Kailyn’s Buffalo Chicken Tacos

Buffalo Chicken Tacos
Original Recipe Here

I don’t know about you but I love Buffalo chicken anything.  Wings, dip, you name it.  I also love cooking chicken in the slow cooker and baking it in the oven.  I am always paranoid when I cook chicken in a skillet that it won’t be done, and thus I rely on my trusty kitchen thermometer to tell me if it’s done or not. ( I was always taught the safe zone is between 120 degrees and 140 degrees, more towards the 140 ed.) That’s why I love my slow cooker. Put chicken in on high with some liquid for 6 hours, boom.

Because food is such a  big deal to me and my hobby as well, I menu plan and we have set “theme” nights.  Tuesday is always Taco Tuesday, and I’m working out making Friday Fishy Friday.  Jeff, my husband LOVES Mexican and could probably eat something Mexican every day. Thus, that is why we have tacos mostly always in rotation.

I cooked my 2-3 chicken breasts for the tacos on high in the slow cooker for 6 hours with 1/4 cup of chicken stock and 1/2 c of Frank’s Red Hot.  The last 2 hours I switched it to low.
I have been cooking my chicken for tacos this way for a couple weeks, it’s super easy when I come home from work, I just pull the chicken from the crock pot, and shred it in a bowl.


The original recipe also called for blue cheese, which I LOVE, by my picky husband does not. He does however love Ranch, so I adapted the recipe and replaced the blue cheese crumbles with shredded cheddar cheese, and  replaced the dressing with this Healthy Ranch Dressing that uses 1 cup plain non fat Greek Yogurt, a Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning packet and 1/4 cup skim milk.  We like a strong  ranch, so I added extra garlic, dill and pepper.


Also the only vegetables the original recipe calls for is carrots and avocado and tomato.
I ended up making my own fresh Pico De Gallo, which I just tossed together some red onion, 1 vine ripened tomato, and half a seedless cucumber together with some minced garlic, olive oil, lime juice, cilantro and some fiesta seasoning I got from Tastefully Simple.
I served the carrots alongside some diced red bell pepper, black olives, fresh cilantro and freshly diced avocados that I poured lime juice over.  I served them with whole wheat tortillas.
They took a little time to assemble, but boy were these babies good.

 

What I like about this dish, is how versatile it is. You can use whatever wing sauce you want, and whatever toppings you want. I like vegetables, so this was a great way to get our serving of vegetables, and with the ranch being only 22 calories a serving, you don’t have to feel guilty about enjoying it. I always have Jeff grade my meals with A,B,C, or F. This tells me how much he liked the meal and if it’s something worth making again.  He graded this meal with a A, so it will be put into the Taco Tuesday rotation. Try it at home, and let me know what you think!

 

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Kailyn’s Kitchen Confidential

I love food. That  sentence is an understatement. I LOVE FOOD.  For as much as I love food, you’d think I’d be well over my tiny frame of 5’2 and a size 8. I can’t stand “working out”, and really unless I have a partner, I will refuse to. Instead, I just try to watch what I eat.  That’s not to say I don’t scarf down a dozen wings at Buffalo Wild Wings or eat a whole large pizza by myself; I just try to do those things in moderation or once in a blue moon.  I  Food Associate as well, so naturally I can tell you practically every place I have been and what I ate there. It’s a blessing and a curse.  Food to me is not just about dietary need, but its also an experience. The ambiance of where your at, the appearance of food on the plate, the smell that wafts up into your nasal cavities and the feeling you get before and after your taste buds savor the flavor of your meal.

My parents weren’t the best cooks (sorry Mom and Dad!) but they had their specialities. My mother didn’t LIKE to cook, and my Dad’s menu was limited to practically seafood and breakfast food.  My Dad was and still is an expert fisherman, and because of this I have some pretty fond memories of eating seafood. My grandmother ( or as I call her Nee Nee) liked to cook, and cooked ALOT, my grandfather (or as I called him PaPa) used to work as a seafood buyer for Shop N Save, and we would have large family dinners every Sunday, and at holidays.  We used to have a big seafood feast twice a year, with fish, crab legs, lobster tails, shrimp, bowls of butter, filet- you name it.  I can remember being 9 years old, on vacation with my parents in Vancouver visiting relatives and staying on a legit deserted island which only had 1 house and was surrounded by the ocean. During the day my dad went out on the boat and caught fresh dungeoness crab, and fresh cod and salmon. They brought their catch back, and we ate it all, fried cod, barbecued salmon,  dungeoness crab legs in butter and baked potatoes and corn on the cob, prepared just hours after coming back from the sea. You can’t get fresher than that.
I sometimes think that it is this reason I love food so much- because it is the warm fuzzy feeling of love as well as full bellies. It reminds me of family, and happiness, and most of all love.  It takes me back to those moments, that I’ll forever remember.

If it hadn’t been for Rachel Ray, and a lifetime of working in kitchens, I probably wouldn’t even know how to cook.  I have stated before, I have ADHD, and my attention span can vary pretty distinctly. I prefer to cook something that can be done quickly, I’m not about to buy a live lobster and cook it or  make a perfectly seasoned soufflé.  Rachel Ray’s 30 minute meals were a game changer for me, and taught me how to cook. The rest of my cooking experience comes from working in kitchens.  I worked at Red Lobster when I was in my early twenties, and then I worked in the kitchen of a nursing home for 7 years.  This is where I attribute a lot of my experience. In our nursing home, when I started, everything was made from scratch, and we had some great cooks. As a server, not only did I serve the food, but I helped prepare it, and learned firsthand how to make gravy from scratch, dishes like Beef Bourginon, seafood crepes, fluffy scrambled eggs, poke cake,  tartar sauce from scratch, etc.

Naturally I have a pretty adventurous palette. I am especially fond of seafood, and sauce.  To me everything needs a good sauce.  I will eat pretty much anything or try anything except for bugs, squid/octopus,  or anything with  habanero. I eat everything from sushi to pasta to prosciutto to kale.  My tastes are also a bit refined and I have a tendency to like things that no one else does, or things that are pricey. As much as I like certain things, there are certain foods I will not touch: peanut butter, chocolate, ice cream, white cotija or queso cheese.  My husband is the opposite- he loves all the aforementioned, and pretty much anything that is sugary or spicy.

My husband Jeff fluctuates with his weight quite a bit,  focusing on the number.  He is naturally quite skinny, but  when he starts to gain a little bit of weight, or goes over his preferred number, he tries to cut down on things.  Usually I tell him he doesn’t need to, but it makes him feel better to try to be healthier and I can understand that.  I have battled with my weight since I was a teenager- I was a size 2 up until I was about 19 years old. I was on medication that kept my appetite surpressed as a side effect, and looking at those old picures, I was very skin and bones. I came off the medicine years later and through bad eating habits ( because I ate anything I wanted for years and never gained weight) I blew up to 147 lbs, and then slimmed back down. I have gained and lost and gained and lost like most women, but I find I am much happier without a scale in my life. As long as my clothes fit and I feel healthy that is all I need. Although, that doesn’t mean I can’t take better care of us by cooking and eating better.  Recently I have put us both on a healthier eating goal, since I think it quite unfair to chow down on a cheeseburger while he eats a salad. I could be a little healthier myself.

I have decided to start another  spotlight,  called Kailyn’s Kitchen Confidential. Here I’ll showcase my meals I have made, some original, some from other places, so that you can try  them too. Not all the recipes will be healthy, but they are all winners in my little microcosm.  Because I take a lot of recipes and put my own spin on them, each recipe will have a small story with it on where it came from, and my spin on it.

Please enjoy the new showcase of Kailyn’s Kitchen Confidential.