I love Mexican food. Tacos every day? Yes please! The one thing about Mexican food, especially Tex-Mex, is the health factor. Finding ways to make it healthy and tasty can be tough! I think the best of the best at getting that right is Rick Bayless. Everything I have every made of his is fantastic (and I have heard from a good source that his restaurant is to die for). This recipe is the short-cut version using his Frontera Chipotle Salsa. As someone who likes to cook from scratch, sometimes it feels a bit like cheating to cook semi-homemade. However, if on a weeknight you can turn out something this good very quickly, you have me convinced! I actually poach the chicken and shred it, but you could use rotisserie or other cooked chicken to cut down on the time. I have used this chicken as tacos, on salad, and as an appetizer on tortilla chips, each one as good as the one before. This is definitely a standby in my life!
Chicken Tinga Tacos
4 to 6 servings
1 small white onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 jar (16 ounces) Frontera Chipotle Salsa
1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon vinegar, preferably cider vinegar
4 cups (loosely packed) coarsely shredded, cooked chicken
Salt, about 1 teaspoon
8 to 12 warm tortillas
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
1 Handful Arugula, dressed with lemon or lime
3 to 4 tablespoons finely grated Mexican queso añejo, Parmesan or Romano
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
If desired, poach 2-4 chicken breasts in flavored water. I like to place the raw chicken in the bottom of a pot. Just cover with cold water. Season with salt, pepper, thyme, and a splash of white wine. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, until tender and cooked through. Use two forks to shred the chicken.
In a large skillet, cook the onion in the oil over medium heat until crisp-tender and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the salsa, tomatoes with their juice and the vinegar. Simmer, stirring regularly until quite thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken, cool, then taste and season with salt.
Serve the mixture in warm tortillas. Let guests add avocado, arugula dressed with lemon or lime, cheese and cilantro to taste.
**For tostadita appetizers, arrange 24 thick tortilla chips on one or more serving platters. Top each with a heaping tablespoon of the chicken tinga, a few pieces of avocado, a sprinkling of cheese and cilantro. We sent these to a potluck and got rave reviews. I swear, this is even better on day 2!