are sturdier older birds – they’re tough, but packed with flavour. It follows, therefore, that roasting a Mexican chicken will result in a dryer and tougher chicken. This is why Mexicans poach their chickens – either for shredding for tacos, or as a preparation for further cooking.
Well, that’s how the story goes… I’m sure that in reality a poached piece of chicken will always struggle to compare with a grilled chicken breast. But this is a useful insight to the deshabrado style of Mexican cooking.
Of course, here in Europe, we do not have flavourful Mexican chickens, but we can still enjoy our chicken shredded – just make sure you flavour the poaching liquid and prepare the shredded meat with the fried onion, garlic, tomato and chilli as in the recipe. I notch-up the flavour yet again by adding crispy chicken skin to the shredded meat.
Once you have your shredded chicken and tortilla you can wing the rest of the ingredients – stuff the tortilla with whatever takes your fancy. However, essential for WDC is shredded lettuce, a fresh tomato salsa (pico de gallo), avocado and Greek yoghurt.
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An excellent way to turn a popular Italian slow food standard into an easy and quicker family classic.
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