First of all, you just learned a new word in Mexican Spanish. Chinga means quickly in Mexico, although it can have hundreds of different meanings, and is a word that you might not want to repeat in front of a Mexican grandmother unless she is really cool and laid back.
So, the important part is that this is a quick recipe for Tinga, a traditional Mexican guisado (another new word, this refers to some kind of stew that normally involves meat) of chicken and tomatoes. Guisados can be used as fillings for tacos, and I suggest you eat this tinga with corn tortillas.
But now that we are talking about tacos, let me give you some general rules about them:
- A taco is a soft tortilla filled with absolutely anything you want (look! I´m being really relaxed here!). It is eaten by pushing two of the sides of the tortilla together and encasing the filling inside. You eat tacos with your hands. ALWAYS.
- Notice that I mention soft tortillas. Yes, the only way you can call whatever you are eating tonight a taco is by using soft tortillas, corn preferably, or wheat (if you really do not have any other option. If you are using a hard shell you either are eating a weird shaped “tostada”, or you are eating a strange dish invented by the owner of Taco Bell who thought that tacos were not “fast enough” for the United States and invented that hard shell f thing. The guy clearly never visited a real taqueria ( a place that sells tacos) as he would have noticed that we are pretty fast in serving and eating tacos (the real thing) without any of his inventions.
- A taco does not need cream, cheese or lettuce. We normally use a small amount of lime juice, coriander, salsa and onion if the tacos are filled with grilled meat. If, like in the case of this recipe, the filling of your choice is a guisado we don’t normally add anything, (sometimes more salsa or rice)
So I hope this inspires you to try real tacos, and please make me proud next #TacoTuesday .
So here you have a traditional, easy and if you want “authentic” Mexican recipe:
(for 10 small small tacos)
400gr of skinless chicken breast
1 tin of chopped tomatoes or passata (really good quality, if you live in a sunny country use real tomatoes, the sweeter the better, you´ll need around 300 grams)
1 Onion, thinly sliced
1 pinch of cumin
1 or 2 chipotles (depending on how spicy you want it, if you do not have chipotles use one teaspoon of good quality chipotle salsa or chipotle powder. Do not substitute this with normal chili powder, it is better to use a fresh red chilli or nothing)
1 pinch of sugar
2 cloves of garlic
250 ml of water
1 chicken stock cube
Equipment: a stove, a saucepan, a blender
- Boiled the chicken in salted water until it is completely cooked (around 25 minutes).
- Let the chicken cool and shred it as thin as your patience allows you.
- In a blender, blend together the tomatos, garlic, salt cumin, sugar, chicken stock cube and chipotles.
- Heat a teaspoon of oil in a saucepan and fry the onion until it is translucent on a medium heat (around 10 minutes).
- Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan with the onions, increase the heat and add the tomato sauce. Let it simmer for five minutes before adding the chicken.
- Simmer the tinga for 15 minutes on a medium heat making sure it is not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Taste for salt and sugar.
- Serve in hot tortillas or with rice and refried beans.
Want to know more about tacos? Look for Tacopedia, the taco encyclopedia by Deborah Holtz, or get more academic with Global Taco by Jeffrey Pilcher.