In Dinner:The Playbook, Jenny Rosenstrach recommends having a master plan for your weekly meals. Mine would be: something meatless (honestly, this would be fish for us), taco Tuesday, pizza Fridays, and some more elaborate meal on Sundays. Dave loves 1980s home meal-style tacos. You know, ground beef flavored with “taco seasoning,” hard shells, lettuce, salsa, and sour cream. No sides, just three (maybe four) of those and call it a meal. But I really want to make the taco/burrito meats that I like to eat: chile verde, cochinita pibil, carnitas (in other words, lots of Mexican pork). A lot of those are labor-intensive, which means there are slow cooker versions of them like this one, from Chow.com!
- Meal: dinner, sometime last week but not on a Tuesday
- Kid tried?: Yes.
- Keeper?: Yes.
- Cook’s grade: A. LOVED THIS. OMG, I loved this. I love chile verde so much, and although this was not the traditional pork, the flavor was great. The chicken shredded easily, and I wondered if this might be a good way to get that yummy, moist, flavorful chicken that you get from store-bought rotisserie chickens (I know, it’s a guilty pleasure from my single days). I don’t know that it’s really necessary to use a whole chicken for this recipe, though, and it made the last few steps a bit messy. I might try it with chicken parts next time.
- Kid’s grade: A. The Bug loved eating her “brrrito” and even successfully ate it wrapped up in the tortilla for a few bites before asking if she could unwrap it and subsequently making a mess. But that’s what toddlers do. I’m cool with that.
Cooking tips for busy parents:
- I can’t believe I didn’t think of this earlier, but after making this, I bagged half of the leftovers and threw them in the freezer. Since I’ve been cooking more lately, we’ve had a lot of leftovers taking up space in our fridge and then going bad in our fridge. I hate throwing out food. My new policy is to immediately freeze half the leftovers so that on nights when it’s just the Bug and me, I can pull something out of the freezer, throw it in the microwave, and eat something healthy and homemade instead of getting burgers or something. I am ashamed to admit that the Bug probably eats chicken fingers at least once a week, which means I eat burgers and fries at least once a week.
- As I mentioned above, next time I would try chicken parts instead of a whole chicken. Though, if you’re planning on making stock anytime soon, you might as well use the whole chicken and save the carcass for stock.