Tinga de Pollo Tacos with Habanero Lime Chimichurri and Grilled Mango Salsa

I took inspiration from a Binging With Babish video for these spicy pulled chicken tacos, and it’s a super flavourful way to cook chicken. I served the tacos with habanero lime chimichurri – I make chimichurri quite often, so thought I’d switch it up with this spicy version. The spice from this and the chicken is balanced out by the sweet mango salsa, avocado slices, and creamy feta. The feta isn’t traditional but it’s mimicking cotija, a salty, dry Mexican cheese. Definitely one to try for your next taco tuesday!

Ingredients (to serve 4):

For the tinga de pollo

  • 4 Whole chicken breasts
  • 1½ tbsps Chipotle paste
  • 2 White onions, roughly chopped
  • 5 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 250 ml Chicken stock
  • 400 g Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Honey
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Ground cumin
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Vegetable Oil

For the chimichurri

  • 70 g Coriander/cilantro
  • 20 g Parsley
  • 3 tsps Habanero paste (or 1-2 habanero chillies)
  • 5 Limes
  • 1 Shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsps Red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp Honey
  • 3 tbsps Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

For the mango salsa

  • 500 g Mango, diced
  • ½ Red onion, finely diced
  • 20 g Coriander, roughly chopped
  • 2 Limes
  • Salt and pepper

To serve

  • 8 Soft corn or flour tortillas
  • 2 Avocados, thinly sliced
  • Feta cheese
  • 2 Limes, in wedges
  • Extra chopped coriander

Method:

  1. Start by making your chimichurri an hour or two ahead of time. This not only means less stress later, but gives the flavours a chance to mingle. Finely chop your coriander and parsley, and add to a bowl.
  2. Finely dice your shallot and mince your garlic cloves. Add to your bowl, along with your lime juice, habanero paste, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. You can add more or less habanero, depending on your spice tolerance. Add your honey – I know this seems odd, but it brings out the fruitiness of the habanero and lime. Taste, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and leave in the fridge.
  3. Next, move onto the tinga. Coat your chicken breasts in a teaspoon of your chipotle paste. Sear in a heavy-bottomed pan with a splash of vegetable oil on a medium heat until both sides are browned, and remove from the pan. If there’s any burnt bits of chipotle in the pan just wipe these up with some kitchen roll.
  4. To the same pan, add your roughly chopped onion, and a splash more oil if you need it. Cook on a medium heat for a couple of minutes before adding your garlic.
  5. Deglaze with your chicken stock, and scrape up anything that’s stuck to the bottom. Add your chopped tomatoes, chipotle paste, cumin, paprika, and honey, and stir. Add your chicken breasts back to the pot, reduce the heat to medium/low, and braise for 45 minutes. Flip the breasts and stir occasionally.
  6. While that’s cooking, make your salsa. Preheat your grill. Spread your diced mango over a baking tray, and grill until they’re charred on top. Remove from the grill and allow to cool slightly before removing from the baking tray and chopping up into smaller pieces. Grilling the mango isn’t essential, but it adds a lovely caramelised smokiness.
  7. Add to a bowl, along with your finely diced onion, lime juice, and coriander. Don’t forget to taste, and season with salt and pepper. Pickled red onions would also work great in this if you have any.
  8. Once your chicken is tender and you can pull it apart with two forks, turn off the heat and remove the chicken from the pan. Shred with two forks into a range of large and small chunks.
  9. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, and blend using an immersion blender until it’s smooth but you’ve still got a few chunks of onion. Add your chicken back to the sauce, and stir to coat. Leave on a low heat until you’re ready to serve.
  10. Serve your chicken with soft tortillas, your mango salsa, chimichurri, avocado slices, feta, lime wedges, and extra coriander. Enjoy!
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