Cilantro Lime Chicken
My big family LOVES Mexican! My husband could eat tacos every night and never complain. In fact, we had an amazing taco bar (put together by our family and friends) for our wedding reception and it was the perfect choice for us! BUT, I still like variety. I cannot eat tacos every night. I also cannot eat Mexican every night, but there are a lot of Mexican inspired recipes in our rotation. The one I am going to share with you in this post is my absolute favorite Mexican meal we have! I found the original recipe for it in a cook book I was handed at church. The book sat untouched for months and moved with us to our new home before I finally opened it. It was listed as a slow cooker recipe which (shocker I know!) I am not the biggest fan of. But I am a BIG fan of my pressure cooker so I thought I would give a good ole adaption a try and see what happened! It turned out amazing and it is now one of our staples! The best part is that even though I have had to go dairy free since falling in love with this recipe, I can still have it!
Side note: If you do not have a pressure cooker, run out and get one NOW! Seriously, this thing is a life saver for me. Between all the running here and there, it is usually getting close to dinner time when I come in the door the last time for the day and the last thing I want to do is start a long dinner process. I got the Power Cooker Plus pressure cooker and I have been very happy with it. Many more recipes to come using this bad boy!
Without further ado, Cilantro Lime Chicken:
One of the things I did to change this recipe was to change some of the amounts. We are nine people so I used more of everything and didn’t worry as much about measuring specific amounts. When it comes to dinner, the easier the better!
Ok, so this first step is hard, I know, but you got this-open the pressure cooker.
Next add the chicken. I usually use about 3 pounds, but even on a night where we have less people home and I use 2 pounds, I wouldn’t change the rest of the recipe much.
On top of the chicken, I sprinkle a packet of taco seasoning. I always have a container of bulk taco seasoning in the cabinet so I add some extra shakes for good measure, but it isn’t necessary.
Next is the salsa. I know I said above not to get caught up on measurements, but this one matters a little more since it is the liquid for the pressure cooker. If you use closer to 2 pounds of chicken, one 16 ounce jar of your favorite salsa will suffice. If you use closer to 3 pounds of chicken, I just double it. I am sure you will not be surprised to learns that we also keep that in bulk in the fridge so adding extra is no big deal.
After that, add a can of rinsed and drained black beans and a bag of frozen corn. The corn was one of the things I had to change. The original recipe called for a specific measurement, but it is so much easier to just throw in a whole bag and I like the extra corn anyway! *A few times I have used a bag of frozen fiesta corn which also has peppers, onions and more black beans in it and that was amazing too!
The final two ingredients in this step are the best part! Squeeze in the juice of one lime. Lastly is the cilantro. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have the time to chop and measure cilantro. Easy remember? I take kitchen shears to the the cilantro right over the open pot and eyeball the amount. Aim for somewhere between 1/4 cup and a 1/2 cup. You can’t really go wrong.
Ok, it’s time to shut the lid. Give everything a little stir and lock the lid in place. Set it to cook on high for 18 minutes. On my cooker that means I just push the chicken button which defaults to 15 minutes and then I hit the Time Adjust button up to 18. Now you have so many options to spend your time until that is done: read a book, read a really good blog (I can recommend one about this crazy blended family!), referee some arguments that have for sure broken out while you got dinner started, clean something (….nah). I usually prep the rest of the things I will need for dinner.
I cut up one or two more limes into wedges to have on the table. I cut up some more cilantro to have in a bowl on the table. The rest of the family likes all the fixings so I also prepare a bowl of cheddar cheese and a bowl of sour cream to have on the table.
When the pressure cooker goes off, do a quick release and open the lid. If you are new to the pressure cooker world, be careful, a lot of steam comes up when you open it. The only part of the recipe that can even be considered work in shredding the chicken. I am a big fan of using my mixer to do this step for me. I pull the breasts out and place them in the bowl of the mixer (If they are the super large ones I cut them in half before I shred). Using the paddle attachment, I turn the mixer on low and go just until the chicken is shredded pretty well. Don’t walk away because it can turn to mush.
Add the shredded chicken back to the pot and mix it in to all the other goodness waiting in there.
We have enjoyed this two ways: As wraps and as nachos. Both were amazing.
I am a big fan of just the mixture in a tortilla or over chips with extra lime juice squeezed on top and extra cilantro sprinkled on top. NOM! Everyone else likes loading it down with all the fixings. However you customize it, this dinner is a crowd pleaser!
Great side dishes would be refried beans, spanish rice, or just chips and salsa.
For me this recipe hits all three of the must haves: Quick! Easy! Makes everyone happy! If you try it, please tell me what you think! Hope you love it as much as we do!
**If you happen (gulp) to not have a pressure cooker yet (gulp) and you didn’t heed my advice earlier to stop reading and just go get one (so sad for you), you can always throw this in the slow cooker for 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.
Cilantro Lime Chicken
Yield: 6-9 / Cook Time: 18 minutes / Total Time: 25 minutes
2-3 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 packet dry taco seasoning mix (extra if desired)
1-2 (16 ounce) jars of slasa
1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 bag of frozen corn (or frozen fiesta corn)
Juice of 1 lime (opt. extra limes as a topping when serving)
1/4-1/2 cup cilantro (opt. extra as a topping when serving)
Flour tortillas (fajita size or soft taco size) or tortilla chips
Opt. sour cream as topping
Opt. shredded cheddar cheese as topping
In a pressure cooker, place the chicken and top with the taco seasoning, salsa, black beans, corn, lime, and cilantro. Stir lightly and seal the lid.
Cook at high pressure for 18 minutes. Do a quick release.
Remove chicken breasts, shred, and replace in the pot. Stir together all cooked ingredients.
Serve in tortillas or over chips as nachos.
Add toppings of your choice!