Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tasty Tuesday: Crazy Easy Shredded Chicken Tacos

Cooking in Germany can be a pain, especially when you want something from home. I am so thankful that thanks to Fionn I now can shop at the commissary on post, but I vividly remember how frustrating it was back in my old expat days when trying to cook something meant having a dictionary on hand.

Like that time I volunteered to help make Thanksgiving dinner for 60 students during my German study abroad...do you know how hard it is to find whole turkeys and sweet potatoes here?! (Spoiler:It all worked out!). Anyway, back on topic...

My craving for tacos the other day led me to pull out a recipe I invented many moons ago when I was the unofficial chef for the foreign exchange students on my floor during my German study abroad days (I hope y'all have gotten your mamas to teach you to cook by now!). It's expat kitchen friendly, pretty quick and easy to make, and I even included the translations if you need them. I was able to find all the ingredients at my local Rewe or Netto.

Crazy Easy Shredded Chicken Tacos
1 half of an onion, diced
1/2 tsp onion powder (Zwiebelpulver)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (Knoblauchpulver)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 oregano (Oregano)
1 tsp cumin (Kreuzk├╝mmel)
1/2 tsp chili powder (Chilipulver)
1 bay leaf (Lorbeerblatt)
3 chicken breasts
1 Tbsp tomato paste (Tomatenmark)
1 tsp chicken bouillon powder
1 cup water

Toss onions in oiled pan and begin browning on medium heat. (I love using my cast iron skillet for this, but any pan will do).

While they're browning, mix together the spices and sprinkle a little bit of the spice mix over the chicken breasts. Turn up the heat and sear the chicken breasts for 2 minutes on each side. You don't want to cook it all the way through, just sear in the spice crust.

Mix together the chicken bouillon powder and water, stir to combine. Then add the tomato paste and stir again. Pour the boullion-tomato paste mixture into the pan, and reduce the heat to low. Add the bay leaf and remaining spice mixture and let everything simmer for 20-30 minutes, flipping the chicken breasts halfway through the time.

If the water level gets low, add a bit more-you don't want it to be soupy, you just want enough water to simmer the chicken breasts without everything else starting to burn.

When the chicken is done, remove from heat and carefully shred with 2 forks. Return the chicken to the pan and coat in the sauce (add more water if it's cooked down too much) and add salt to suit your preference.

Black Bean topping
Black beans are sometimes hard to find in Germany, but kidney beans (Kidneybohnen) could also work in a pinch.
1 can of black beans, rinsed
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic salt
1/4 cup water

Combine all the ingredients and let simmer on the stove until the onions are tender.

Last minute Guacamole
I love guac, but sometimes I don't have time to make it a big production. This is my go to when I just want a super easy spread to act as a base for burritos and the like. Of course, you can always jazz it up however you like! :)
2 avocados, pitted and  mashed
1/2 of a lime
1 tsp garlic salt
1 handful of cilantro (if you can find it! It's called Koriander in German)

Mash avocados, squeeze your lime over it, add garlic salt and cilantro, and stir. Easy!

Guten appetit! :)


  1. I love that you included the translations, thank you! I really do have a dictionary (on my phone) whenever I go shopping and need something odd.

    1. same here! i've always got the dictionary in my purse :)

  2. Turkey is hard to find in the UK too. I'm thankful that we at least have the English language to make things easier. I have taco and fajita seasonings that I have snuck into the UK, but this is nice to have for if I ever run out. Thanks!

    1. Germans seem to get fajita confused with "barbeque" so I quickly learned to make my own! ;)

  3. Pinned this for later! Love that you put the translation on some of the seasonings! So helpful!

    1. Glad it helped! German spice translations are so totally different sometimes, I've ended up with wrong things a zillion times!

  4. Oh Lord! I misread the recipe and added the whole can of tomato paste! I added a little more chicken broth in hopes I can just simmer it out. Fingers crossed!