From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...This really was a unexpected treat. I don't do a lot of Mexican cooking, but I wanted to try at least one new dish for Cinco de Mayo. I had seen this recipe in Food and Wine Magazine and clipped it because it sounded so easy to make. As it turned out, it was that and more. I hadn't counted on how delicious this dish would be. Tinga is made with shredded chicken and onions that are simmered in a thick chipotle sauce that gives the dish its pleasant heat and smoky flavor. Shredded beef and pork can also be used to make tinga. While it takes a couple of hours for the chicken to cook, once it is browned and the sauce is assembled, the oven does the work. This dish, by the way, can easily be adapted for cooking in a crock-pot. Tinga is usually served with tortillas or crispy tostadas. I broke the rules a bit and served ours over rice. Jenn Louis, who developed the recipe, suggests topping the tinga with Cotija cheese, scallions and cilantro. Mexican crema would be a lovely addition. I really liked this dish and recommend it to you without reservation. I do hope you'll give it a try. Here's the recipe.
Chicken Tinga...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Jenn Louis
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, undrained
2 canned chipotles in adobo, coarsely chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1) Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Season chicken all over with salt and pepper, add it to 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.
2) Add remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil to skillet. Sir in onions and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices, chipotles and broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and slightly reduced, about 20 minutes.
3) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Let sauce cool for about 15 minutes, then transfer it to a food processor. Puree until smooth and season with salt and pepper. Pour sauce over the chicken. Bake chicken, uncovered, in center of oven for about 45 minutes, or until meat is tender and the sauce is very thick and darkened around the edges. Remove chicken from sauce and shred meat, discarding bones. Return chicken meat to sauce. Serve warm with tortillas, tostadas or rice. Yield : 4 to 6 servings.
Cook's Note: The tinga can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and reheated gently.
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