Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

 In Cooking with KAKE, Dairy Free, Dinner, Easy, General, Paleo, Recipes

This summer I discovered a super easy way to make the most amazing chicken tacos! It starts with boneless, skinless chicken thighs. You may be tempted to use chicken breasts and I would caution you to avoid the temptation. I have made this recipe with chicken breasts and they were dry and chalky. Chicken thighs have a little bit of fat and much more connective tissue. When you cook them under pressure in the instant pot, the connective tissue breaks down and keeps the chicken juicy. You just can’t do that with a chicken breast.

When you use an instant pot there are two ways to release the pressure. The first is called fast release where you manually move a lever to release the pressure. The second is called natural release. This takes longer because the pressure slowly comes down on its own. When you are cooking most meats, the natural release is best. The slower release of the pressure helps the meat to retain its moisture. Fast release causes the proteins to contract and release their moisture leaving you with dry meat.

This recipe uses my taco mix. I like to make a batch and keep a jar in my cabinet. It is nice to have it ready to sprinkle on meat, or mix with an avocado for a quick guacamole.

This recipe makes a large batch. It can feed my carnivorous family of 6 for 2-3 meals. I serve it fresh the first night and freeze the rest in meal-size portions with the extra juices to warm up on a busy evening.

Instant Pot Chicken Tacos

5 pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs

5 teaspoons Coarse Sea Salt (If you use a fine salt, you will only need 3 teaspoons.)

10 Tablespoons Taco Mix (This is my taco mix recipe.)

1/4 Cup Water

In the instant pot, place a single layer of chicken thighs. Sprinkle with a little salt and a generous amount of taco seasoning. Repeat layer by layer until all the thighs are in the instant pot and covered in salt and taco seasoning. Add 1/4 cup of water and secure the lid.

Cook on high pressure for 15 minutes and then let the pressure release naturally. This will take about 35-45 minutes total. Remove the meat and any liquid from the instant pot. The thighs should be falling apart. Use two forks to gently break up the meat and serve on taco shells or tortillas with your family’s favorite taco fixings. Leftovers can be frozen with the juices for up to 3 months in the freezer.

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