Chicken Tinga Tacos

Photo Credit: Margaret Lefton, Richard Sandoval Hospitality

Photo Credit: Margaret Lefton, Richard Sandoval Hospitality

Serves: 4


  • 1.5 lbs skinless chicken breasts on the bone
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 onion; chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 recipe entomatada sauce (*A)
  • 1 recipe pico de gallo (*B)
  • 1 c black bean puree
  • 1/2 c Mexican crema fresca
  • shredded iceberg lettuce garnish
  • 12 flour tortillas
  • salt and pepper to season/taste

For the Entomatada Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 small white onion; coarse chop
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 roma tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp chipotle puree (canned chipotles in adobo pureed in the blender, sauce and all)
  • 1 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 c chicken stock (may need more or less to achieve proper consistency)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 ea morita chile
  • salt and black pepper

For the Pico de Gallo:

  • 4 large red ripe tomatoes; cored & diced fine (seeds are OK)
  • 2 tbsp red onion; finely minced
  • 1 tbsp cilantro; finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp maggi seasoning
  • 1 serrano chile; finely minced
  • salt to taste

For preparing the chicken:

In a large saucepan place the chicken breasts, onion, water and garlic and season with salt. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. When chicken is barely cooked through, remove the pot from the heat and let the chicken finish cooking and cool in the liquid. When chicken is cooled, shred chicken and combine with the entomatada sauce. Once the chicken is hot, warm the flour tortillas. Top each tortilla (in this order) with black bean puree, chicken in sauce, shredded lettuce, crema and finally the pico de gallo. Serve tacos immediately.

Entomatada Sauce:

Turn the oven to the broil setting and allow to get very hot. Place the tomatoes, onions and garlic onto a sheet pan and toss with half the oil, salt and pepper. Place the sheet pan under the broiler and cook the vegetables until well charred and soft, being sure not to burn the garlic cloves to much. Remove the pan from the oven. Bring a large sauce pan to high heat on the stove and add the remaining oil. Toast the cumin seeds and oregano in the oil until fragrant and then add the tomato and chipotle pastes. Toast pastes in the pan for about 3 mintues and then add remaining ingredients, including the the charred tomato mixture. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for about 30-35 minutes and then blend in a high speed blender until very smooth. Strain through a fine strainer and then reserve. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper if needed.

Pico de Gallo:

In a large mixing bowl, toss all of the ingredients together until well combined. Reserve in the refrigerator.