Mexican Food Made Simple

Spicy chicken tinga tacos

Perfect for using up leftover chicken, this spicy filling is found at every street-food stand in Mexico City.

Spicy chicken tinga tacos

This spicy filling can be found at every street-food stand in Mexico City. Simple to make, it can be used to fill burritos, tortas, tamales and enchiladas, and to top tostadas or even baked potatoes. It is a yummy recipe for using leftover chicken.

Feeds 2
Cooking time: 35mins


1 tablespoon olive oil
A small knob of butter
½ large onion, sliced
Sea salt and black pepper
½ tablespoon brown sugar
A generous pinch of ground allspice
A generous pinch of ground cinnamon
1 fresh bay leaf
1 fat clove of garlic, chopped
1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon chipotles en adobo (adobo sauce)
300-400g leftover chicken from a roast, shredded   
8 small corn tortillas or 4 larger ones


  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a pan, and add the onion, salt, pepper, sugar, spices and bay leaf.
  2. Cook over a medium-high heat for 15 minutes, then add the garlic.  Cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and chipotles, and simmer for at least 15 minutes over a low heat – the longer the cooking, the better the taste.
  4. Finally, add the shredded chicken and season to taste.
  5. Serve in a warm bowl at the table with bowls of rice and guacamole, sour cream, grated Lancashire and Cheshire cheese, and tortillas.

Recipes from Mexican Food Made Simple by Thomasina Miers © Thomasina Miers 2010, published by Hodder & Stoughton

Photographer Claire Wilks © Blink Films 2011

Comments (33)

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  • petesjoy

    almost 2 years ago


    Quick, easy and a great staple recipe to adapt. I too didn't have chipotles en adobo, but just added smoked paprika and cayenne pepper instead.

  • marcus

    almost 2 years ago


    amazing recepie, definitely one to be used again!

  • kez

    almost 2 years ago


    my partner allergic 2 tomatoes. is there anything i can use 2 replace this

  • Bob

    2 years ago


    I got my Chippotles from here on line. They are a London Store and only £2.40 a tin plus P&P. I also use these when making Pulled Pork too :)

  • Snaz

    over 2 years ago


    I make this fresh, using uncooked chicken breast, I make the sauce first then poach the chicken breasts whole in it, once cooked I remove them, shred them and add them back to the sauce, delicious!

  • Pookabun

    over 2 years ago


    Tip: instead of leftover roast chicken to shred, try boiling a couple of chicken breasts in water with salt, garlic (one or two whole cloves and onion added. When done, remove it and shed when cool. It'll be moister and taste better in the recipe. SO much better!

  • Beagle

    over 2 years ago


    You can get chipotles in adobo sauce on-line or at their shops in Edinburgh & Glasgow from

  • Sur

    over 2 years ago


    I bet the "tacos" you show taste good, but Mexican food as any other long history food in the world is a result of a long process, it is not only a mixture of peppers and tortilla. In fact the "taco" you show in the picture are an invention, like that one makes rapidly in the night when there is nothing prepared to eat..

  • Craig

    over 2 years ago


    @Sally It's called Spicy Bird Tacos in the cookbook page 112 in the Street Food section

  • sally

    over 2 years ago


    why can't i find this recipe in her recipe book?

  • glypo_

    over 2 years ago


    Tesco sell proper dried Chipotles in their ethnic/world food section - took me 30 mins to find though. I just added some oregano and paprika to emulate the adobe sauce. Also, Discovery do a chipotle paste, available in Waitrose and Sainsbury. I use a mix of the dried and paste, tastes wonderful . I love this recipe.

  • hallie-jay

    over 2 years ago


    could anybody tell me were you could buy chipotles en adobo from?

  • Leann

    over 2 years ago


    I have bought a packet of Mexican spices dried from Aldi of all places so gonna use them and adapt the recipe slightly it already smells fab, good old Aldi now I have a big bag of Mexican spices to keep in my cupboard and I dont have to by the dinner kits anymore.

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  • Lyn

    over 2 years ago


    can you freeze this sauce once it is cooked?

  • dm

    over 2 years ago


    i bought cholula hot sauce as replacement for adobo sauce

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  • crystal

    over 2 years ago


    just about to start this dish for tea, thought i had it sorted in my head but had to resort back to the recipe for the forth time!! thanks for the tip about using large chilli peppers inside of the chipotles en adobo, my in town supermarket is naff

  • Veeozz

    over 2 years ago


    Made this tasty dish for husband tonight using quorn meatballs it was yummy!

  • gruff

    over 2 years ago


    Thankyou, ppl, for the chipotle adobo tips.) I'll give it a try :-)

  • Gef

    over 2 years ago


    Where can you get chipotles en adobo?

  • Odette

    over 2 years ago


    The corn tortillas from discovery are not proper tortillas. They taste terrible. You can get proper tortillas from: and I don't know why MISSION doesn't have corn tortillas if it is a Mexican company?

  • Bookey

    over 2 years ago


    You can also buy chipotle paste from most supermarkets, this should also very similar.

  • Pippa

    over 2 years ago


    @Gruff: just buy red chubby jalapenos from the supermarkets, flame grill them till it turns dark to make your chipotles. See the internet for adobo sauce recipes.

  • Gruff

    over 2 years ago


    Where do you get chipotles in adobo sauce from?

  • Kevin

    over 2 years ago


    Discovery do corn tortillas in Sainsbury's

  • Ana

    over 2 years ago


    Where do you get corn tortillas from?

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