Slow Cooker Mole Chicken Tacos

Slow Cooker Mole Chicken Tacos

There is a lot of folk lore surrounding the creation of mole poblano — the chocolate chili sauce Mexico is so known for.

One theory is that a convent of nuns invented mole for an archbishop in an effort to impress him, when no other ingredients could be found. Another story says that it was all a mistake, that a monk (rather than a nun) first made the dish for the archbishop when he accidentally knocked several stray spices into the pot. Either way, both versions tie the sauce back to over 300 years ago!

It’s no wonder there is so much speculation over the dish’s origins… mole sauce recipes typically call for a hefty list of seemingly random ingredients. But that’s part of the magic: it may not strike you that raisins and tomatoes and chili powder and cocoa will blend well together, but sure enough, the result is stellar. Spicy, tangy, with a rich backdrop, thanks to the chocolate.

Slow Cooker Mole Chicken Tacos
Slow Cooker Mole Chicken Tacos

Something else stays consistent across almost every origin story, and that’s that mole is for special occasions. My dad will slave over a batch of mole for Christmas dinner; and me? I usually save it for a day when I know I can sit down and really take the time to enjoy the meal.

Such a complex sauce does not need many frills. Simmer some chicken (or turkey, or pork, or black beans, or whatever you have) until tender, and then serve simply. All you need for a fancy taco is a corn tortilla, some chicken in mole sauce and a sprinkle of cilantro. A few thin slices of red onion certainly brighten it up, and why not — a few pepitas on top for crunch (you have them out from making the sauce, anyhow). Now, this isn’t the traditional way to serve mole, which is over a bed of rice, but it’s easy nonetheless, and everything is delicious as a taco.

Slow Cooker Mole Chicken Tacos

Slow Cooker Mole Chicken Tacos

Published December 18, 2018 by
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Serves: 6-8   |    Active Time: 60 active minutes



Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken (breasts or thighs)
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
  • 2 chipotle chile peppers in adobo sauce, plus 1 teaspoon of the adobo sauce from the can (find canned chipotles in adobo in the Mexican section of your grocery store. Most canned have quite a few peppers, use a spoon to scoop out two)
  • 1 16-oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground anise
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup pepitas, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds in sauce
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 cinnamon stick (about 2-3 inches long)
  • For serving: corn tortillas, cilantro, finely sliced red onion

  • Directions:

    1. In a skillet, or the bottom of you Instant Pot/Slow Cooker (set to the Sauté setting), heat coconut oil and sauté onion and garlic until onion is transparent. Turn off heat once onions are cooked.
    2. Transfer the onion mixture to a blender, and add cocoa, chili powder, chipotles and adobo sauce, canned tomatoes, cumin, coriander, anise, black pepper, salt, ground cloves, pepitas, sesame seeds, and raisins. Place lid on blender and purée until smooth.
    3. Place chicken in the bottom of your Instant Pot/Slow Cooker. Pour sauce over top, and add cinnamon stick. Place lid on pot and set to slow cook on “medium” for 6 hours or “high” for 4 hours.
    4. When timer goes off, cut chicken into bite-sized pieces (should fall apart easily) and serve in warm tortillas topped with fresh cilantro, red onion, and pepitas.

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    Instant Pot Tom Yum Soup

    Instant Pot Tom Yum Soup

    This is an older recipe from Foraged Dish. I wanted to give it a little update, so here it is! 

    There is a Thai restaurant in Estes Park, which we drive by after visiting Rocky Mountain National Park. After a long day outside, when it's starting to get a bit chilly, nothing is better than a stop at that restaurant for a cozy Thai soup or spicy curry. 

    Tom Yum soup is also the ultimate soup when you're sick. It's brothy, with chicken and veggies, and scented with lemongrass and ginger. This version is an Instant Pot recipe -- easy is key when you're not feeling your best. 

    Instant Pot Tom Yum Soup

    Some typical Thai ingredients can be hard to find here in the states! Here's where to look and what to do if you can't find it: 

    You can find lemongrass in the herb section of some grocery stores, at a local Asian Market, or online. Use it while it's fresh! The Asian Market near me sells it in sets of two stalks. This recipe only calls for one, but I try to use the second one for another batch of soup within a week because I find that as soon as the lemongrass dries out it loses it's flavor. I've had poor success in freezing it, unfortunately. (Anyone have tips?) 

    In this recipe, I call for ginger and not galangal. Most Tom Yum recipes call for both, but galangal is another ingredient that can be hard to get your hands on. If you do go to an Asian Market, look there and use half galangal, half ginger in the recipe. Otherwise, don't worry about it for one minute -- the favor of ginger is very similar to galangal (galangal is just a bit more mild), so using all ginger is just fine!

    Kaffir lime is in a lot of Thai recipes but I don't include it in the instructions below at all because I've found it's nearly impossible to buy in the states! (That said, it has an amazing aroma, so if you can find it, add 3 leaves to the pot before closing it up, and then remove them before serving). It's also very hard to buy kaffir lime seeds in the United States, but I would love to grow one! I have seen a few companies that will ship a grafted plant, so I might try it. 

    Last but not least: fish sauce isn’t for everyone (but you can usually find it in the Asian section of your grocery store). If you're not that into it, use Worcestershire sauce instead (it's ok, I have my own trepidations). It's not quite the same, but it will provide some of that Unami flavor that rounds out the broth. 

    Phew! Thai food is an adventure on it's own! But don't let that stop you -- this soup is delicious, nourishing, and cozy. And this version has been adapted to make it a bit more approachable. Enjoy! 

    Instant Pot Tom Yum Soup

    Instant Pot Tom Yum Soup

    Published December 11, 2018 by
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    Serves: 6   |    Active Time: 15 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons ginger, finely minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced or quartered
  • 1/2 pound boneless chicken breast
  • 3 green onions, white and dark green parts removed, then sliced
  • 2-5 minced Thai chili peppers, depending on spice preference
  • 8 cups chicken or bone broth
  • 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • 1/8 teaspoon fish sauce
  • Optional for serving: chili oil, cilantro, lime wedges

  • Directions:

    1. Heat coconut oil in the bottom of an Instant Pot on the “Sauté” setting. When oil is melted, add diced onion, and minced garlic and ginger. Sauté until onions are translucent.
    2. Add diced carrots, diced zucchini, sliced mushrooms, chicken breasts, green onions, Thai chili peppers, broth, coconut milk, lime juice, stalk of lemongrass, and fish sauce.
    3. Place lid on Instant Pot and turn to “Soup” setting with timer set to one minute. Turn vent to sealed position.
    4. When timer goes off, release the pressure through the vent. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, pull chicken from soup and use two forks to shred it into bite-sized pieces. Place shredded chicken back in soup and stir. Remove lemongrass stalks (you can use them as garnish, but they are not great for just eating -- they just add flavor to the broth).
    5. Serve hot with additional chili oil, cilantro, lime, or hot sauce (such as Sriracha).

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    Instant Pot French Lentil Soup

    Instant Pot French Lentil Soup

    Cozy.

    • Noun: giving a feeling of comfort, warmth, and relaxation.

    • Adjective: a soft covering to keep a teapot, boiled egg, etc., hot.

    • Verb: give (someone) a feeling of comfort or complacency.

    The dictionary definition might as well include French Lentil Soup, too. It fits right in there between "giving a feeling a comfort” and “keeping warm.”

    Red lentils are a regular in our house (dal, or this stew) but I was feeling explorative and grabbed French lentils at the store one day. It was a very, very good impulsive decision.

    In addition to French lentils, bay leaves, white wine, and fresh thyme go into the pot. What comes out is this steaming hot, broth-y stew that boasts every flavor a “French” soup should. It’s amazing what a splash of wine can do!

    Lentils are not the first thing I think of when I imagine French food (maybe brie, or baguettes, or wine) but lentils are a huge part of French culture. Even though lentils originated in the Middle East, Le Puy Lentils (French Lentils) are specific to France and have the same Protected Designation of Origin as Champagne — to be called lentilles du Puy, they must be grown in Puy.

    Instant Pot French Lentil Soup
    Instant Pot French Lentil Soup

    The classic French preparation of lentils is with Dijon Mustard and Red wine vinegar, though on a cold day — ehem, virtually every day from mid-October to March, here - the lentil soup is the most satisfying, warming thing you could lay your eyes on.

    This recipe is also plant-based, making it perfect for #MeatlessMonday or your everyday, if that’s your thing. But the flavor is so rich and the lentils so satisfying, that no one at your table will miss a thing. (Psst…. if they do, it is common in some countries to serve sliced sausage over lentils).

    One more thing! This whole recipe comes together in your Instant Pot. 12 minutes pressurized, a sprinkle of parsley, a glass of Pinot Grigio, and you have your self a very pretty little meal. Weeknights? Conquered. Lazy Sunday evenings? Done and done.

    Instant Pot French Lentil Soup

    Instant Pot French Lentil Soup

    Published December 6, 2018 by
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    Serves: 8   |    Active Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 2 cups french lentils, rinsed (also called Le Puy or French Green Lentils)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Splash white wine (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6-1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper 
  • Leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme
  • Salt to taste
  • Garnish: minced parsley

  • Directions:

    1. Heat coconut oil in the bottom of an Instant Pot on the sauté setting. Add onion, garlic, and celery, and sauté, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until onions are translucent and starting to brown. Add the splash of wine and stir.
    2. Add carrots, canned tomatoes, lentils, bay leaves, vegetable broth, black pepper, and thyme, and stir.
    3. Place lid on Instant Pot and turn to “Bean/Chili” setting with timer set to 12 minutes and vent in the sealed position.
    4. When timer goes off, release the pressure. Stir soup and season with salt to taste. Serve topped with minced parsley.
    5. Tip: For extra veggies in your meal, place a handful of baby kale or spinach in the bottom of your bowl when serving, and spoon the hot lentils over top.

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