A while ago I had the brain wave that if I started making MR Jay a ‘healthy lunch’ box for work then he would escape the evil clutches of Alesta- The Demon Kebab King who force feeds people in the vicinity with Doner Kebab & the like for lunch every day without fail (or so I hear..)
So I’ve been buying a packet of chicken breasts at the beginning of each week and poaching them ready to turn into Pasta Salads etc but as I only got round to making one lunch last week (rubbish Fiance! Tsk!) I had four cooked chicken breasts left- Tinga de Pollo seemed the perfect solution.
Tinga is a typical Mexican dish made with shredded meat (chicken, beef or pork) and a sauce made from tomatoes, onion, garlic & chillies. It is typically used as a topping for Soups or in Tostadas (more about these later).
This dish comes from a state called Puebla which my Sis, R spent some time in during her travels so I will be awaiting the verdict on the authenticity of my recipe!
Ingredients; Serves 4
4 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breasts (poached & finely shredded)
1 Large White Onion OR 1 Small White Onion & 1 Small Red Onion (chopped)
10 Large Ripe Tomatoes (diced- you can de seed them but
I don’t like to!)
3 Garlic Cloves (roughly chopped)
2 Tbs Chipotle in Adobo * (more if you like it HOT)
1/2 Tsp Dried Thyme
1/2 Tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 Cup Chicken Stock
Salt & Pepper to taste
Handful Fresh Coriander (chopped)
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium/high heat.
Add Onions, Garlic & Tomatoes, cook for 2 minutes (turn down the heat if the garlic is browning)
Add Chipotle & stir well
Add Chicken Stock, Shredded Chicken & Herbs.
Simmer over a low heat until the liquid has reduced & thickened (it should be thick enough to wrap in a Tortilla- with a nice thick gravy, not watery)
Taste & Season with Salt & Pepper
Garnish with Coriander & Serve!
When poaching your Chicken Breasts place them in a saucepan with enough Water to cover, 1 Carrot (snapped in half), 1 Celery Stick (snapped in half), 1 Onion (quartered), a few Fresh Parsley Sprigs, 8 Black Peppercorns (whole), 1 Bay Leaf & a generous pinch of Rock Salt.
Reserve this poaching liquor to use as Chicken Stock. Any excess liquor can be boiled rapidly to reduce & then frozen in portions (such as ice cube trays) for future use!
Chipotle in Adobo*- Chipotle chiles (smoked Jalapeno chiles) are canned in a red sauce that typically contains tomato puree, paprika, salt, onions, oil, vinegar, garlic, bay leaves and oregano. Used for making sauces, chipotle mayonaise, rubs as well as other recipes.
Now unless you know something I don’t (?) these aren’t available in Northern Cyprus, however, what IS available is Jalapeno chillies- I found them in Tempo supermarket under the name of Meksika Biber and set about Smoke Drying them & ‘canning them’ in Adobo Sauce myself (more on this later)!
I’m guessing you probably aren’t a Smoking aficionado OR so keen to go down my ‘experimental’ (Nutty Professor) route to obtaining Smoked Chipotles, in which case I recommend you replace the 2 Tbs Chipotle in Adobo with 2 Tbs of Chilli Sauce & 2 Tsps of Smoked Papika.
If you are making a Chilli Sauce try dry frying (don’t lean in & sniff the pan!) your Chillies & Tomatoes till they are blackened & then blend these to create the ‘smoky’ flavour necessary in this dish