Smoky, slightly spicy and earthy chicken tinga takes less work than you thing and packs a powerful burst of flavor. Chipotles add the heat and the smoky while the other ingredients add layers of flavor. You adjust your heat level by removing the seeds inside the chipotle pepper too. You can always make it more spicy but once you go over your desired heat level, theres no going back so I like to make it mild and build from there by tasting along the way.
By browning the chicken first and then cooking them in the sauce produces a richer, deeper tinga flavor.
TINGA definition= A Mexican dish, origin Pueblo Mexico, made with shredded chicken in a sauce made of red and green tomatoes(tomatillos), chipotle chili peppers and onion strips served on a tortilla.
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs or 4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 diced white onion
2 garlic cloves smashed
1 large tomatillo chopped
1/2 tsp Mexican Oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 Can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes
2 chipotle peppers diced (seeds removed for less heat) plus 2 TBS adobo sauce from the can
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
In a Dutch Oven or heavy bottom pan, heat 1-2 TBS canola oil
Pat chicken dry and place in hot pan to brown about 6 minutes each side.
Remove from pan and transfer to plate leaving fat in pan
Add onions and garlic, cook to translucent. Add tomatillo and cook to soften.
Add oregano and cumin, tomatoes, chipotle with adobo and cook about 5 minutes on medium heat stirring occasionally to not burn.
Transfer sauce to blender and puree to smooth, adding the chicken broth as needed to thin.
Pour sauce back into pan and stir in remaining chicken stock and add bay leaf
Chop chicken in to strips and add into sauce along with any natural juices that may have settled on the plate.
Stir to combine and bring to boil over medium heat.
Reduce to a simmer and let cook uncovered about 5 minutes
Season with salt to taste.
Spoon chicken into warm corn tortilla and top with salsa, onion, cilantro and cotija cheese
Serve with lime wedge(to help cut the heat) and radish and perhaps a side of black beans.
A cool brew or margarita and you're all set!
Defiantly not your ordinary taco.