About once a year, we are lucky enough to see our dear buddies from Seattle. We hung together almost nightly for the three years we lived there, and not only are they quality people, they are the kind of foodies who will steam you multiple batches of fresh mussels in a Thai curry sauce just because mussels looked good at the fish market that day. Though their company is excellent, they present a small food challenge: half of the couple no longer does gluten, the other half aims high in the health category and eschews red meat and pork by general preference. Add to that the presence of two children under the age of 6 (unless you have personally lived with children under the age of 6, I encourage you to save your breath about making no special dietary accommodations for children), and you can appreciate the "oh @#$%" moment one might have while contemplating what to serve for dinner.
Ok, so no gluten, no red meat or pork, no crappy canned and processed food, and also kid friendly? Lucky for me, with a few minor modifications, one of my staples, chicken tacos cooked in the slow cooker, fits the bill. This is one of those recipes that's a great trifecta for low-key company: everyone likes it, it's easy to make, and you don't have to mess with it at the last minute. If you're feeding small children who claim they don't like tacos, give them tortilla chips instead of tortillas, and let them scoop this up along with salsa. Worst case, they'll eat 8 million servings of salsa, and that pretty much counts as a vegetable in quantity.
If that's still too much work for you, or you are not organized enough to get this together six hours in advance (*cough**cough*, I had a birthday party to go to, Jeez! *cough** cough*), do what we did on the busy Saturday night when we had our beloved Seattlites over: pour yourself a bourbon and order PF Changs. They have a nice gluten-free menu, and if you've had enough bourbon, someone else will have to drive to pick the food up anyway.
Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos (Gluten-free Version)
1 3- to 4-lb bag of individually frozen chicken breasts (about 4-6 breasts depending on size)
1 10-ounce can of Rotel (this is a mixture of chopped tomatoes and green chilies for those of you not from down South)
1 packet gluten-free taco seasoning (the internets say Ortega is gluten-free)
Throw the first three ingredients in a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker. (You do NOT need to thaw the chicken.) Cook on low 5-6 hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Shred the chicken with two forks while still in the slow cooker, then stir to coat with the sauce. Serve with corn tortillas (check to make sure your brand is gluten free) and toppings such as cheese, salsa, chopped lettuce, minced onion, and chopped avocado.
Hi. I'm Amanda Dobbs.