One thing that is great about traveling to different places is that you can immerse yourself in new cuisine and new culture. On a trip to Puerta Vallarta, I had the opportunity to have authentic Chicken Tinga Tacos made the traditional way. I watched as our host fire-roasted her tomatoes and peppers. She also made fresh corm tortillas and pressed them in a family-made press that had been passed down through generations. It was like watching her family history being pressed into each tortilla. She had already dispatched and plucked a live chicken that was simmering in a cast iron pot with some onion, garlic, and other spices I had never tasted before. All I know is that when my meal was prepared and bright to me it was some of the best tacos I’d ever eaten. This recipe brings back all of those happy moments. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Smoked Chicken Tinga Tacos
Tacos / Dinner
This is our Lane's take on the traditional Chicken Tinga tacos. Slow-cooked chicken with fire-roasted tomatoes, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and of course our fiesta seasoning. This is the authentic taco that puts those fast-food tacos to shame. Any more authentic than this and you might find yourself south of the border. Topped with fresh diced red onion, fresco cheese, and fresh-squeezed lime juice. OH MY GOODNESS!!!
Lane's Fiesta Rub
Lane's Chili Lime Rub
1 Whole Chicken (4 lb) We will use half the chicken. Alternately you can buy a smaller bird
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
3 Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 white onion
Corn or flour tortillas
Queso fresco or Cotija Cheese
1 red onion
Setup your smoker for indirect heat and get the temperature to 325 degrees.
We like to spatchcock our chicken. Here is a great video on how to spatchcock Chicken
**Alternately you can smoke the chicken however you like.
Season your chicken with Lane's Fiesta Rub inside the skin and outside the skin. Place on the smoker and cook about an hour to an hour and 15 minutes. The internal temp of the chicken breast should be 160 and the leg and thigh should be 170. Pull and let it rest 10 minutes. We used hickory smoke.
If you have our House Divided 3 Rub - it is also great for this recipe.
Once rested shred the chicken how you like. We want about 2lbs shredded meat.
Add fire roasted tomatoes, 3 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced garlic, chopped onions, and 1 tbsp Chili Lime Rub to a food processor/blender and blend till smooth.
In a skillet add chicken and blended tinga sauce and cook on stovetop or place back on your smoker for 10 minutes.
Put together your tinga taco - place chicken tinga on tortillas, add diced red onion, crumbled queso fresco/cotija cheese, cilantro, avocado slice, and squeeze a wedge of a lime over the top.
If you are a kitchen cook here are a few alternatives to smoking your chicken:
- You can buy a rotisserie chicken from your local supermarket and debone for the meat
- You can cook chicken breast/tenderloins(either work, it's your preference) in your InstaPot or bake in the oven. While the chicken is still warm you can use a mixer (stand or hand) to shred or you can use two forks and shred by hand...old school.