Leave the traditional hors d’oeuvres behind and wow your guests with these adorable—yet flavourful—Bite-Size Tinga de Pollo Tacos! This easily doubled recipe can be made to suit any party-size, and we must warn you—you’re going to want to make A LOT!
Makes: 24 servings || Takes: 1 Hour and 15 Minutes
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts with skin and bones
5 cups water
1 large white onion, finely chopped and divide into halves
2 large garlic cloves; 1 whole, 1 finely chopped
1 Turkish bay leaf
1 pound plum tomatoes (about 4)
2 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 to 1 1/2 Tbsp finely chopped chipotle in adobo, including some sauce
24 (5 to 6 inch) soft corn tortillas
1/4 cup crumbled cotija or mild goat cheese
24 small sprigs cilantro
3-inch round cookie/biscuit cutter
Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine chicken with water, half of onion, whole garlic clove, bay leaf, and 1 tsp salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook at a bare simmer for 10 minutes.
Cover and let sit until chicken is just cooked through (about 15 minutes).
Transfer chicken to a cutting board. Strain and reserve 1 cup of broth for tinga and save remaining broth for later use.
Once cool enough to touch, shred the chicken, discarding skin and bones.
Prepare an ice bath (medium-large size bowl of ice and cold water), and set aside.
Cut an X in the bottom of each tomato. Blanch in a saucepan of boiling water for 1 minute.
Transfer tomatoes to ice bath. Peel and core, then finely chop.
Add the 2 Tbsp of canola oil to a large skillet and cook remaining chopped onion with 1/4 tsp salt over medium heat, stirring occasionally until softened (about 5 minutes).
Stir in garlic and crumble in oregano, then cook, stirring, until fragrant (1 minute).
Add tomato and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened but still saucy (10 to 15 minutes).
Add chicken, 3/4 cup of reserved cooking water, and chipotle to the tomato sauce. Let simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened and excess liquid is almost completely evaporated (10 to 15 minutes).
Cool to warm and moisten with additional cooking liquid if mixture looks dry.
Using cookie cutter, cut out as many circles from each tortilla as you can. Stack approximately 12 in a folded sheets of foil. Wrap up each stack and warm through in oven (5 to 10 minutes).
To serve, arrange warm tortillas on a heated platter and divide chicken mixture among them (about 1 rounded Tbsp per tortilla). Sprinkle with cheese and top each taco with a cilantro sprig.
*Optional: lay out lime slices, guacamole, and sour cream on serving tray for optimal guest experience
*Note: to save time, chicken mixture can be made up to two days in advance, simply reheat in sauce pan and add water/broth to moisten if necessary.