52 Week Challenge – Meal #7

Instant Pot BBQ Beer Pulled Chicken Tacos along with Fresh Herb Ranch

For this Thursday meal, my wife and I had actually laid out the whole week on the prior Sunday. The plan was for this day to be a Meal Challenge. However, it was a hot Thursday in the summertime and I just had a long workday on the road throughout NJ. There were zero desires from me on moving . . . let alone helping out. However, thanks to my wife, she rallied me along. Honestly, I wanted to be a part of it, but I just needed that push and I’m so glad that I did because it was a wonderful dinner with of one of my favorite meals – tacos!  As I always explain with all of the challenges, simply click on the recipe title for the link of what was borrowed (adapted?). As always, I’ll lay out what we followed as well as the changes that were made along the way.

We actually performed this meal prep in silence and simply enjoyed one another’s company. HA! Who am I kidding – our two children were running around while providing the “music” of fun to fill the silent void in our evening. I think we did eventually turn on the local radio station to spread out the nonsensical sounds.

Beverage! Yeah – we had some and it was used in the dish as well!

(Via my 2019 stash! 2020 session came out following week!)

The Line-up (Ingredients)

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
kosher salt and black pepper
2 cups of your favorite BBQ sauce
1/2 cup of your favorite beer, or use chicken broth (I used Pumpkin beer)
3 cups shredded cabbage
2 cups grilled or steamed corn
1/2 cup fresh cilantro roughly, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
warmed corn or flour tortillas and shredded sharp cheddar cheese, for serving

Game Plan (Instructions)


1. In the bowl of your instant pot, combine the chicken, chili powder, garlic powder, paprika, cinnamon, 1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce, the beer, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cover and cook on high pressure/manual for 8 minutes. Once done cooking, use the natural or quick release function and release the steam.

2. Switch the instant pot to sauté and cook 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Shred with two forks. Add remaining BBQ sauce, if desired.

3. Meanwhile, make the ranch. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy, adding additional buttermilk, 1 tablespoon at a time, as needed to thin the sauce. (FYI – we actually had leftover ranch from Meal Challenge #6, so we utilized that)

4. To make the slaw, add the cabbage to a bowl with a few spoonfuls of the ranch and toss to combine. Add the corn, cilantro and chives, and season with salt.

5. Stuff the cheese and chicken into the warmed tortillas. Top with slaw and add the ranch. As you’ll see in the final shot, we also topped with pickled onions that we made in Meal Challenge #6 – that meal ruled with all the “extras” that it delivered.

(I appropriately finished off the pumpkin beverage and then rolled right into an exquisite IPA from Vermont)
(Final shot – mmmmmmm!)

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