Cinco de Mayo Chicken Tinga Tacos
I had big plans to cook this taco filling in a slow-cooker — but then swimming lessons and soccer games interrupted my plans… This dish was still very simple to prepare using the stove and oven. These tacos are very meaty– the chicken is the focus. It is braised in a smoky Mexican tomato sauce, or tinga. We ate them topped with queso fresco, cilantro, and chopped scallions. I served them with refried beans and brown basmati rice on the side. A great Cinco de Mayo meal- complete with guacamole
! This recipe is adapted from Food and Wine, a staff-favorite recipe, contributed by Jenn Louis.
- ACTIVE: 30 MIN
- TOTAL TIME: 2 HRS 30 MIN
- SERVINGS: MAKES 24 TACOS
- 3-6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 pounds trimmed, skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 6 large garlic cloves, minced
- One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 2 canned chipotles in adobo, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 24 corn tortillas
- 2 ounces queso fresco or Cotija cheese, crumbled
- Sliced scallions and chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper, add it to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned, about 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
- If needed, add additional olive oil to the skillet along with the onion. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned and softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the chipotles and the broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and slightly reduced, 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Transfer the sauce to a food processor and let cool for 15 minutes. Puree until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Bake the chicken uncovered in the center of the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes, until the meat is tender and the sauce is very thick and darkened around the edges. Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm them in the oven for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the chicken from the sauce and shred the meat. Return the chicken meat to the sauce. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of chicken onto each tortilla and sprinkle with the crumbled cheese. Garnish the chicken tacos with the scallions and chopped cilantro and serve hot.
MAKE AHEAD: The tinga can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and reheated gently.