This post for Chicken Tinga Kabobs is sponsored by my friends at World Market. All opinions are my own!
Father’s Day is right around the corner so why not turn Dad’s favorite smokey, spicy taco filling into a grill recipe the whole gang will thank you for!
Chicken Tinga Kabobs have tender chunks of chicken marinated in a traditional tinga sauce layered with onions, peppers and tomatoes on skewers then grilled to perfection. Serve with lime wedges, chopped cilantro and a dash of hot sauce.
Chicken Tinga Kabobs
You know how much the casa crew loves Mexican food. So many of my dishes are fusion of the recipes I grew up with in the Midwest and flavors from Paul’s Latino culture. Even though I swear I have introduced him to more traditional Mexican recipes than he ate as a kid!
As a kid we always grilled out for Father’s Day. In fact we grilled year round. I can remember my step-dad outside in the middle of winter hovering over our old charcoal grill. That’s what happens when you live in farm country and have an abundance of locally raised beef and pork available. Lots of meat and potato meals.
I have been wanting to make chicken tinga for a while but not in the classic tortilla-filled-with-shredded-chicken way. So when the opportunity to work with World Market, my favorite store of all time, on a Father’s Day grill recipe I jumped at the chance.
World Market is my go-to place for everything from spices, sauces, and pastas. And that’s only the food! Paul will happily get lost in their beer selection and the kid loves their array of snacks and sodas. Naturally they had everything I needed to make these smokey, delicious Chicken Tinga Kabobs.
Traditional chicken tinga is slow cooked over a low heat with spices, chiles and aromatics until it falls apart. I wanted to take those same flavors and turn them into a marinade for these Chicken Tinga Kabobs. I can already tell you the guys demanded I keep the excess marinade for the pork chops we have in the fridge!
I love using dried chiles and often grind my own spice mixes. Rather than reconstitute them for the marinade I just tossed them into the blender with the onion, garlic and chicken stock, then pureed the heck out it all. Be sure to break the stems off the chiles and if you want less heat, dump out most of the seeds.
To that mixture I added classic Mexican spices; cumin, coriander and oregano. Yep, oregano… it’s not just for Italian cooking folks! And see those beautiful bits of chipotle in there…. YUM!
Go ahead and puree that some more to get everything incorporated. Then add in tomato puree because this is ultimately a tomato based marinade.
And a little extra virgin olive oil to make it nice and rich. Don’t forget to salt and pepper at this stage either. Give it a taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
Then give it all a whirl in the blender and your marinade is ready! Next up is the chicken. Typically chicken tinga is made with dark meat, because thighs are super tender and juicy.
And I love to cook with them but I have found that chicken breasts hold up better for kabobs. But go with what you are comfortable with on this one. Either way just be sure to cut your meat into even sized 1-inch pieces.
Once you smother the chicken in your delicious marinade toss in a few bay leaves. They will probably break up into pieces but we can fish them out later.
Then let this beautiful mess hang out for at least an hour or two in the fridge, more if you have the time.
While the chicken soaks up all that smokey, spicy goodness get your kabob veggies ready. I used basic onions, peppers and tomatoes because that is what was on hand. Feel free to mix it up with your favorite veggies though.
I love these stainless steel skewers because they are sturdy and sharp. Just be careful because they are sharp! And you always want to handle them with grill gloves or mitts once they go on the grill since they get super hot. World Market has all kinds of grill accessories Dad would love for Father’s Day.
We fired up our World Market Mini Charcoal BBQ Grill and got down to business. We have had this little guy for a few years now and it works like a charm. And the red version they have now is pretty sharp and would make a great Father’s Day Gift too.
As an apartment dweller for the last 15 years I could never have a full-sized grill, plus we love to take this little guy on camping trips and poolside.
It’s the perfect size when grilling for just the two of us!
This is when our neighbors wandered over because of the amazing smell coming lingering in the air. That’s the nice thing about a smaller grill, we can set up where ever we want.
Paul was tinkering around in the garage so I set up shop in at the edge of the driveway. It’s a great place to socialize with our neighbors and generally hang out. While there weren’t enough of these Chicken Tinga Kabobs to go around, our friends are eagerly awaiting the recipe to try out for themselves!
We did share a beer and chat about our respective Father’s Day plans. Many of our neighbors have older children with families of their own and they were sure to remind us to enjoy this last summer with the kid at home.
Paul will happily report that my Chicken Tinga Kabobs were a complete success. Even though I will admit he ended up piling them into a tortilla… I swear the man has an addiction! lol
And don’t forget the hot sauce. It is mandatory on most dishes we eat.
How do you plan to celebrate the man in your life this Father’s Day? Do you have a perfect recipe for the grill to celebrate Dad! Pair your favorites with a simple salad and my Creamy Honey Lime Dressing.
Share your best Father’s Day memories in the comments and enjoy this smokin’ good recipe!
- 1 small white onion
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2-3 dried chipotle peppers, stems removed and seeded is desired
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- ½ tablespoon cumin
- ½ tablespoon coriander
- ½ cup tomato puree
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 large chicken breasts, about 1 pound each cut into 1-inch pieces
- Onions, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes for kabobs
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
- 2-3 limes, cut into wedges for garnish
- Hot sauce for garnish
- Add onion, garlic, chiles and chicken stock to a blender. Pulse to puree.
- Add spices and tomato puree, blend to combine.
- While blender is running, carefully drizzle in oil.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Place chicken in a large bowl, pour marinade over meat. Toss to combine.
- Add bay leaves, refrigerate 1-2 hours.
- Heat grill according to manufacturer's directions.
- Remove bay leaves from chicken mixture, discard.
- Skewer chicken and vegetables, alternating each ingredient.
- Place skewers on grill, cooking 5-7 minutes on each side until done.
- Remove from grill, rest on a baking sheet 5 minutes.
- Garnish kabobs with cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice and a dash of hot sauce. Serve immediately.