Spiced Pulled Chicken (or Pork) Tacos

“How can you cook in such a small space?”

That’s the incredulous question I get frequently when I say we live in 170 square feet surrounded by curved walls.

The truth is, I can make anything here that I make in a kitchen, as long as I’m willing to clean up the pots and pans.

Lately I’ve been trying to reduce water use by using just one pot. That’s when I found a great recipe for pulled chicken tacos and adapted it to work for pork as well. Turns out, cinnamon, cumin, smoked paprika, red wine, onions and tomatoes along with other key flavors make a mighty fine topping for flour tortillas or even rice or pasta. Sour cream was dolloped on top (sriracha for me but none for J).

This recipe is going into the meal rotation since it makes easy and abundant leftovers.

Spiced Pulled Chicken (or Pork) Tacos
Makes about 6-8 servings

2 tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin)
1 onion, chopped
3-4 mini sweet red/yellow/orange peppers, chopped (or one large pepper)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin (or 2, to taste)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup white or red wine
15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice or apple cider vinegar
2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts OR small pork loin roast, cut into 1-inch by 2 inch section sections
Flour or corn tortillas
Optional toppings:
Lime wedges
Shredded lettuce
Salsa or sriracha/hot sauce
Sour cream

  1. In a large heavy pot like a dutch oven, add olive oil, onions and peppers. Saute until onions are soft. Add chopped garlic and the spices — cinnamon, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, kosher salt — and stir until mixed. Let cook for a couple of minutes to let the garlic soften and the spices bloom in flavor.
  2. Add wine to pan, scrape up bits from the pan bottom, and cook until wine is almost evaporated. Add tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, and lime juice or vinegar.
  3. FOR CHICKEN: When the pot contents are bubbling hot, add the chicken breasts and nestle them into sauce. Reduce heat to medium, cover pot, and let chicken poach in the sauce for about 30 minutes or until cook until the chicken no longer shows pink in the center. Remove from pot and shred chicken with two forks in a large bowl. Cook the sauce down so it is thicker and return chicken shreds to pot and heat through.
  4. FOR PORK: When the pot contents are bubbling hot, nestle pork pieces into the sauce. Reduce heat to medium, cover pot, and let the pork cook for about an hour or more so that the meat is tender and shreds easily. Remove from pot and shred with two forks in a large bowl. If needed, cook the sauce down so it is thicker. Return pork shreds to pot and heat through.
  5. TO SERVE: Heap small amount of chicken or pork, as appropriate, on the tortillas, squeeze lime wedges over, add salsa or hot sauce of your choice, and top with sour cream, if desired.

— Maura C.

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