Chicken Tinga Tacos Recipe a delicious blend of roasted vegetables and chipotle peppers braised with chicken to make an unbelievable tinga taco recipe!
The first time I made this was just over a year ago and it was so amazing that I absolutely had to do it again, just not sure why I waited a whole year to do it. Chicken tinga simply translates into a shredded chicken with sauce.
It’s an incredibly easy recipe to make and could not be any more full of flavor, seriously it’s nothing short of amazing and probably one of my favorite tacos. If you are looking for a great weeknight meal that doesn’t require a ton of work, then this one is for you.
What Is It
Just to be clear, a homemade chicken tinga is not the process of dumping salsa over chicken and popping it in a slow cooker. Yes, that is still delicious and still a great way to serve up simple delicious tacos.
It’s a traditional Mexican recipe and takes some time. However, if you’ve been following me for some time then you know that I am a bit of a traditionalist so I’m always going to back to the real deal and then put my little touch on it so you can guarantee this recipe is authentic! It’s roasted of fresh vegetables and then braising them alongside fresh chicken until it shreds apart with ease.
How to Make the Sauce
You start making chicken tinga by preparing the zesty tomato and tomatillo based sauce that the chicken will be braised in. It’s almost like a version of sofrito. I’ve got a ton of beautiful tomatoes lying around because they are in full peak season, so I roasted them up along with some tomatillos, garlic, and onions until they got a nice char on them, which takes about 30 minutes at 400°.
This combination of vegetables is pretty traditional and has some degree of variance depending on who taught you and where they were from. After those beautiful vegetables are all roasted up, pop them in a blender and puree until smooth but still has some small chunks in it.
Be sure to remove the little centerpiece to your blender lid because the heat from the vegetables needs to escape while pureeing. I’ve had a few hot things blow up in my face way back in my earlier years in the restaurant industry and it’s hot and super messy and the last thing you want to do is ruin this before it even gets started.
Braising the Chicken Tinga
While the vegetables are roasting I usually fabricate and roast up the chicken. I like to break down the whole thing because it keeps my skills sharp and I like the combo of white and dark meat. With all the being said if you like just white or dark meat then please use it in this recipe, no need to force a certain cut of meat on you.
Once your chicken is broken down into breasts, legs, wings, and thighs, be sure to season them very well with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper before roasting them up on both sides until golden brown in a tad bit of olive oil.
We are braising this chicken so that crispy dark brown skin on the outside is crucial to assisting in the flavor department. Add the pureed sauced right over the top of the chicken along with some good chicken stock and you’re almost there to start braising it.
It’s super important to season up the braising liquid so that the chicken is super flavorful, so be sure to season it well, mix it in, pop a lid on it and braise away over low heat for about 2 ½ to 3 hours. See this is the old school way of slow cooking, it’s called braising, and it has more flavor!
School is around the corner already, seriously what happened to summer, so I’m starting to meal plan a bit for delicious things we can make this year and these are at the top. Whenever it comes to toppings for tacos I always head over to the dairy aisle in the grocery store because cheese is an absolute must!
As I always say I like to add a little twist to these traditional recipes so I went with Oaxaca cheese for the tacos which are just so creamy, cheesy and soft making it absolutely perfect for my tacos. In addition to the cheese, I usually finish them off with some avocado, red onion and a bit of chopped fresh cilantro.
These are the perfect weeknight meal and your family and friends will be blown away at just how delicious they are!
More Taco Recipes
If you love these, then be sure to check out my other taco recipes.
- Blackened Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos Recipe with Mango Salsa
- Flank Steak Tacos Recipe
- Mojo Pork Tacos
- Bao Bun Tacos
Chicken Tinga Tacos Recipe
- 2 to tomatoes sliced into wedges
- 5 tomatillos
- ½ cup assorted cherry tomatoes
- 1 peeled yellow onion sliced into wedges
- 8 garlic cloves
- 2 jalapeños sliced in half seeds removed
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
- 2 teaspoons of cumin
- 2 teaspoons of dry oregano
- 1 whole chicken broken down into parts
- 3 cups of good chicken stock
- 10 corn tortillas
- 1 peeled seeded and diced avocado
- 1 cup of shredded Borden Oaxaca Cheese
- ¼ cup of chopped fresh cilantro
- sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- Chicken: Place the tomatoes, tomatillos, onions, garlic, and jalapeños on a non-stick cookie sheet tray and toss in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast in the oven at 400° for 30 to 35 minutes or until everything is lightly charred.
- Next, add all of the ingredients into a blender along with chipotle, ground cumin, dry oregano, salt, and pepper to a blender and puree until smooth.
- Next, season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper and in a large rondeau pot over high heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil sear the chicken until golden brown on both sides.
- Add the tomatillo mixture along with the chicken stock and cover and simmer over low heat for2 hours. Remove the skin and bones from the chicken and shred. Keep warm.
- To Plate: Place some shredded chicken in a heated corn tortilla and garnish with avocado, red onion, cilantro, and Oaxaca cheese.