Caregiving from my kitchen

Shredded Chipotle Chicken

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Quick and easy Shredded Chipotle Chicken, made in a slow cooker, is moist and tender – as easy for our aging parents to eat as for me to make!

Chipotle Shredded Chicken in a bowl as part of a meal, with garnish

So here is a quick post about a quick recipe…

If you read my previous post – Mom’s ankle is healing, but just the whole experience of going to the hospital, at her age, has caused her to lose some ground. Getting stuck in a hospital bed at home, while better than staying in the hospital or going to rehab (under the circumstances) is still very hard on her. So most of my time and energy is going into her care right now. And unfortunately I do still have chronic migraine, and the season change is hard on me…

We’re hanging in there, as Dad says… but no extra energy.

But when I threw dinner together the other day I realized many of you are in similar situations – so I grabbed the camera…

Slow cooker full of Shredded Chipotle Chicken

See, I can’t just give Mom any old thing to eat. She has had swallowing issues, and there is some concern that she might aspirate food into her lungs (though she appears not to have actually done so.) And she is eating sitting up in bed, which increases that risk. And again, eating in bed – well, I’m not going to ask her to use a knife, and chewing tires her and…

The only thing she really ate much of in the hospital was Chopped Barbecue – which, here in North Carolina, means meat cooked low and slow, shredded and then chopped, with a spicy sauce (which may or may not be sweet.) So now we’re eating shredded meat, and ground meat, and fish (which flakes nicely itself.) And I make sure everything is nice and moist, and well seasoned so she can taste it.

Slow cooker with raw boned chicken thighs and chipotle puree.

Luckily, that’s all pretty easy. I had boneless chicken thighs (which are Your Friend when you need quick and easy…) So I tossed two of them into the slow cooker. (I love the mini slow cookers for a smallish recipe!) And I wanted some flavor, so I just spooned in some chipotle puree. (Take a can of chipotle in adobo, puree it in a blender. You’ll be amazed how often you use it when it’s so convenient!) Then I put two other pieces of meat on top of that, and set it on Low for six hours.

Now – a note about mini slow cookers. In my experience they cook more quickly than the larger ones. I’m not sure if they run hot, or it’s just that one pound of meat heats up and cooks so much more quickly than four pounds – probably a combination. Unfortunately the little ones do not tend to have timers… so if you can’t hang around the house, or return in time (as I did) you may just want to double the recipe and use a larger one with a timer.

But once the meat cooked, I just took forks and shredded it, right in the pot. The chicken itself releases juices, and the shredded chicken reabsorbs much of it (and the chipotle!) so you have all this moist shredded chicken with tons of flavor, which you can now use in so many recipes!

Another time I might put it in enchiladas (and it would be good in tacos.) It would be good cold in salad. Layer it into a casserole. Toss it in a skillet with vegetables. This time, I just made Quick Grits, added cheese, and piled the meat on top. (Then I garnished it with avocado and olives – she does eat with her eyes…)

It was delicious, and easy for her to eat – and Mom ate it right up. (The rest of us enjoyed it, too!) She’s not always finishing meals, these days, so I’m always glad when she does!

Quick and easy Shredded Chipotle Chicken, made in a slow cooker, is moist and tender - as easy for our aging parents to eat as for me to make! #caregiver #agingparents

Shredded Chipotle Chicken

Quick and easy Shredded Chipotle Chicken, made in a slow cooker, is moist and tender - as easy for our aging parents to eat as for me to make! #caregiver #agingparents
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time6 hrs
Total Time6 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Anne Murphy

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 T or to taste chipotle puree

Instructions

  • Place half the chicken in a small (1-2 qt.) slow cooker.
  • Dot the chipotle puree over it - spread it around if you like.
  • Add the rest of the chicken.
  • Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours.
  • At the end of the cooking time, take 2 forks and shred the meat. Stir it around in the liquid, and let rest five minutes to reabsorb juices and seasoning for a moist meat.

Notes

This is written for a very small slow cooker. In a larger one I would recommend doubling, or even tripling the recipe, and adding 30 minutes to an hour of cooking time, to allow for the longer time the slow cooker takes to come to cooking temperature.

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