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Easy Latino Crockpot Chicken—1 Recipe, 3 Meals

chicken tacos

This easy Latino crockpot chicken is a gift to working parents looking for a delicioso weeknight meal. Or in this case, three meals! Thanks to one of our favorite Dominican homecooks, Belqui Millili-Ortiz of Belqui’s Twist, for sending us this killer recipe. It’s one of her most popular busy-mom weeknight dinners. True to the name of her beloved blog, Belqui loves to take favorite Latino recipes, usually reflecting her Dominican family heritage, and give them a fresh approach to add flavor and oomph.

In this case, Belqui reimagines a pollo traditional dinner made with Dominican-style spices into three easy meals. ”You guys know that I like to twist things,” she says. Here’s how she makes 3 weeknight meals everyone loves, fast.

Belqui chicken crockpot easy
Day 1 dinner: Slowcook a big batch of shredded chicken and serve it with stewed beans and rice.

The first night, ”I serve it with rice and beans” for a classic Dominican meal with mucho seasoning and sabor. To keep things authentic, pair with Belqui’s tasty family recipe for arroz con habichuelas.

The following night, Belqui taps into Mexican inspiration, and dinner is shredded chicken tostadas or tacos. Be sure to garnish them with your favorite toppings, such as sliced avocado, cilantro, queso fresco, and your favorite salsa. (May we recommend this basic and delicioso salsa verde?)

tostadas chicken
Day 2 dinner: Make chicken tacos or tostadas with queso fresco, cilantro and avocado.

Finally, on day 3, Belqui stretches this dish into a triple play by using the using the shredded chicken to stuff empanadas. If you want to go type A, you can make your own empanada dough: here’s an empanada recipe from one of our go-to Panamanian homecooks Lisa Kear. Otherwise, keep things simple and buy the empanadas premade and frozen at at Latino grocery store. They taste great, says Belqui.

Add mozzarella or your favorite queso to the pollo mixture if you wish, says Belqui. Give the chicken-stuffed dough a quick fry, about 3 minutes. When both sides are golden brown, you have traditional empanadas, one of the most popular treats in so many of the Latino homelands we cook our way home to here at Familia Kitchen.

Empanadas
Day 3 dinner: The last of the pollo goes into empanadas, made with homemade or store-bought dough.

The Latino Crockpot Chicken That Keeps on Giving

“This is not your typical slow-cooker chicken recipe,” says Belqui. ”This Latino-style seasoned slow cooker chicken is what I call multi-purpose. The possibilities are endless!” No one will complain about eating leftovers, she promises.

Best of all is how fácil this chicken is to make, says Belqui. “It is super, super simple,” she promises. You take chicken breasts—on the bone or boneless. If using bone-in, remember to remove the bones once the chicken is slow-cooked. Throw the pollo into your crockpot with Dominican seasonings. You can vary the spices according to your taste and/or family heritage, she says. Belqui uses lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, onion, adobo and oregano. Add 1 jar of your favorite Mexican salsa—and you’re in business. Set the crockpot timer for 5 to 6 hours and go about your day.

Belqui chicken crockpot easy
This recipe sent into Familia Kitchen by one of our favorite Dominican homecooks Belqui Millili-Ortiz of Belqui’s Twist is one if her weeknight favorites. One recipe, three dinners—what’s not to love?

Why This Chicken Is So Juicy & Delicioso

”When it’s done, it looks like it has a lot of liquid,” says Belqui. ”But don’t worry about it because once you start shredding the chicken breasts, that water will be absorbed into the chicken and it’s actually going to make it insanely delicious!” (It does. We made it.)

One crockpot session yields three delicioso dinners. Consider your weeknight menu prep more than halfway done. Gracias, Belqui.

For more of Belqui’s delicioso dishes, check out her can’t-stop-at-one Dominican arepitas de yuca black beans and rice, chorizo-spiced melted cheese queso fundido dip, beef picadillo ragu, and classic D.R. cocktails morir soñando and santo libre to wash it all down—in style and authentically.

Ready to Try This Easy 3-Meals-in-1 Crockpot Chicken?

Easy Latino Crockpot Chicken—1 Recipe, 3 Meals

4 from 4 votes
Recipe by Belqui Ortiz-Millili Cuisine: Dominican
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

10

minutes
Cooking time

5

hours 

Ingredients

  • 4 large 4 chicken breasts, skin and fat removed

  • 2 Tbsp 2 lime juice

  • 2 Tbsp 2 soy sauce

  • 1 Tbsp 1 garlic minced, heaping

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 onions, finely chopped

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp 1 1/2 adobo

  • 1 tsp 1 oregano

  • 1 cup 1 salsa, medium (or your desired heat level)

  • To Make Empanadas
  • 1 package 1 empanada dough, pre-made, 5-inch discs

  • 2 cups 2 vegetable oil, for frying

  • 1 cup 1 mozzarella or queso fresco, shredded, optional

Directions

  • Place the chicken breasts in your crockpot.
  • Top with all of the remaining ingredients. Make sure they are spread out evenly over the top of the chicken.
  • Cook on low for 5 hours. Once done, you will see a lot of liquid remaining. That’s a good thing—it will be absorbed! If using bone-in chicken, remove the bones.
  • Using 2 forks, gently break apart the chicken. Mix in the finely shredded meat with the liquid for juicy, Latino-seasoned chicken that is ”absolutely delicious,” Belqui promises.
  • If You Want to Make Chicken Empanadas
  • Prepare a small bowl filled with water, so you can moisten the edges of the empanada discs.
  • Pour the vegetable oil into a frying pan, on medium. While you are waiting for the oil to get frying hot, prep your empanadas.
  • Lay each empanada disc on your work surface. Place 2 Tbsp of the shredded chicken filling in its center. Add optional shredded mozzarella or queso fresco, if you wish. Repeat until you get desired amount of empanadas.
  • Use the tines of a fork to press down, all around the edges of each empanada. Repeat until you get desired amount of empanadas.
  • Moisten the edges of the empanada disc with water. Fold each empanada in half and press down, to seal each disc into a half-moon shape. Repeat until you get desired amount of empanadas.
  • Test the heat of the oil by dipping the tip of an empanada into it. If you see that there is a bubbling reaction, it is ready to start frying. It’s better to have the heat lower so the empanadas cook more slowly, rather than flash-frying and burning them.
  • Once the oil is ready, add the empanadas in batches of 2 or 3, so as not to crowd them. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Fry both sides until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Lay them on a plate lined with paper towels, to absorb the oil. Serve hot.

Notes

  • This dish is forgiving and the chicken can slow cook in the crockpot between 4 and 6 hours, says Belqui, who sets her dial to 5 hours.
Belqui chicken crockpot easy
To make this crockpot classic, start by adding seasoning and your favorite salsa to the chicken.
Belqui chicken crockpot easy
You will see a lot of liquid when the crockpot part of this recipe is done. That’s a good thing, says Belqui.
Belqui chicken crockpot easy
Because once you start shredding the chicken with two forks, the liquid will be deliciously absorbed.
Belqui chicken crockpot easy
You can serve this shredded chicken with rice and beans, on tacos, or in easy empanadas.
Belqui chicken crockpot easy
When Belqui makes chicken empanadas, she often adds mozzarella to make them extra melty delicioso.

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