Today is a very special day in Colorado. Instead of waking up to birds chirping and another warm sunny day, I woke up to the sound of a plow truck cleaning the streets of snow! I realize that most of the country has had more than their fair share of snow this year but we haven’t even had an inch! Just yesterday, I was outside wearing shorts! So you can understand the importance of this. We need to have snow to keep our snowpack up and to keep our drought situation at bay! Plus, it’s just fun to have a real snow day! I do feel a little bad though. My friend from Australia is coming to Denver this week and he’s not too keen on the thought of snow. Maybe it will be gone soon!
As I was watching the football games last weekend, I knew that I needed to add to the Super Bowl party food list. While I was cleaning out my freezer (because I have one of those stupid bottom load freezers and things get lost in the depths of freezer hell), I discovered a bag of frozen french fries! I also found some chicken and cheese. Perfect! I could use up lost items on “bar food” at home!
I know that you are probably wondering what Tinga Chicken is. Traditional Tinga chicken is a stewed chicken made with tomatoes, chipotles in adobo and onions. Besides being fun to say, it’s one of the go-to foods that I make at least once a month. I eat it in tacos, on a tostada or even in a salad. The good news is that this recipe will make more than enough that you will need for the fries. So you can plan another “healthy” meal after you load up on the cheese fries! Same goes for the cheese sauce. You will need to eat this immediately, so buy some tortilla chips as well! Whatever you decide what to do! Tinga chicken may be a new favorite for you! Don’t worry about it being too spicy though. The flavors of the chipotle really mellow while cooking!
I’m headed to the couch to watch more of the Australian Open! The perfect thing to do on a cold snowy day!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 cup diced onions
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes sliced in half
- 2-3 tablespoons chipotle chilies with adobo
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 2½ cups Mexican blend or cheddar cheese
- 2 pounds your favorite frozen french fries
- your favorite salsa
- green onions
- Mexican crema
- In a medium-sized stock pot, over medium heat, heat up the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, and peppers. Cook until the onions become translucent. About 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Place the chicken breast over the vegetables and cover with the chicken stock.
- Cover the pan and bring to a boil, then lower the temperature to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Remove the chicken from the pot, roughly chop and set aside.
- With either an immersion blender or a regular blender in small batches, blend the vegetable mixture until smooth. (If using a regular blender, add back to pot).
- Place the chicken back in the pot and simmer over low heat for about 45 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. (You will see about a 75% decrease in the liquid). Stirring occasionally.
- Remove from heat and with a fork finish shredding the chicken. Set aside.
- When you are ready to make the fries, preheat the oven according to french fry directions. Cook the fries until crispy. (I end up cooking mine more than package directions).
- When the fries are about halfway done with the cooking time, heat a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter. When the butter is melted whisk in the flour. Stir constantly for about 30 seconds when it is fully incorporated. Whisk in the milk and lower the temperature to low.
- When the milk begins to thicken, whisk in the salt, pepper, and chili powder. Once that is incorporated, whisk in the cheese until it is fully melted.
- To assemble the fries. Remove from the oven and place on a serving plate. Layer with as much chicken and cheese as you like. Top with salsa, green onions, jalapenos and, avocados.
Make the Tinga chicken ahead of time. It's great if you can let it sit overnight!
You will have extra cheese sauce. Keep warm over the stove and dip tortilla chips in the sauce! Yum!