Beer Braised Instant Pot Shredded Chicken

During the fall and winter months, it is so comforting at night to have a warm cooked meal on the table. The problem with that is we don’t always have the time to be in the kitchen for hours on the weeknight. This recipe helps bring both together by giving you a delicious meal that can be ready in less than 30 minutes. This is a fun Mexican spin on a traditional shredded chicken. The beer, limes, and dried chiles blend together for a tangy, citrusy chicken that has just a hint of heat. We love this recipes because there are endless options for how you can use this chicken. We put it in tacos, over salad, or even on a burger bun- you can truly incorporate this any way you would like. We have found through some trial and error that our favorite beer for this recipe is a lighter ale, specifically, Corona. The key to cooking with any alcohol is that if you like to drink it, you will likely enjoy eating it as well. So if you don’t like Corona, just swap it out for something that suits you.

Beer Braised Instant Pot Chicken

  • Servings: 6-8 for taco preparation
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A quick & easy recipe for shredded chicken that is perfect for tacos, enchiladas, and salads.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 tbs kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 4 dried guajillo chilis (these can be found in the Mexican section of most grocery stores)
  • 6 oz Corona Beer or another beer of your choosing
  • 1 package boneless, skinless chicken thighs (~6 chicken thighs)
  • 1 lime, cut into segments

Directions

  1. Put the Instant Pot on the sauté setting and add the olive oil and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes until the onion becomes translucent.
  2. Add the salt, pepper cumin, chilis, beer, and limes to the pot and give everything a quick stir. Place the chicken breasts into the Instant Pot and try to submerge them in the liquid as much as possible. It’s ok if they are not fully submerged. Switch the Instant Pot setting to the Pressure Cook setting on High and set for 12 minutes.
  3. Use the quick release once the chicken has finished cooking. Use two large forks to shred the chicken. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Serve in tacos with rice and salad or in any other format you would like!


Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • Servings: 6
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We love to have a good pot of soup on the stove in the fall as the weather starts to get chilly. This Chicken Tortilla Soup has been in our recipe repertoire for many years now- it’s a go-to recipe that is the perfect mix of savory and spicy. It’s also very healthy and an easy way to get our veggies in when it’s cold out. If we are having friends over to watch a football game, we can up the ante and have lots of fun toppings to add over top. What starts out as a simple cup of soup can easily turn into a hearty meal with just a few toppings! We love to serve this soup with a batch of cornbread or crusty bread to dip into all of that spicy soup left at the bottom of the bowl.

Soup Ingredients

  • 1 package chicken breasts (about 1.3 lbs)
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and stem removed, diced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed (we used a roasted corn from Trader Joe’s)
  • 1- 28 oz can roasted tomatoes
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Optional Topping Ingredients

  • shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • tortilla strips
  • sour cream
  • chopped cilantro
  • diced green onions
  • sliced avocado

Directions

  1. Heat a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan and let it get nice and hot. Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper and the paprika. Add the chicken breasts to the pan and cook for about 4 minutes per side, or until they are seared well. They will not be cooked through at this point, but remove from from the pan onto a plate.
  2. Add the yellow onion to the pan. If the pan is dry, go ahead and add an extra tbs of olive oil to prevent sticking. Saute for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion starts to caramelize. Add the garlic, jalapeno, cumin, and coriander to the pan, saute another 3 minutes.
  3. Add the black beans and corn to the pan. Toss to give it all a good coat. Add the roasted tomatoes, chicken broth, and chicken breasts back to the pan. Bring the liquid to a simmer, cover, and cook for 30 minutes.
  4. After 30 minutes, remove the lid and remove the chicken breasts from the pot. Keep the liquid cooking on a low simmer while you shred or chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add the chicken back to the pot, stir to combine, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve the soup hot with any additional toppings.


Skillet Lemon Chicken

Tuck’s dad was called up to the Marlins this week and our whole family immediately gathered to watch him play Wednesday night. On nights like this – where we are unexpectedly entertaining – we love the ease of cooking a recipe in one pan. We made this skillet chicken using the base for a traditional gravy and adding lots of lemon and capers to keep the taste fresh. This recipe is hearty and flavorful and can be served with just about anything on the side that you already have in your kitchen. 

Skillet Lemon Chicken 
Makes: 6 servings 
Prep Time: 30 minutes     Total Time: 45 minutes 

Ingredients: 

  • 8 – 10 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 
  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour 
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil 
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 4 cups chicken stock 
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup capers
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • parsley (optional, for garnish)

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Prepare your station for browning the chicken getting one bowl and one medium plate. Scramble the eggs in the bowl and set aside. Combine one cup of the flour, salt and pepper on a plate and stir to combine. 
  3. In a deep (2 inch) skillet, add the canola oil and heat on medium over the stove top. Using one hand for wet ingredients and one hand for dry ingredients, coat the chicken in the flour, the egg and then back in the flour. Place the chicken thighs in the pan and brown on both sides (roughly 3 minutes per side). You do not need to cook the chicken all the way through. Set aside on a plate and drain any excess oil from the pan. 
  4. Add the butter to the pan until it is fully melted. Using a whisk, add the 1/4 cup of flour and whisk until a thick paste is made. You may get some brown bits from the chicken – this is OK. 
  5. Continue whisking while you add the chicken stock one cup at a time. The chicken stock will start to thicken. Once it does, add the next cup and repeat until all four cups have been added. Whisk in the lemon juice and capers and season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  6. Add the chicken back into the skillet and be sure that all pieces are covered with the lemon sauce. Place the skillet into the oven for 15 minutes or until the chicken thighs are cooked completely through. 
  7. Top with parsley and serve immediately. 

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

As we mentioned in previous posts, we love a good homemade pizza. Our last pizza recipe was a Spring Grilled Pizza, loaded with asparagus and fresh burrata. It was deemed a “girl pizza” by Tuck & Tate’s dads. To compensate for our vegetable pizza they made this Buffalo Chicken Pizza. It would be too long to title it “Buffalo Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza” but that it what it is. This recipe isn’t going to help you achieve your swimsuit goals but it will bring you much joy. We have grilled this pizza in the photo, but included directions to bake it in the oven below as we already used the oven to bake the chicken and bacon. If you want instructions for grilling your pizza take a look at the Spring Grilled Pizza linked above. 

Buffalo Chicken Pizza  
Makes: 1 large pizza; 4+ servings 
Prep Time: 25 minutes  Total Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients: 

  • 1 lb pre-made pizza dough  
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 medium chicken breasts 
  • 2 tsp garlic powder 
  • 2 tsp paprika 
  • 3 slices thick cut bacon 
  • 2 tbs olive oil 
  • 3/4 cup buffalo sauce 
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing 
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • 5 scallions, sliced 

Directions for the Oven: 

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Season the chicken breasts with the garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Put the chicken and bacon on a cookie sheet and cook in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, check on the bacon to make sure it isn’t too crispy and overcooked. Make sure the chicken is cooked a full 20 minutes before removing from the oven. 
  3. While the chicken and bacon are cooking, use the 1/4 cup flour to scatter across a clean cooking surface. Use a rolling in to roll the dough into an even pizza shape (rectangle or circle is fine). You want the dough to be about 1/2 inch thick and the diameter should be no larger than your largest cookie sheet. Carefully roll the dough onto the rolling pin and onto a cookie sheet. 
  4. When the chicken and bacon have finished cooking, remove them from the oven and increase the temperature of the oven to 475 degrees. When the chicken is cool enough to touch, shred it into bite-sized pieces. Chop the bacon into thin strips and set aside. 
  5. Use a brush to brush the pizza with the olive oil. This helps prevent the crust from being soggy. 
  6. Top the pizza with the pizza toppings- first the buffalo sauce, then the cheese, shredded chicken, and bacon. We like to finish by drizzling the ranch dressing around the pizza. 
  7. Cook the pizza for 15- 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the dough is golden brown. Top the pizza with the chopped scallions and let the pizza rest for a few minutes before slicing.  

Lemon Chicken with Artichokes

Happy Passover! We hope that everyone had a nice Seder and a great night of eating. This year’s Seder “was not like all other nights” for a lot of reasons, and we hope that this year was still a good evening to connect with family and friends, even if it was virtually.  We had a Seder last night with our parents and Nana (we are all social distancing together). Nana goes all out for Jewish holidays and this year was no exception. 

We were finally granted permission to bring a few dishes to the Seder that we will be sharing with you through this week and next. Up first is our lemon chicken with artichokes. This dish comes together fairly quickly and holds well in the oven during the Seder. The tangy lemon was a perfect accompaniment with Nana’s savory brisket. We made it last night but plan to have it as a staple throughout the spring and early summer. 

Lemon Chicken with Artichokes
Makes: 8 servings 
Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cooking Time: 35 minutes      Total Time: 45 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 package of bone-in, skin on chicken thighs (about 4) 
  • 1 package chicken breasts (about 4) 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine 
  • 3 lemons, 2 juiced and the other cut in wedges
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cans (28 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half length-wise
  • 1/2 cup capers 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Directions: 

  1. Heat a deep pan over high heat and add the olive oil. While the olive oil is heating, season the chicken (thighs and breasts) thoroughly with salt and pepper.
  2. Place the chicken skin side down in the pan. Cook for 5 minutes on each side so that the skin gets browned and crispy. You do not need to cook the chicken through at this point. Just make sure it is nice and brown.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan and lower the heat to medium. Add a little more olive oil if needed and the garlic. Saute the garlic for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the white wine. The wine will quickly boil as it deglazes the pan. Make sure you use a spatula that can scrape any of the brown bits from the chicken (aka flavor). 
  5. Add the lemon juice and wedges, chicken broth, artichoke hearts and capers to the pan. Cook for 5 and stir to incorporate all of the ingredients together. 
  6. Add the chicken back to the pan, cover and cook over low heat for 20 – 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Serve hot!

Semi-Homemade Chicken Shawarma Bowls

We have decided to start a new series on the blog for those nights when you want to get a good dinner on the table but are short on time. Even those of us that love to cook and entertain have those days where spending even an hour in the kitchen is too much. “Semi Homemade Mondays” are meals that combine a few pre-made ingredients from the store and a simple homemade addition to reduce your overall cooking time but still have a balanced meal for dinner. For this first Semi-Homemade Monday we have made Chicken Shawarma Bowls by using chicken shawarma, hummus, and pitas from Trader Joe’s. We’ve added cooked quinoa and an easy cucumber tomato salad to complete the meal and have dinner on the table in less than 25 minutes. 

Semi-Homemade Chicken Shawarma Bowls 
Makes: 4 servings 
Total Time: 25 minutes 

Ingredients for Bowl: 

  • 1 package (1.5 lbs) Trader Joe’s Chicken Shawarma 
  • 1 container hummus 
  • 1 package pitas, warmed for a few minutes in the oven 
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa 

Ingredients for Cucumber Tomato Salad 

  • 1 cucumber, ends removed, cut in half horizontally, and sliced 
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved 
  • 1/4 of a red onion, thinly sliced 
  • 2 tbs fresh dill, minced 
  • 1 clove garlic, minced 
  • 3 tbs olive oil 
  • 1 tbs red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees**. 
  2. Lay the chicken in a baking dish or on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the thighs are cooked through and the juices are clear. 
  3. While the chicken is cooking, pour 3 cups of water into a medium pot. Add the quinoa, bring the water to a boil, and cook over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes, or until the quinoa has popped. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. 
  4. To make the cucumber salad, combine the remaining ingredients (cucumbers – red wine vinegar) in a small bowl. Gently toss to combine and season with salt and pepper. 
  5. When the chicken has finished cooking, remove it from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before slicing. 
  6. Assemble each bowl with a swipe of hummus, about 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup quinoa, the sliced chicken shawarma, and a good helping of tomato cucumber salad. Serve with warm pitas for the ultimate semi-homemade dinner. 

** This chicken is great on the grill too- the char from the grill is addicting! Cook for about 6 minutes per side on a hot grill, or until the juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through. 


Chicken Skewers with Cilantro Dipping Sauce

The Chickey Gervais Skewers are named after this year’s Golden Globes host, Ricky Gervais. We love these skewers because they are really easy to assemble and always a crowd pleaser at a party. We love the cilantro lime dipping sauce as a pairing  with the onions and peppers for a fresh taste but you could easily swap and serve these with BBQ or hot sauce. For the Golden Globes, we plan to serve all dishes as heavy apps and decided to make half skewers to keep these the right portion. If you are serving them for a summer bbq use full sized skewers and make them an entree. 

Chickey Gervais Skewers – Chicken Fajita Skewers with Cilantro Lime Dipping Sauce
Makes: 12 half skewers; 6 full sized entree skewers
Prep Time: 15 minutes     Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients For the Skewers:

  • 1 lb chicken breasts or chicken tenders
  • 2 green peppers 
  • 1 red onion

Ingredients For the Sauce:

  • 1 package cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the skewers in a bowl of water. Make sure they are fully submerged as this will prevent the skewers from burning while you cook.
  2. Cut the chicken, green peppers and onion into one inch pieces. Assemble the skewers by placing one piece of each the chicken, peppers and onion in a row until the skewer is filled. Leave 1/2 inch of skewer on each side for easy handling.
  3. Season the skewers with salt and pepper and put them in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.*
  4. While the skewers are in the oven, make the sauce. Combine the cilantro, garlic, lime, olive oil and cumin in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Serve the skewers on a tray and splash the sauce directly on them or put the sauce in a separate dish for a self-serve option. Enjoy! 

*If you are cooking the skewers in the summer, feel free to cook on the grill! You will follow the same steps but cook on high heat for 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.