Taco Tuesday!

Who doesn’t love taco’s???? I think that if I was stranded on a desert island and could only have one food choice for the rest of my life, I would probably choose tacos!  I don’t think I have met a taco that I didn’t like. Whether it be simple ground beef taco or  grilled shrimp with mango salsa, it’s all good. I think that my most favorite of all, though, would have to be carnitas.
While working in my last kitchen job, I had the pleasure of learning from an amazing cook named Pedro. He showed me recipes that he learned from his Grandmother, for salsa, guacamole, chipotle chicken, refried beans and, my favorite, Carnitas. He would cook the Carnitas in the oven, at a low temperature, overnight, resulting in the most tender and juicy carnitas ever!  I have adapted the recipe to be made in the slow cooker.

Carnitas in the slow cooker:

  • 5-5 1/2 pound bone-in pork shoulder blade roast
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 3/4 cup cola made with real sugar(Mexican coca cola or pepsi)
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
Place chopped onion in slow cooker

onions

Combine minced garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil.

carnitas2

Rub mixture all over roast to coat. place roast in slow cooker on top of onions

pork-2

Combine orange juice, cola and liquid smoke. Pour liquid over roast. Place lid on slow cooker and cook on high for 5 hours.

carnitas

After 5 hrs, break meat apart into chunks so that it is submerged in the cooking liquid. replace lid and continue cooking on for another hour or two.  Shred meat with fork. Serve with corn or flour tortillas and your favorite toppings. Enjoy! Don’t forget the margaritas!
carnitas-final
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Crock-Pot Roasted Chicken

Nothing says comfort food like a yummy roasted chicken or the aroma of a meal slowly cooking in a crock-pot, especially on a cold winter’s day. This crock-pot roasted chicken is the best of both worlds. Roasting chicken in the crock-pot yields a juicy, flavorful, fall off the bone delicious result. And if you prefer a crispy skin on your roast chicken, then once chicken is fully cooked, place in an oven proof pan and place under the broiler for a few minutes until browned and crisp.

  • 3-4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 an orange cut into wedges
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 large onion, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • a few sprigs of fresh herbs(such as rosemary, thyme, sage)
  • 1/2 cup wine(I used red but white wine or beer will work too)
  • olive oil

In a small bowl combine salt, paprika’s,cayenne, onion and garlic powder’s,thyme and black pepper.

herb-blend

Remove giblets from chicken, wash and pat dry. stuff chicken with orange wedges, garlic cloves and fresh herbs.

chicken

 

Then rub with spice mixture all over the chicken to coat. Pour a small amount of olive oil into crock-pot, then add onions and wine.

onions

Place chicken on top of onions.

chicken2

Cover with lid and Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low 7-8 hours, or until chicken is tender and falling off the bone.Remove from slow cooker and serve. For crispy skin, place in oven safe pan and place under broiler for a few minutes until brown and crisp.

roast-chicken

I served mine with oven roasted vegetables but would also be great with mashed potatoes and gravy made with cooking juices or a savory rice pilaf.

broth

Enjoy!