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My Mexican Kitchen: Chiptole Chicken Tinga Tortas

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My Mexican Kitchen: Chiptole Chicken Tinga Tortas

Dommy! | Jan 20, 2006 04:38 PM

When I began to do my homework before I started this journey in Mexican food, I looked over the three books I had in my disposal and picked Rick Bayless’ Salsas that Cook as my first. Why? I liked the layout and idea of the book (Salsa is SO important in Mexican food) and I also like that he used rather exotic ingredients and had substitutes JUST incase you couldn’t find them.

Well, I never expected to be one of those people who needed a substitute! I had a branch of the FAMOUS Mexican Gigante Supermarket right near my work. I could probably find anything I could ever need for the book in there… but when I went to go pick up some things for my Roasted Smokey Chiptole Salsa… I could not find Dried Chipotles nor Dried Cascabels!!! ACK!! Defeated I bought a can of Chipotles and used the Puya Chiles left over from my Pozole that I had at home…

As detailed in my Chilaquilles recipe, this fiery red salsa is almost all roasted. Rings of White Onion and Cloves of Garlic Roasted in a 425 oven. Then 1lb total Tomatillos and ripe roma tomatoes roasted in the broiler. Even my Puya Chiles were roasted on a skillet (Although do this with the vent hood going… or CHOKE! ACK!!!) before being rehydrated in some water…

Putting everything in the Food Processor, including three canned Chipotles, I came out with a fiery very roasty Salsa!! And after shredding a whole poached Chicken Breast, I went to bed letting my Salsa to mellow and began to dream about my yummy tortas the following day!

Just like any bread… Bollios used for Tortas are best FRESH. The ones from the Gigante are the perfect example of the ones from Mexico.. football shaped, super crusty and inside a little spongy. Sadly, my way home after the gym placed me towards the path of another Mexican Supermarket. Their bollios were flat, wide, not all the crusty, and very spongy. Yes, I was a bit disappointed, but I figured toasting them up would help with the texture and the dense bread would be even better to soak up the wonderful juices!!

And so now, I was ready to make my Tinga!! Tinga is a Spicey, Sour, Saucy Mexican ‘filling’ You can put in burritos, in tacos, on tostadas and this sandwich lovers LOVES Tinga in Tortas!! Rick recommends making the Tinga by taking almost 1 Cup of the Smokey Chipotle Sauce and adding it to a regular can of Whole Tomotoes and Puree… This of course totally changes the flavor of the salsa… It was good, but a little dull… And I was GLAD I used canned Chipotles and just added one to bring up the heat and smoke… PERFECT!!! Then you stir in a Tablespoon of Vinegar… Rick Recommends Apple Cider… Which did add a ZING… but I would have preferred just regular white which is more ZINGY! :) Stirring in my shredded Chicken, I heated it all though and was ready to make my tortas!

I was right about the bread! Toasting them in the oven made them ultra crisp and their texture just SOAKED up the sauce without them falling apart! I heaped on quite a bit of tinga and garnished with sliced Avocado and crumbly Cojita cheese… And YUM!!!

So, even if I didn’t follow the recipe to the letter (I WILL get the dried Chipotles and Cascabels for next time though!) it still came out very yummy and it was pretty easy! I highly recommend this recipe for those of you looking for a change of pace in your usual Taco or Burrito fillings… Heck, it’s even good on its own over rice… But as for sandwich lovers (like me!!), nothing beats Torta de Tinga!

--Dommy!

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