A Southern Grace: nsync*-o de mayo

May 5, 2014

nsync*-o de mayo


May the 4th be with you? Yeah, that's clever and I like Star Wars as much as the next geek, but even so, I wish every day was Cinco de Mayo.

*The tie-in there is the oh-so-hilarious "It's Gonna Be May" meme popping up all over the place. I'll admit that it made me chuckle.

My contribution to the onslaught of delicious Mexican grub making its appearance this time of year is chicken tinga tacos. I first had them at a fantastic local taco restaurant and quickly became completely enamored. It's essentially shredded chicken coated with and cooked in a spicy tomato-based sauce. The key is chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, which are extremely hot and should be used cautiously. I only added two to my huge pot of tinga and they provided plenty of heat.

The combination of the spicy, saucy meat, verdant cilantro, and sharp, salty feta cheese was really excellent. I won't be so bold as to say it was as good as what the taco restaurant has clearly perfected, but it was close enough. Other great toppings would be cabbage slaw, diced avocado, or even a little sour cream. As far as I'm concerned, you can't really go wrong with this kind of food. Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Tingly Tinga Tacos
Serves 8
  • 6 chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped (a good amount for us, but use more or less to your taste)
  • 28 ounces canned crushed tomatoes, not drained
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Place chicken breasts in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat, cover the pot and let sit for 25 minutes. Transfer chicken to a large bowl or a colander placed in the sink to cool.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and cook until soft, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add chipotle chiles and stir for a minute until the onions are nicely coated in the sauce, then add the tomatoes and chicken stock; season with a pinch of salt.
Cook this mixture for a few minutes, then transfer it to a blender or food processor. Let cool slightly, then blend until smooth.
Pour tomato mixture into skillet; partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce turns dark red and is no longer soupy, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add chicken and broth and stir until well mixed. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken has absorbed most of the sauce, 6 to 8 minutes. Season, if necessary.
Serve with heated tortillas, cotija or feta cheese, lime wedges, chopped cilantro, and sour cream on the side.


~~louise~~ said...

Hi Grace!

I never saw those "It's Gonna Be May" memes before. I must admit, I adore Justin Timberlake though:)

I'm really liking this recipe. I've been on such a chipolte kick lately. I made Shrimp with Chipotle sauce on Friday. I wonder if the body has these sort of cravings for a reason:)

Your method for cooking the chicken is quite intriguing. I can't wait to try it. I can see how it would work without drying the chicken out. I'll be saving this recipe too. You just never know when I may "need" another hit of chipotle! Thanks for sharing, Grace...

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...


Happy Cinco de Mayo!



Alicia Foodycat said...

Very nice! Hard to go past a bit of chipotle!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I love anything chipotle flavored. And I would eat tacos on any day, but especially today!

Barbara said...

Those look fantastic! Great way to celebrate the day, Grace.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Happy Cinco de Mayo! I'd love to be in Mexico or the US for it one day. These tacos look fabulous :D

scrambledhenfruit said...

I missed my chance to have these for Cinco de Mayo, but there's always seis! They look yummy. :)

Carolyn Jung said...

That WOULD be fun if every single day could be Cinco de Mayo. Though, I think there would be a shortage for sure of avocados then! LOL

Katerina said...

I am a sucker for Mexican and these tacos are definitely something I would love to try!

Leslie Anne Tarabella said...

I love Mexican food, and this looks so good because it's lighter than most things you find in a Mexican restaurant. Thanks for the great recipe idea!

Joanne said...

I'm feeling like we should celebrate the cinco of every month with Mexican food! That would be the best.

I Wilkerson said...

Now I'm hungry. I was just lamenting not doing (i.e. cooking) anything for Cinco de Mayo. Perhaps this weekend!

Erica said...

I can eat tacos every day!These look delicious,Grace!

Rosita Vargas said...

Una delicia al paladar estupenda receta,abrazos

Big Rigs 'n Lil' Cookies said...

I think I just might be in love with this recipe. There are no decent Mexican restaurants around here, and honestly buying ingredients isn't terribly easy. But, I can handle these ingredients! I've never cooked chicken breast like that either, so really looking forward to try this!

Caroline Taylor said...

This sounds so good, I could tuck into one right now!

Blond Duck said...

This is such a cool idea!

vanillasugarblog said...

I've never heard of this.
Is that bad?
I wish cape cod had some sort of mexican grub, hey a food truck at least.

Pam said...

I love Cinco de Mayo too. These tacos look and sound tasty! The chicken sounds very flavorful.

Beth said...

This might be a little too warm for our house - one chipotle pepper would be about right!