There is a small restaurant, built on the hallowed ground where India and Mexico meet. At this restaurant, they only serve one dish – Shredded spicy salsa chicken tikka salad.
And everyone loves it.
Ok, maybe that place only exists in my mind – the real inspiration for this dish was a Christmas gift of a packet of tikka spices, and a desire to see how well the ‘spice’ of India meshed with the ‘spice’ of Mexico. The answer was: Great!
The beauty of this shredded chicken recipe is that it can be used as a base for many different dishes – curries, sandwiches (spicy shredded chicken rolls are the best!), stews, salads….the list goes on. You should find that a number of different recipes on this site use it as a base, and of course if there is any element of the dish that you don’t fancy (like my Dad, who can’t stomach too much spice!) then simply remove it and add what you do like. It’s not rocket salad…
As with most crock pot recipes, the key is to prepare all the ingredients and then throw them into the pot. It's not rocket salad...
- Chicken breast - 600g
- Onion - 100g (one medium)
- Red pepper - 100g (half a pepper)
- Chopped tomatoes - 1 can (400g)
- Tomato salsa - 300g (one small jar)
- Chicken stock - 250ml
- Lemon juice - Juice of half a lemon
- Tikka spices - 2 tbsp
- Garlic - 2 cloves
- Ginger - 1 tbsp (fresh, chopped)
- Chop the onions, tinned tomatoes, red pepper, garlic and ginger. I like to get them all ready and on plates, so that the 'assembly' part of the cooking is done quickly
- Prepare the chicken by cutting off any fat or scraggly bits, then cut into equal-sized fillets (each about as big as a large fishfinger)
- Add a little oil to the bottom of the slow cooker and rub it around (or use a spray if you have one). Cover the bottom of the pot with the chicken
- Add the salsa, chopped tomato, onion, chicken stock, ginger, garlic, tikka spices, lemon juice and red pepper to the pot and swirl it around to coat the meat, trying to keep it covered by your new sauce
- Cook on 'LOW' heat for six hours, until the meat is extremely tender and ready for shredding. If you're in a rush (and anyone using a crock pot when they're in a rush needs their head examined) then cook on 'HIGH' for 3 hours (but you probably won't get the same level of flavour infusion in the meat)
- Remove the chicken from the pot and using a pair of forks - tear it to pieces! Stick one fork in a chunk and stab with the other fork, then pull apart. Try to really shred the chicken so that it can then soak in even more of the flavour from the pot when it goes back in
- Put the chicken back in the crock pot, stir it through the sauce and turn it up to 'HIGH'. Cook for a further 60 minutes
- When the time is up, take the chicken out of the crock pot using a slotted spoon (one with holes in) so that any watery sauce that is left drains away, and you're left with spicy chicken, chunks of peppers and pieces of onion
- Serving is up to you - you can stuff it inside warm tortillas, park it next to a fresh leafy salad or alongside white rice. One of my personal favourites is to drain it thoroughly and pack it into slider rolls for a spicy lunchtime snack