Chicken Tinga Nachos Recipe

When the FDA finally comes out with their list of Top 5 Most Important Tailgating Foods (should be any day now), I expect to see nachos close to the top. As I demonstrated recently with our other nacho-centric Test Kitchen creation, Baja Fish Nachos, a good topping can elevate a simple party dish into...dare I suggest, a meal?

I cut a few corners on the chicken tinga, spicy shredded chipotle-braised chicken that loves nacho toppings, condensing it into one pot to keep things convenient. I mean, do you want an awesome snack in time for kickoff or what?

Chicken Tinga Nachos Recipe
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  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1/2 small can chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 large bag tortilla chips
  • 8 ounces monterey jack cheese
  • sour cream and cilantro
  1. Heat a tablespoon of canola oil in a medium oven-safe saucepan over medium heat. Add the chicken and brown all over. Remove from pot and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.
  3. Heat the other tablespoon of canola oil and sauté the onions, garlic, bay leaf and jalapeno until fragrant, 5-7 minutes, then add the chipotles, chicken stock and cloves. Bring to a boil, mashing up the chipotle peppers with a wooden spoon, then reduce to a simmer.
  4. Add chicken back to pot, stir to coat completely, cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours, then remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. 
  5. When chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it and set it aside.
  6. Pile the chips on a serving platter, then distribute the shredded chicken evenly over the top. 
  7. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top, then microwave for the minimum amount of time necessary to just melt the cheese — shouldn't be more than 10 seconds. Don't let those chips get soggy.
  8. Garnish with sour cream and cilantro and serve immediately. 
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