Tinga is chicken stewed in a lightly spicy, smoky tomato sauce. Common throughout Mexico, this dish is typically made with shredded chicken thighs. We’ve lightened things up a bit with boneless, skinless chicken breasts, and topped our tacos with a hand-mashed guacamole loaded with all kinds of herbs.
1 ¾ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large white onion, large dice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1-2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, minced (start with 1 if you are heat sensitive)
1 (15-ounce) can fire-roasted tomatoes
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and cubed
1/3 cup minced red onion
1 jalapeño chile, stemmed and minced (remove seeds if you’d like it less spicy)
2 limes,1 juiced and 1 cut into wedges for serving
½ cup roughly chopped fresh herbs such as cilantro, basil, tarragon, dill, parsley, or a combination
8 corn tortillas
Season chicken all over with salt. Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Cook until just starting to brown, then flip and brown the other side, about 8 minutes total. Transfer chicken to a plate.
In the same pan, add onion and garlic, season with salt and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add cumin seeds and cook one minute more. Add chipotle and tomatoes with their juice. Fill the tomato can halfway with water and add that as well. Stir, scraping up any browned bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Return chicken to the pan, reduce heat to low and cook, covered. Simmer about 10 minutes, flipping chicken halfway through. Remove chicken and shred with two forks then return to the sauce. Cook, uncovered until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes more. Taste sauce and season with salt if needed.
Meanwhile, make guacamole. Combine avocado, red onion, jalepeño, lime juice, and remaining teaspoon of salt in a medium bowl. Mash avocado with the back of a fork to break up some of the pieces but leave most in chunks. Gently fold in herbs. Taste and add more lime juice or salt if needed.
Heat a dry cast iron skillet or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, add tortillas, one at a time and toast each one on both sides until warmed through, about 2-3 minutes. Wrap in a clean kitchen towel to keep warm.
Spoon chicken into warm corn tortillas, top with guacamole, and serve with lime wedges.