Slow cooker Mexican chicken! Fragrant and nutty!
Whenever I am asked what my favorite food is, I have difficulty defining that, but Mexican is pretty large when I reel it in. I have had plenty of ‘real’ South of the border food on both coasts, but I think this dish is a little influenced by the North. Even so, it’s a phenomenal bowl of food and a perfect slow cooker recipe. This crockpot chicken with fragrant spices give a warming piquant flavor in this smoky, nutty dish. It’s one that can be enjoyed any time of year, so if you want a casual easy dish in the summer, but don’t want to light the grill, just fire up the crockpot!! Slow cooker Mexican food can be warming and comforting on a cold winter night.
WINE NOTE: Full rich oaky Chardonnay is the perfect partner for this peanut chili chicken, which is awesome for me, as it’s my favorite type of wine!! We chose Catena from Argentina!
2 Ancho Chilis stem removed and torn into pieces
3 Cups Chicken stock
6 All spice berries (dried)
1 cinnamon stick
1 Can Chopped Tomatoes
1 Small onion sliced (if UK use 1 regular onion)
2 Cloves garlic roughly chopped
1 1/4 Cups dry-roasted peanuts, unsalted
1 Slice stale bread torn into pieces
1 Can Chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
2lbs or 1 1/2 Kg Chicken Thighs
Steep the ancho chilis in 1 cup of chicken stock for 30 minutes
Place the peppercorns, all spice berries, cinnamon, and cloves into a spice grinder and blitz to a powder. (Use a pestle and mortar if you don’t have a spice grinder)
Pour some vegetable oil into a skillet over medium high heat and sauté the onion and garlic for around 15 minutes until the onion is softened and browned.
Put the onion and garlic into a blender, and add the tomatoes, ancho chili with the liquid, the spices, the remaining chicken stock, peanuts and bread.
Put the chicken thighs into the slow cooker and pour over the sauce.
Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Serve over rice (microwave Mexican rice is good with this and makes for an easier end of day dinner prep)
CHEERS!!! ENJOY!!!! Don’t forget to follow my page on Facebook for more recipes and wine-pairings!
Chipotle chilis in adobo are a familiar ingredient both South and north of the border in supermarkets. However, if you are in another part of the world, you may have difficulty finding them. https://www.mexgrocer.co.uk/ in the UK are one of several suppliers and if you live in London, https://mestizomarket.com/ is located on the Hampstead Road. Amazon, of course have a range of products, but an online search in your own country may produce some small businesses locally supplying ingredients. (I am not affiliated to the businesses mentioned, I am just a customer)
Big full body Chardonnay is the main wine that I would choose with this slow cooker Mexican chicken, but the key factor is that it has been aged in American oak. The coconut flavors from the oak are the game changer, as coconut works so well with chili flavors and spices. Many wines from both North and south America are aged in American oak, but not all. There are many that use French oak, but the hazelnut and sometimes coffee and chocolate flavor works better with European style food. Always check which oak the wine has been aged in before choosing.
I chose chicken thighs on the bone to make this slow cooker Mexican chicken, as the bones enhance the flavor and thighs give a better result in the slow cooker / crockpot with flavor and texture. You could use boneless chicken and any other cut of chicken if that is your preference. The other advantage is budget. Chicken thighs on the bone seem to be the cheapest cut at the moment, giving the most flavor, so win win!!! More bang for the buck!!