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Make chicken tinga tacos better than you can buy at your local Mexican restaurant.
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5 from 2 votes

chicken tinga tacos

Chicken tinga tacos are a quick an easy alternative to carne asada or carnitas tacos.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 10 tacos
Author: romain | glebekitchen


The chicken tinga

  • 8 chicken thighs - bone-in skin-on
  • 1 white onion chopped
  • 3 whole cloves garlic peeled
  • 2-3 to tomatillos coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup diced fresh tomato
  • 1 tsp mild pure red chili powder - I like New Mexican Red
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp mexican oregano - leave it out if you can't get it. Oregano is not the same.
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 chipotles in adobo plus a 2 tsp adobo sauce
  • 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • salt to taste


  • corn tortillas
  • fresh cilantro
  • diced red or white onion
  • queso fresco
  • Lime if desired


Chicken tinga

  • Heat a pot that can hold the chicken in one layer over medium heat.
  • Add the vegetable oil and cook, skin side down for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken over and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.
  • Spoon off all but about 3 Tbsp of fat.You need this much because your spices will burn otherwise.
  • Reduce heat to medium low and add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is softened.
  • Add the chili powder, cumin and oregano and cook 2 minutes. Watch to make sure the spices do not burn.
  • Turn the heat back up to medium. Add the tomatoes and tomatillos and cook for about 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Watch that it doesn't dry out.
  • Add the cider vinegar and cook a minute more.
  • Return the chicken and accumulated juices. Add enough chicken stock to almost cover.
  • Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken over and cook until an instant read thermometer reads 165F. This will take 5-10 minutes.
  • Remove chicken and set aside. Turn the heat up to medium high and reduce by about half.
  • Add the chipotle and adobo sauce and puree. If you are using a blender, take the thing in the middle of the lid off and cover with a towel. Unless you enjoy cleaning tomato sauce off the ceiling.
  • Taste for salt at this point and adjust as required.
  • When the chicken has cooled enough to handle, shred coarsely. Two forks works well here. Your hands work better.
  • Combine the shredded chicken with the pureed sauce and warm over low heat.

Chicken tinga tacos

  • Wrap the tortillas in a dish towel, moisten with a little water and microwave them until hot. I know, it sound horrible but it does work. Rick Bayless says so.
  • Place a bit of Tinga in the middle of a taco, top with onion and cilantro and sprinkle a little queso over top.
  • Enjoy!