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February 1, 2016

Chicken Tinga Tacos

Chicken tinga tacos are spicy, a little bit smoky, and the best part is that you can cook them ahead of time. Serve them with tomatillo salsa, radishes and cotija cheese.

Chicken tinga tacos are spicy, a little bit smoky, and the best part is that you can cook them ahead of time. Serve them with tomatillo salsa, radishes and cotija cheese.

Chicken Tinga Tacos

Like a lot of people I am planning on tuning into the Super Bowl, but I don’t care who wins. 

My team hasn’t made it past the first round of the playoffs for seven years straight. 

Despite my mild bitterness, I am always very excited for the spectacle of this annual sporting event.

From the commercials to the halftime show, there are so many things to watch. Oh yes, and that includes the other thing, the game.

Since I am not rooting for a team, food has taken the top spot in my book. 

Of course, that has always probably been the case anyway.

My Super Bowl menu planning starts in the beginning of January when we’re supposed to be thinking about New Years resolutions.

So much for that.

Nachos, quesadillas and tacos are some of my go-to game day recipes.

This year I am planning to do chicken tinga tacos. 

They are spicy, a little bit smoky, and they can be cooked in advance. 

What better way to stay fueled for four quarters than with a taco bar and all the fixings?!

Chicken Tinga Tacos

How To Make Chicken Tinga Tacos

The first step is to brown the chicken. I use skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs because they have so much flavor.

Once they are browned, I take the chicken out of the pan and move it to a plate.

Then I sauté diced onions and smashed garlic cloves. When they are fragrant, soft and translucent, I add chopped tomatillos followed by oregano, cumin and salt.

I also stir in chopped fire-roasted tomatoes, chipotles and adobo sauce. 

To make the tinga sauce, I spoon what’s in the pot into a blender and puree it until it’s smooth and then pour it back into the pot. 

Next I put the chicken into the sauce and let it simmer until it is cooked through.

Finally, I shred the chicken discarding the skin and bones. 

I serve the chicken tinga tacos with scallions, radishes, cotija cheese, lime wedges and tomatillo salsa.  

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Chicken Tinga Tacos

Chicken Tinga Tacos

  • Author: Paige Adams
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 60 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 46 1x

Chicken tinga tacos are spicy, a little bit smoky, and the best part is that you can cook them ahead of time. Serve them with tomatillo salsa, radishes and cotija cheese.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 cup medium-diced white onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1 large tomatillo, husk removed, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 114.5 ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped chipotles plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce from one (7-ounce) can
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Warm flour tortillas, thinly sliced scallions, thinly sliced radishes, crumbled cotija cheese, lime wedges and tomatillo salsa for serving

Instructions

  1. Place the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chicken skin side down. Brown the chicken, about 6 minutes. Then flip and cook for another 3 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer the chicken to a plate.
  2. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until the onions are soft and starting to brown at the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatillo and cook until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in the oregano, cumin and salt followed by the tomatoes, chipotles and  adobo sauce. Remove from heat. Carefully puree the sauce in a blender and return to the pot. Put the chicken thighs in the sauce and reduce the heat. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken from the sauce and discard the bay leaf.
  3. When the chicken is cool enough to handle. Use a fork to shred it, discarding the skin and bones. Return the chicken to the sauce over medium heat until warmed through about 3 minutes.
  4. Assemble the tacos serving with tortillas, scallions, radishes, cotija cheese, lime wedges and tomatillo salsa.

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