I am completely and totally, one hundred percent, head-over-heels in love with these chicken tinga burritos.
They are the perfect meal for lunch, tea, snacking, feeding a few, feeding just you, feeding kids, feeding anyone for that matter. They fit in with everything and everyone and are so much fun to make.
The best way to serve these is on a platter, they can be fully wrapped and made or each element can be laid out separately so everyone can help themselves and build their own chicken burritos.
Chicken tinga and chipotle
My version of Chicken tinga is baked and shredded chicken mixed with my homemade chipotle sauce.
This chipotle sauce really packs a punch and also goes amazing well with pasta. If you're after something not so spicy, have a look at my beef brisket burritos. Or for something slightly different my jerk chicken tacos or paprika chicken wraps.
I love to load my chicken tinga on a burrito with plenty of rice and freshly cut avocado. Avocado actually ends up in quite a few of my recipes
I’m referring to this sauce as chipotle, mainly because of its smoky and spicy flavours. However, I have to confess that there aren’t actually any chipotle chillies in this sauce. Firstly because I didn’t have any when I first made the sauce and secondly because I decided after that it was pretty bloody good the way it was. This probably means that its not a chipotle sauce at all but I decided to keep the “chipotle” in the title as it’s the best way to describe all the lovely flavours that are going on here. Lots of lovely chipotle-ness.
You can tell how much I love this recipe based on the amount of pictures I have – I went a bit over board. But to be fair there is a lot going on and now I can demonstrate each stage of this dish with a lovely, colourful piccie 🙂
So the first step on the stairway to chicken tinga burrito greatness is the sauce/marinade.
I say this as the chipotle sauce is used firstly as a marinade and then later as a sauce for the finishing touch to the chicken tinga burritos. The smokiness in the sauce comes from blackening the skins of the bell peppers and chilli peppers. I did this under the grill but you could also use a blow torch or balance over the flame of a gas hob, if you’re feeling up to the challenge of either. Whatever the method, the skins should be partially black to create a sweet yet smoky flavour.
When I say smoky…..it can literally get quite smoky. If you don’t want your smoke alarm to deafen you then it’s definitely advisable to whip on the extractor fan and have the window open. Once the peppers are prepared, pop them into the blender along with the other sauce ingredients and pulse until smooth. It’s good to taste the sauce and add more heat with the tabasco if its needs an extra kick, or more yogurt if the chilli is too over powering. The finished product is a silky smooth deep orange sauce, with flecks of smoky black pepper skin and a fiery punch.
Marinating the chicken in the sauce isn’t essential but really intensifies the flavours if you have the time to do this.
I used half the sauce to bake with and create the chicken tinga and saved the other half for a dip to drizzle over the finished burrito. The chicken tinga works best in a burrito if its shredded – it’s easier to shape and fold. So, after the chicken has been baking for about half an hour - 40 minutes, and whilst it is still very juicy and tender; I pulled apart the breasts using a fork and shredded into fine strips. Mix the chicken well to fully coat in all the lovely baking sauce and then pop the chicken tinga back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
And that is pretty much it for the cooking side of things – the rest is all about the build.
This is the fun bit. Lay out all the ingredients, preferably in the order they will go into the chicken burritos, heat the wraps for 10-20 seconds in the microwave (to loosen them and make them easier to fold), then get building. Ideally try to keep each ingredient in a line and don’t let the filling creep too close to the edge of the wrap. I usually keep the fillings towards the front end of the wrap.
The folding!! It’s quite easy once you know how.
The first step is to take the end of the wrap closest to you and fold it over the filling. At the same time fold in the wrap at either side and trap under the first fold. Continue to roll up and then secure by placing a blob of yogurt under the end flap of the wrap...and …voila! Easy, right? Maybe have a couple of practice runs if you don’t feel too confident – or just let everyone make their own 🙂
I like to slice my chicken tinga burritos on the diagonal, just because I think it looks fancy but each burrito can be served as it is, if you prefer. Any chicken burritos left over? Or not wanting to eat them right away? - Lay a sheet of baking parchment over a sheet of foil, then wrap up the burrito and pop in the fridge for later. It should keep for a couple of days. And trust me you’re gonna want to keep hold of these bad boys.
Chicken Tinga burritos with homemade chipotle sauce
For the spicy chipotle sauce:
- 2 Red bell peppers
- 1 orange bell pepper
- 2 red chilli peppers
- 1 green chilli pepper
- 2 cm piece fresh ginger peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon walnut oil
- 2 dessert spoons of fat free Greek style yogurt
- Few drops of Tabasco sauce
- Pinch of sea salt
For the burritos:
- 4 Soft white tortilla wraps
- 4 Chicken breasts
- 200 g white rice cooked
- 1 avocado peeled and sliced
- Handful Fresh parsley chopped
- Greek yogurt for dressing
- Extra green chilli pepper for serving
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- Remove the seeds and stems from the bell peppers and chilli peppers,then chop up roughly. Place all peppers on a tray and grill for 5-10 mins until skins start to blacken. check and turn regularly.
- Place the charred peppers in a blender along with the rest of the sauce ingredients and blitz into a smooth paste. Taste and add more Tabasco or yogurt if required.
- Next prepare the chicken by scoring 3 lines, about half a cm deep, in the top of each breast. This will allow the marinade to infuse with the meat.
- Take a wide oven proof dish and line with foil. Spoon ⅓ of the chipotle sauce into the base of the dish and spread evenly over the foil. Then place the chicken, slit side down, on top of the sauce. Spoon another ⅓ of the sauce over the chicken and spread evenly over the meat.
- Place the remaining third of the sauce to one side. Cover the oven proof dish with foil and place in the oven for 40 minutes.
- After 40 minutes check the chicken and pour off any juices, then recover and return to the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Next remove the chicken and use a sharp knife and fork to shred each breast, allowing the chunks to mix with the sauce. Then recover and return to the oven for a final 10 minutes.
- Whilst the chicken is its final stages of cooking prepare the rice and lay out all the other fillings ready to load into the burritos. Once the chicken is ready heat the wraps for 10-20 seconds in the microwave and lay out ready to fill.
- Place the fillings on the wraps in rows, with the first row starting about inch in from the side of the wrap closest to you. Leave an inch of wrap either side of the row - do not fill to the edge.
- Follow the first row of chicken with rice, then sliced avocado. This can then be topped off with some of the chipotle sauce left over from earlier, any remaining yogurt and chopped parsley.
- To wrap the burritos, take the edge nearest to you over the fillings and at the same time fold in either side of the wrap and took under the first fold. continue to roll over and secure the wrap by placing a small blob of yogurt on the inner edge.
- Slice in half if desired and serve with any remaining chipotle sauce, yogurt and chilli
**Estimated nutritional information per serving and per 100g of chicken burrito with chipotle sauce. Refer to my Nutrition Information Guide to find out more about how this is calculated and the sources used.