Short-Cut Chicken Tinga Tacos

Short-Cut Chicken Tinga Tacos

Looking for a tasty taco recipe that cooks up in less than an hour, but tastes like you’ve been slow-cooking for hours? These Short-Cut Chicken Tinga Tacos are the answer to your prayers. Shredded rotisserie chicken sautéed in a tomato-adobo sauce delivers a deep, smoky flavor that’ll wake up your taste buds and send them singing. Quick- pickled red onion and jalapeño add the perfect spicy kick. You can get this meal on the table in under an hour, I promise!

I don’t know how I’ve missed Chicken Tinga over the years, I love Mexican food and eat it every chance I get. But I’d never heard of this dish until an author friend of mine posted a gorgeous picture proudly noting that her fiancé had made it for her. One look at the picture and I had to try it. One hour on Google revealed that this is a traditional south-of-the-border dish served throughout Mexico, sometimes with beef or pork instead of chicken.  I prefer the chicken version.

Most recipes call for you to poach chicken breasts or thighs in onion and Mexican seasonings and then to shred the meat. If you’ve got the time, go this route for a deliciously mouthwatering broth. However, to save time, you can use a rotisserie chicken without sacrificing flavor. It’s just so easy and nearly always just as good. I can shred one of those babies in about 5 minutes and you should be able to as well.

How to properly shred a store-bought rotisserie chicken

  • Shred the chicken while it’s hot out of the oven (avoid refrigerating if you can). Warm meat is easier as it falls off the bone.
  • First, use a knife tip to pry the legs (drumstick and thigh) off the chicken and shred the meat. Then use your knife to cut along, around and under both sides of the center breast bone and pull off the two breasts. Shred that as well.
  • Use the carcass to make chicken stock and freeze. You should always have homemade chicken stock in your freezer.

How to prepare your own shredded chicken

If you do decide to make your own shredded chicken, follow these steps for best results.

  • Place about a pound and a half of bone-in chicken breasts in water or broth with half an onion and a smashed garlic clove.
  • Bring to a boil, then simmer about 25 minutes.
  • Remove from liquid and cool for 5 minutes
  • Shred (follow above directions for shredding).

Short-Cut Chicken Tinga Tacos

July 21, 2019
: 4
: 20 min
: 20 min
: 40 min
: Easy


  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1/2 small can adobo chiles in sauce
  • 1 onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1 tbsp. Mexican Seasoning (or 1 tsp. cumin, 1 tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. onion powder, 1 tsp. oregano)
  • 1/2 can of adobe chiles in sauce, chiles diced small
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, plus 2 tsp. of the sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. brown or cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup Crumbled cojita or feta cheese
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • Step 1 Shred the chicken from the rotisserie chicken and set aside. Sauté the onion in the vegetable oil, adding the garlic after about 2 minutes.
  • Step 2 Add the vinegar, then the Mexican seasonings and stir to incorporate.
  • Step 3 Add the adobo chiles and sauce, tomatoes, sugar and broth. Let simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Step 4 Add the chicken and some chopped fresh cilantro and simmer for about another 5 minutes.
  • Step 5 Serve with corn tortillas and toppings (cheese, avocado, green onions)