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Chicken Tinga Tacos

This shredded chicken is full of flavor and perfect in a taco, tostada or even over rice.  We loved making the hard shells using fresh tortillas and a muffin tin (

4 lbs. skinless whole chicken legs (or a mix of thighs and drumsticks)
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 large brown onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional heat)
2 cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 jar Due Cellucci Tomato Basil or Spicy Arrabbiata Sauce
1-2 tbsp of tomato paste
2-3 sprigs of fresh oregano
2 bay leaves
3-4 tbsp of white or apple cider vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
Package of corn tortillas (or soft corn/wheat tortillas)
Chopped fresh cilantro & red or white onion for garnishing
Fresh lime wedges

Preparation (Use a large Le Creuset or enameled dutch oven):
1. Toast the cumin and coriander in the dry pot, using a wooden spatula to continually stir spices over medium-high heat until they are fragrant, being careful not to burn spices.
2. In the same pot, add the olive oil, onions, and garlic.  Sauté all until soft, about 6-8 minutes.
3. Add chicken stock, jar of Due Cellucci sauce, fresh oregano sprigs and bay leaves.
4. Add all chicken pieces, bring up to boil, stirring occasionally.
5. Reduce to simmer, cover partially and let cook for 45-55 minutes.
** (See below to begin making crispy taco shells while the Tinga cooks.)**
6. Check on chicken to see if meat easily falls off bones.  If so, use two forks to pull meat off the bones in the pot, or you can take meat out and debone with hands in a large dish, once cool enough to do so.  Then shred meat and return all and juices to the pot.)
7. Continue to simmer, add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.  Add additional cumin and coriander if desired.  Remove bay leaves and oregano sprigs.
8. Stir in vinegar at end.  Taste for spices and desired tang.

While the sauce and meat are initially cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Take as many tortillas as you will be using, put them on a plate – using spray oil, spray each lightly and rub both sides with oil.  Stack them.  Using the back side of a muffin tin, fold and position the tortillas between the muffin cups (see photo) to get a rustic hard-shell shape.  Place entire tin into 400 degree oven and bake until crisp, 10-15 minutes.  Watch that they don’t burn.  You may need to work in batches.

Serve tacos freshly filled with Chicken Tinga and garnished with onions, cilantro, and lime.  Serve with a side of black beans and rice if desired.