Chicken tinga is a Mexican dish made with shredded chicken in a sauce made from tomatoes, chipotle chilis in adobo, and sliced onions. The first time we had it was at Good Golly Tamale. My children and mom love the chicken tinga tamale!
I was inspired to capture the chicken tinga flavor and add a bit more spice. Don’t worry if you aren’t tolerant of spicy foods, just use less chipotle chilis! The first time I made this it was double the size of this recipe and I used a full can of chipotle chilis! My kids are very spice tolerant, but my husband is not. He ate it but he said it made his nose run; as a result, I suggest you adjust accordingly!
Fun fact: chipotle peppers are just jalapeños that have been left on the plant until they are bright red. Upon removal, they are smoke-dried to remove dehydrate the peppers and is what gives chipotle peppers that smoky flavor we all love.
Chipotle peppers are good for your health:
- reduce the presence of cholesterol and triglycerides which can both lead to life-threatening conditions. Capsaicin in the peppers widen and relax blood vessels, which can reduce blood pressure
- studies also show that capsicum is linked to triggering cells that kill cancerous cells
- can help manage insulin levels in diabetics
- useful for weight loss by increasing the metabolism and oxidizing fat
- consuming peppers can reduce inflammation
- helps to unclog a stuffy nose
- improves digestion due to fiber content
- the vitamin C in peppers helps to boost the immune system
- macular degeneration and cataracts can be slowed down by consuming more vitamin A which occurs abundantly in peppers
Spicy Chicken Tinga Tacos With Guacamole and Queso Fresco
- 4 Organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 16 ounce can of diced tomatoes
- Chipotle chile in adobo sauce (1-3 depending on how spicy you like it!)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- Chives, for garnish
- Queso Fresco, crumbled
- Homemade guacamole or store-bought if you're in a hurry
- Sour cream (or Greek Style Yogurt) for topping
- Low Carb tortillas
- Warm a tablespoon of oil in a pot over medium-high heat, adding onion and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Cook till the onion is softened.
- Add chicken, tomatoes, chipotle chile, 1/2 cup of chicken broth to the pan with the onions. Continue cooking for 7-10 more minutes or untiil chicken is cooked through. Shred the chicken in the pan using two forks and a pulling apart movement.
- Warm low-carb tortillas in a separate skillet - do not crisp the tortillas, just warm them slightly.
- Assemble the tacos by putting the chicken tinga on a tortilla, top with chopped chives (or cilantro) and queso fresco.
- Garnish with guacamole, sour cream, and chives enjoy!
When I make this dish I use low-carb street taco size tortillas; for the kids, I use flour tortillas. If you don’t have tortillas but you have everything else, go ahead and make this dish and put it on low-carb rice; I use regular rice and refried beans for my kids. If you like, serve them up on a taco holder, my son loves having his this way.
Chicken tinga goes great with cilantro, so I hear, so if you are one of the lucky people who can enjoy cilantro, add a sprig or two as a garnish. Cilantro is a great detoxifying herb and should be eaten frequently to help your body detox heavy metals.
The flavors in this spicy chicken tinga dish are even better the second day. Try making this in your instant pot if you decide to double the recipe, it makes containment much easier! Doubling it was too much for my standard kitchen skillet. It can also be made in the crockpot if you like the idea of “set it and forget it.”