Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In the Kitchen With Chris: Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos

Do you ever have one of those weekends where you just don't feel like doing anything? You know, the weekends where apart from whatever absolutely essential responsibilities or commitments you've made, you spend the entire day in bed watching Orange is the New Black, having to remind yourself to switch positions every now and then because you're not really positive how long it takes for bed sores to form? Those weekends where you only get up every few hours to make cheddarwurst or for a quick run to the grocery store to buy more cheddarwurst? The kind of weekend that makes you wonder if maybe you'd honestly be happier in some sort of Grey Gardens living situation, if only your allergies could deal with the feral cat situation?

You guys know what I'm talking about, right?


Shit got pretty weird last weekend.

I think it all probably started after I got home from Vegas. I started letting little things slip. I lived out of my suitcase for a solid week after I got home (because packing more than a week's worth of things for one weekend is my jam). I also wasn't super concerned with cleaning, reasoning with myself that ironing a shirt was basically the same as washing it. It all kind of snowballed into one really embarrassing, slovenly, and kinda sad weekend.

I know I have the tendency to be a bit hyperbolic, but I'm being completely serious when I tell you that it got so bad that literally all I ate for three days (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) were cheddarwurst while hovering over the garbage can so I could avoid needing to use a plate.

Clearly something needed to be done.

I decided to throw myself into planning for Pride weekend. Typically we begin the planning process three months ago, right after Birthday Weekend, but with San Francisco and Vegas falling in between, Pride kind of got lost in the shuffle. We still needed to decide what parties we'd be attending and weigh the pros and cons of getting concert tickets, but my most pressing concern was what the hell I was going to cook for our Friday night meal.

To avoid spending a ton of money eating out (when we could drink that money instead) each of us takes responsibility for a meal while we're up there. In the past I've always brought up tacos. It's easy to heat up in the crock pot, easy to make last minute (because cooking hamburger meat is exactly what I love doing hungover at 8am on Friday morning), and stumbling back into the hotel room at 4:30am to find leftover tacos is probably the best part of Pride.

I wanted to one up myself this year though. My cooking is getting better, so I decided to try something a bit more advanced (okay, so maybe it's not super advanced, but it's got more than two ingredients).

Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos

I found it on Pinterest (after getting distracted by Elizabethtown quotations for an hour). You can view the pin here (and why aren't you following me yet?!), or you can find the original recipe on the blog This Vintage Grove. Since it was a new recipe, I decided to do a test run.

The recipe is super simple.

1lb Boneless skinless chicken breast
Juice from 2 limes
1/2 Cup of cilantro
1 Packet of taco seasoning
1 Teas. dried onions
1/2 Cup water

Throw all that junk in your crock pot on low all day, or on high for four hours. Shred the chicken and enjoy the deliciousness. Seriously. It's so easy, a child could do it.

In fact, a child would probably be better at it than me, because a child hasn't had 28 years of experience f#%!ing shit up to weigh on him like I have. This should have been the easiest recipe I've tried, but I found plenty of chances to become a nervous wreck.

Chopping cilantro was an ordeal. I YouTubed like three different tutorials (rather than just hacking that shit up like I should have done). Then, after I chopped half of it up, I panicked, worried that it was too fine and hastily threw it all away. I started on the other half, chopped it to exactly the same consistency and moved on, pleased with my work.

I also grew concerned when I realized I'd purchased chicken breast fillets rather than whole chicken breasts. It nearly led to a panicked phone call to my mother at 7am to reassure me that even though they're thinner, I could still leave them in the crockpot all day without overcooking them, ruining my meal, and bringing about the end of the world as I knew it.

Leaving the crockpot running all day while I was at work freaked me out too. I was convinced I'd return home to find my apartment building a smoldering pile of rubble and Buffy DVD's. Apparently it's totally legit though. You can just go to work and come home to a cooked meal.

Seriously, why doesn't everyone cook everything in a crockpot?!

Oh...'cause it looks like this...

Not cute.

I always forget how ugly crock pot meals are, but it tasted great! It could have used a touch more cilantro, and I'll need to double the recipe to feed the five of us at Pride, but otherwise it was a complete success!

Go me!

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