Tinga de pollo tacos are simple shredded chicken, chipotle chile pepper, and tomato tacos. The tinga de pollo itself goes well with tostadas, empanadas, sopes, or any other way you want to eat it.
If you love the smokey taste of chipotle, these tacos are for you.
Chicken tinga goes especially well with avocado and queso fresco. The creaminess offsets the acidic tomato and chipotle chile peppers.
One thing to keep in mind if you plan to make tacos with chicken tinga – it is a wet ingredient. One corn tortilla may not hold together very well. Two corn tortillas per taco will help to keep it from falling apart in your hands.
I prefer two corn tortillas per taco anyway. It adds more texture, and you get more corn flavor.
Tips for Cooking Tinga de Pollo
This recipe is great for quick weeknight tacos. These tips will help you put it together even faster:
- Roasted chicken – If you buy a roasted chicken from the grocery store, it’ll save you the fifteen minutes it takes to poach chicken. Just peel the meat off the bones and shred it with a couple of forks.
- Canned chicken – You can also use canned chicken. It can be very salty, though. I recommend soaking it in some water, then rinsing it off before you use it.
- Seed the chipotles – You can control the level of heat in your tinga de pollo by seeding and de-veining the chipotles. Remember, then veins are where most of the heat is. Just cut the chipotles in half, then use a knife to scrape out the seeds and veins.
- Small can of chipotles – The small 3.5 ounce cans of chipotles are the perfect size for this recipe. If you buy one of those, rather than a larger can, you won’t have to worry about storing the leftovers.
- Diced canned tomatoes – Using an equal weight of diced, canned tomatoes rather than fresh tomatoes will keep you from having to go to the store to buy fresh ones.
Tinga de Pollo – Chicken Tinga Tacos
- 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tbsp. kosher salt
- 2 quarts chicken stock
Tinga de Pollo
- corn tortillas - toasted in a comal or cast iron pan
- sliced avocados
- queso fresco
- chopped cilantro
To Poach the Chicken
- Place the in a deep pot and add the salt, along with the two quarts of chicken stock.
- Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 12 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside for 5-10 minutes so that it can reabsorb some liquid. To ensure it is cooked to the proper temperature, an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the breast should read 165 degrees F.
- Remove chicken from the liquid and shred thoroughly with two forks.
To Make Tinga de Pollo
- Heat a pan over medium-migh heat and add two tbsp. of vegetable oil. Cook the sliced onions for 5 minutes, until they start to soften and become translucent. Add the peeled garlic cloves and cook an additional 3 minutes.
- Add the onion, garlic, tomatoes, chipotle peppers, and 1 tbsp. of the adobo from the can. Puree at high speed until completely liquified.
- Add 1 tbsp. of vegetable oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add contents of the blender, and the oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir, then cook for 10 minutes. A splatter screen will prevent the sauce from making a mess of your stovetop.
- Add the shredded chicken and stir very well to coat. Cook an additional 5-10 minutes, until the sauce thickens slightly. Taste for salt and adjust.