Get ready for hot and spicy with Slow Cooker Habanero Chicken Tacos. Piled high with chunks of juicy chicken and corn salsa, they’re a smoldering treat for the taste buds.
Recently I got my first taste of a raw habanero pepper. Talk about eye-watering heat!! Thankfully, the habanero’s burn is toned down when it is cooked for hours in the slow cooker, but is still plenty hot for all us spice lovers. There is something important you should know when you cook with peppers that are this hot. WEAR GLOVES! I cut two Habaneros is half then washed my hands with soap, twice! Hours later I rubbed my eye and it burned something fierce from pepper oil still on my fingers. The oil contains an irritant called capsaicin and when it contacts your skin or eyes, it burns. To finally get all of the pepper oil off my hands, I had to rub them with cotton balls soaked in alcohol. Lesson painfully learned!
Talking about heat – have you heard of the Scoville scale? If you aren’t familiar with it, it is a measurement of the spicy heat of chili peppers or other spicy food in Scoville Heat Units, or SHU. Just to give you an idea, Jalapeno peppers are 1,000 – 10,000 Scoville Heat Units while Habanero peppers are a giant 100,000 – 350,000 SHU’s. That’s seriously a lot of burn!
Reasons to enjoy Slow Cooker Habanero Chicken Tacos:
- Throw everything in the pot and walk away for hours
- Easy to double, only need to increase the chicken amount, not sauce
- Versatile – serve leftover meat on buns with slaw, or add to pasta with veggies for a quick meal
- Economical – chicken is an inexpensive source of protein
Looking for more slow cooker chicken recipes? Check a few from my collection here:
- Slow Cooker Garlic Honey Chicken – easy, sweet and savory main dish
- Slow Cooker Chicken Parmesan with Penne Pasta – family pasta meal loaded with cheese
- Slow Cooker Cashew Chicken – serve over rice for a taste treatl
The incredible flavor of this recipe starts with habanero and poblano peppers, as well as onions.
I like to throw everything into the blender because 1) it’s quick and easy and 2) it’s easier to clean than the food processor. Just be sure to put the chopped tomatoes in the bottom so the blender has enough soft food and liquid to puree everything.
I debated over whether to include this picture. It is not attractive, I know. But in the end, this is a cooking blog so I thought you should see what the pepper puree looks like when it’s poured over the chicken. Stay calm, things will look very different when the chicken is cooked!
Slow Cooker Habanero Chicken Tacos
- 3 pounds chicken breasts boneless, skinless
- 4 medium plum tomatoes chopped
- 1/2 medium yellow onion chopped
- 1 medium Poblano pepper stemmed,seeded and chopped
- 2 medium Habanero peppers stemmed and seeded
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp cumin
- pinch salt and pepper
- 10 medium corn tortillas
- Cilantro leaves for garnish optional
- Sprinkle the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place in the bottom of the slow cooker. .
- Place the tomatoes, onion, peppers, tomato paste and cumin into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Pour the pepper mixture over the chicken. Cover and cook 3-4 hours on Hugh or 6-8 hours on Low. The chicken is done when it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F on a meat thermometer.
- Remove the chicken from the slow cooker. Cut into bite size chunks.
- Top each tortilla with chicken garnish with salsa, tomatoes, lettuce and cheese if desired.
- Reserve cooking liquid and serve as a sauce for the chicken.
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