Crock-pot Ancho Chicken Tacos and Pineapple Mango Bean Salsa

Ancho (Ahn-cho) Chile (Capsicum Annum) means Wide Chile Pepper. This chile ranges from 3 – 4 on a heat scale of 1 to 10. An Ancho is the dried form of a Poblano Pepper and often is mislabeled as a Pasilla or Mulato Pepper. Anchos have sweet fruity flavor with hints of cherry, prune, and fig. Anchos, combined with the Pasilla and Guajillo, form the Holy Trinity of chiles used to prepare the traditional mole sauces. Scoville heat units are 1,000 to 3,000.

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Serves: 6

Ancho Pulled Chicken:
2 – 2½ pounds of boneless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon of cumin
1-2 large limes juiced (approximately ½ cup of lime juice)
1 small onion finely chopped
1 tablespoon of ancho chile powder*
½ teaspoon of fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 tablespoon of honey
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
corn tortillas (or tortillas of your choice)

*To make the ancho chile powder, grind a dried chile in a coffee or spice grinder.

Pineapple Mango Bean Salsa:
2 cups of pineapple cubed into ½ inch pieces (half a pineapple)
1 mango cubed into ½ inch pieces
1 half a lime juiced (1½ tablespoons)
3 tablespoons of fresh cilantro finely minced
½ chopped red onion
½ teaspoon finely chopped habanero pepper
6 oz of rinsed and drained black beans
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
½ tablespoon of ancho chile powder (optional)

Crock-Pot Ancho Chicken:
In a slow cooker, place the boneless chicken thighs.
Add the cumin, lime juice, onion, ancho chile powder, pepper, salt, honey and vinegar.

Cook for 3 hours on high, until the chicken is nice and tender and you can shread it with a fork. Cover, and cook an additional 1 hour to allow the juices to absorb into the shredded chicken.

Pineapple Mango Bean Salsa:
Core, and cut the pineapple into ½ inch cubes and place in a mixing bowl.

Cut the mango into ½ inch cubes and add to the mixing bowl.
Add the chopped fresh cilantro, onion, lime juice, habanero pepper, apple cider vinegar, ancho chile powder (optional), and black beans.
Stir and let the flavors combine. You can chill the salsa for a few hours until the chicken is cooked.

Spray a fry pan with cooking oil, and cook the tortillas 1-2 minutes a side until they are golden brown and crispy (optional).

Fill the corn tortillas with the crock-pot ancho chicken, top with the pineapple mango bean salsa and enjoy!