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