Chicken and Black Bean Tinga Tacos with Watermelon Salsa
With the recent publication of The Flexible Family Cookbook, we’re celebrating by reproducing the recipe for Chicken Tinga Tacos from Jo Pratt.
“This is super-easy to make and for that reason I serve it frequently at home. Tinga is a Mexican dish where chicken is cooked with onion, tomatoes and chipotle sauce and shredded when cooked. I like to do a half-halfnchicken and black bean combo, to vary things up and reduce our meat intake. This juicy watermelon salsa is well worth making. Put everything on the table to make a sharing supper for everyone to dig into.” Jo Pratt.
Time taken 50 minutes / Serves 4
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated or crushed
1 tsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp chipotle paste (or more for a spicier finish)
1 tsp red or white wine vinegar
400g/14 oz can chopped tomatoes
400g/14 oz can black beans or kidney beans, drained
2 chicken breasts, skinless or 350g/12 oz boneless chicken thighs
flaked sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the salsa
300g/10½ oz watermelon, diced into small pieces
4 spring onions (scallions), chopped
½ green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
½ small bunch coriander (cilantro), chopped
juice of ½ lime
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large ripe avocado, sliced or mashed
1 small red onion, finely sliced and mixed with
juice of ½ lime
grated Cheddar cheese
coriander (cilantro) leaves, roughly chopped
soft corn or flour tortillas, warmed
- Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan or casserole dish.
- Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until softened and starting to turn golden.
- Add the garlic and cook for a further minute before stirring in the sugar, chipotle paste, vinegar, tomatoes, 200ml/7 fl oz/scant 1 cup water and the black beans. Mix everything together and bring to a simmer.
- Add the chicken to the pan, spooning over the sauce to cover. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 30 minutes until the chicken is cooked and the sauce thickened.
- Meanwhile, make the salsa by mixing everything together in a serving bowl and seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Once cooked, remove the chicken from the pan and sit on a plate or board. Using two forks, shred into strips and then return the shredded meat back to the sauce.
- Serve the Chicken and Black Bean Tinga with the watermelon salsa, avocado, sour cream, red onion, cheese and coriander. Pile everything into warm tortillas, wrap and prepare to get messy.
Pescatarian: a delicious alternative to using chicken is to swap it for some chunky white fish such as cod, pollock or haddock. Let the tomato and black bean sauce cook alone for 20 minutes then add 400g/14 oz fish fillets to the pan. Spoon over the sauce, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Break the fish into flakes in the pan and serve as above.
Get ahead: once made, the chicken can sit in the fridge for 3–4 days and heated through when needed. It can also easily be doubled up so you can freeze half for another time.
The Flexible Family Cookbook by Jo Pratt, £20 Frances Lincoln.
Photography Malou Burger