Chicken Tinga Wraps
Mexican food is spicy but not necessarily dramatically so. The use of a variety of chillies and sauces gives a subtle warmth and sweetness to the dishes and is a reason why the cuisine is so popular.
Chipotle in Adobo sauce is a special preparation of jalapeno chillies which are dried (after which they are called chipotles) and then canned in a sauce made from tomatoes, herbs and spices. The heat from the chillies merges with the sweetness of the sauce over time. A little goes a long way, but they are great ingredient to make your meals taste genuinely Mexican.
My son gave me a tin of these for Mother’s Day, an unusual present but very welcome. I had to make some his favourite meals of course, in return, and like all youngsters, he loves a wrap with layered ingredients.
The Chicken Tinga itself would also go beautifully with rice and re-fried beans or on a Tostada or in a crispy taco shell with some shredded lettuce.
Serves 6 Timings: 2 hours for the Chicken Tinga, which can be done 2 days ahead. 20 minutes to make up the wraps.
For the Chicken Tinga:
For the wraps:
Make the Chicken Tinga: In a large heavy pan (I use my Le Creuset here), fry the chicken thighs in a little vegetable oil until browned on all sides. Take them out of the pan and use the same oil to fry the onions and garlic until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the oregano, celery salt and cumin powder, stir to release the fragrance. Add the tin of tomatoes and the chipotles in adobo and the Worcester sauce. Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavours, then allow to cool a little and then liquidise the sauce in a blender. Return the sauce to the pan, add the chicken stock and put the chicken thighs back in. Simmer for about an hour, with the lid partly ajar. The sauce is quite thick and it will bubble and spit. Keep an eye on it, and don’t let it catch on the pan. After an hour, check how well cooked the meat is – if it is falling apart, remove the meat from the pan and tear it up with two forks. Reduce the sauce by simmering for another 10 minutes – you will get a very thick spicy coating sauce. Return the meat to the pan and stir well. At this stage, you can allow the Chicken Tinga to cool and it can be portioned and frozen or kept cool in the fridge for up to 2 days.
To assemble the wraps:
Warm the tortillas in a frying pan for a few minutes – keep moving them up and down the stack to be sure they all get a bit of heat. This is much better than warming them in an oven as they stay moist, which you need to roll them properly.
Splodge the chicken tinga onto the lower half of your wrap, sprinkle with cheese to taste, add a spoonful of avocado cream and a feathering of coriander. Fold the edges towards the centre and then roll up your wrap tucking the ends in as you go.
Eat with your hands, but you’ll need a napkin.
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