Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Slow Cooker Chicken Banh Mi Tacos

Slow Cooker Chicken Banh Mi Tacos

The recipe for this Slow Cooker Chicken Banh Mi Tacos was inspired by the most popular dish in the Grumman 78 Food Truck's menu, the Banh Mi Tacos.  This food truck which you can find in Montreal, Quebec specializes in gourmet tacos and was featured in the Cooking Channel's wonderful TV show, Eat St..  They used pork shoulder which they braised for 6 hours in a 250 degree Farenheit oven while basting every 30 minutes.  Whew!  It sounded like a lot of work to me so I thought this is a good recipe to tweak for the slow cooker.   That was what I did except I substituted boneless, skinless chicken breast for the pork shoulder.  There are two main reasons for using this protein source, I wanted a lower fat meat alternative to save calories and I could not find the pork meat I knew I had in my two loaded freezers! 

What will make you feel like you are in heaven when you eat these chicken tacos is the amazing sauce which was closely taken from the recipe provided by Grumman 78.  Once I tasted the sauce upon mixing it, I already knew why the Banh Mi Tacos from which this recipe is based on is the most popular dish in the menu at the Grumman 78 food truck.   It hits all the parts of the taste buds.  It is sweet, salty, tangy and has a little heat.

The sauce is prepared separately by the Grumman 78 chef which is then drizzled over the shredded cooked braised pork shoulder.  The meat is then topped with the typical Banh Mi toppings of pickled carrots and daikon and the ubiquitous cilantro.  For this recipe, I decided to slow cook the chicken breast together with the amazing sauce in the slow cooker. I was envisioning to make two meals from the slow cooked chicken breasts in my head.  And that was what happened.  The chicken straight from the slow cooker with the amazing sauce was served yesterday for dinner with brown rice and streamed vegetables.  My master picky taster, my husband Bob, loved it and so did I. 

Slow Cooker Chicken with the Amazing Sauce which can be eaten as is or used for the Banh Mi Tacos

As much as the chicken with the amazing sauce straight from the slow cooker can stand alone by itself as a spectacular main dish, the Banh Mi Tacos made from it with all the typical toppings will give you an out of this world experience.  They are awesome.   I could hardly wait to eat it when I was shooting the photos for this post before lunch today.   I also was salivating while doing my exercise and yoga at the gym today while thinking about having it for dinner.  It is that hauntingly good sauce.  I want to caution you that you will not stop with one taco so be sure you serve this with a lot of company to share the experience with.  Why not throw a party?

Slow Cooker Chicken Banh Mi Tacos 

(Adapted from Grumman 78)

(15 servings at 2 tacos per serving)

Slow Cooker Chicken with Amazing Sauce

3 lb skinless, boneless chicken breast (other meat like pork shoulder can be used)

1 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 cup oyster flavored sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 cup catsup
2 tbsp ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha

Mix the sauce ingredients together in the slow cooker and place the chicken breasts on top and cover them with the sauce.

Slow cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.  I used an Aroma Brand rice cooker/slow cooker where I cook the dish in 2 hours at slow cooker setting.

You can have the chicken straight from the slow cooker as a main dish or cool and shred it for the Banh Mi Tacos below.

Assembling the Banh Mi Tacos

(Yields 30 tacos if using all the Slow Cooked Chicken with Amazing Sauce above)
  • 30 small tortillas
  • Carrot and Daikon Pickle (recipe below)
  • Green onion, chopped
  • Sesame seeds
  • Cilantro leaves
  • lime wedges
  • Slow Cooker Chicken with Amazing Sauce (prepared above), cooled and shredded.
Place the cooled and shredded Slow Cooker Chicken with its Amazing Sauce in a tortilla and top with the carrot and daikon pickles, green onion, sesame seeds and cilantro leaves.  Serve with a lime wedge. 

Carrot and Daikon Pickles

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar or Splenda
  • Pinch salt and pepper
  • 3 cups carrots, julienned
  • 3 cups daikon, julienned

Combine water, white vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a saucepan and bring to boil.

Remove from heat and add carrot and daikon. Let cool, then refrigerate for 4 hours.

Note:  You can also use leftover pickle juice in a bottle and adjust its taste with the addition of more vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper.  Place the julienned carrots and daikon right in the pickling juice in the bottle.  This was what I did.  I did not have to boil the liquid since I used Splenda instead of sugar which dissolves easily. 

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