Chicken Tinga Chilaquiles

Tinga Chilaquiles

When I imagined this dish, I was aiming for nachos.

I had in my head an image of cheesy goodness oozing between tortilla chips with a smattering of deliciously spicy chicken tinga tossed over the top. But I wound up getting the portions wrong, and there was a lot more chicken tinga than I expected. When I pulled it out of the oven and tried to pull a chip away it crumpled soggily under the weight of all the toppings.

So I wound up eating it with a fork instead, and it was truly fantastic. I was going to call them “fork nachos” and shout the name from the rooftops to anyone who would listen, but after a little Google searching I discovered there was already a name for this kind of delicious smothered nachos: “Chilaquiles.”

And man, these are some awesome Chilaquiles.

They’ve got everything you could want in a Mexican dish. The chicken tinga itself spicy, tangy, and just a little bit sweet, while the rest of the toppings are a blend of creamy, cheesy, earthy and herbal. The tortilla chips provide just enough of a base to hold the whole meal together without giving it an overwhelmingly starchy feel.

You won’t be able to resist going back for seconds!

Chicken Tinga Chilaquiles

Tinga Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, finely diced with 2 tablespoons of sauce
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 chicken breasts, fat trimmed away

Chilaquiles Ingredients

  • Tortilla chips
  • 2/3 cup of black beans
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro, lightly chopped
  • Guacamole and/or sour cream, to serve



  1. In a large pan at least an inch deep, add the olive oil and heat to medium. Saute the onion, garlic and chipotle until the onions begin to turn translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add the chicken stock, tomato sauce and bay leaves to the pan and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken to the pan and cover. Reduce heat to low and cook for at least 40 minutes, up to an hour, so that the chicken is pull-apart tender. Remove both breasts and shred the chicken using two forks. Return the shredded chicken to the pan and cook uncovered for another 5-10 minutes while you assemble the rest of the dish.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. On a large baking tray, evenly spread enough tortilla chips to cover the surface of the tray. Working in layers, spread the black beans, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and chicken tinga over the chips. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese has begun to melt and the chips begin to turn lightly brown. Remove the tray from the oven.
  4. Sprinkle cilantro over the top and serve with guacamole and/or sour cream, as you prefer.

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