Tacos are always a crowd-pleaser, no two ways about it. Accessible, casual, and endlessly customizable. In fact, one of the most terrific casual dinner party ideas I’ve seen is to set up a taco bar – lay out shells, a couple of hearty fillings, and as many salsas, veggies, and other toppings as you like, then turn your guests loose. Sounds like my idea of a good time!
If you’re looking to diversify your taco game, chicken tinga is a filling sure to wow anyone lucky enough to share it with you. It all starts with a base of tomatoes and tomatillos, which pick up just a touch of heat from chipotles in adobo sauce, then settle down to simmer with a few other veggies and spices until the sauce thickens and turns a nice, bright red.
Stir in some shredded, cooked chicken, let it simmer for another few minutes so that the meat soaks up lots of the flavorful sauce, and you’re ready to serve!
I love chicken tinga on corn tortillas and tostadas, and it also makes a stellar filling for enchiladas, depending on what you’re in the mood for. I also plan to experiment with just making the sauce and spooning it over some quinoa or rice and black beans for a meatless option. I honestly don’t think you could go wrong.
Now it’s your turn – how often do you eat tacos in your house? What are your go-to fillings? Tell me in the comments – I’m always on the hunt for new inspiration!
Chicken Tinga Tacos
Yield 6-8 servings
- 6-8 ripe plum tomatoes (about 2 lbs.)
- 2-3 tomatillos (about 4 oz., husks removed and rinsed)
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. dried marjoram
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1 whole canned chipotle chili in adobo sauce, plus 2 tbsp. adobo sauce
- 5 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- corn tortillas, limes, cilantro, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, as desired for serving
- Place the tomatoes and tomatillos in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the tomatoes and tomatillos are soft but not falling apart. With a slotted spoon, transfer the tomatoes and tomatillos to a blender or food processort, allow to cool slightly, then puree until smooth. (Alternatively, if you have an immersion blender, just drain the water then puree the vegetables directly in the saucepan.)
- Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Carefully pour the tomato-tomatillo mixture into the skillet. Stir in the oregano, marjoram, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add the chipotle chili and adobo sauce, partially cover the skillet, reduce heat to medium, and allow to simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly.
- Add the chicken and broth to the sauce and stir. Cook over medium heat for 6-8 minutes, until the chicken has absorbed most of the liquid. Serve in corn tortillas with lettuce, cilantro, tomatoes, avocado, or other toppings as desired.
Source: Pati’s Mexican Table by Pati Jinich