Monday, December 12, 2011

Chicken Tinga Tacos

I am so is over and I cook my heart out now! Or at least for a month until school starts up again. <sigh> So, I sorted out my recipes for the week and the first one up is Chicken Tinga Tacos from Food and Wine magazine. This is a really yummy recipe but I warn you, it is spicy! So if you don't like spicy, don't use the chipotles--or not as many. Ever since watching Top Chef this year, my biggest take away is "taste your food as you cook." Good thing I did this before I blended it all together! So I was able to take out most of the whole chipotles. It still had a kick but was yummy with the sour cream. I used sour cream instead of the Cotija cheese. Honestly, I found the Cotija cheese at the supermarket but it was $8 for a block of it and I just didn't want to spend the money on a cheese I hadn't tried before. The sour cream was a great substitute but if you like Cotija cheese, I would use that when you make this. Enjoy!

Chicken Tinga Tacos
Recipe from Food and Wine magazine
Makes 24 tacos


1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 1/2 pounds trimmed, skinless, bone-in chicken thighs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
One 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 canned chipotles in adobo, coarsely chopped (I used only 1 chipotle from the can)
1 cup chicken broth
24 corn tortillas
2 ounces Cotija cheese, crumbled (I used 1 cup of sour cream)
Sliced scallions and chopped cilantro, for garnish

Directions: Heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper, add it to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned, about 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and pour off the fat in the skillet.

Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet along with the onion. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned and softened, 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juices, the chipotles (I used only 1 chipotle from the can) and the broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and slightly reduced, 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350°. Transfer the sauce to a food processor and let cool for 15 minutes. Puree until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Bake the chicken uncovered in the center of the oven for about 45 minutes, until the meat is tender and the sauce is very thick and darkened around the edges. Wrap the tortillas in foil and warm them in the oven for about 10 minutes.
Remove the chicken from the sauce and shred the meat; discard the bones. Return the chicken meat to the sauce. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of chicken onto each tortilla and sprinkle with the crumbled cheese (I used sour cream). Garnish the chicken tacos with the scallions and chopped cilantro and serve hot.

MAKE AHEAD - The tinga can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and reheated gently.

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