Chicken Tinga


Chicken Tinga

Chicken Tinga

Tinga de Pollo
4 servings (makes about 5 cups)
Pati Jinich
Course: Antojos, Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, chipotles in adobo, Pollo, Puebla, quesadillas, Recipe, tacos, tinga, tortas, tostadas
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
One of the tastiest ways to eat chicken in Mexican kitchens, no doubt about it, is Chicken Tinga. Although it comes from the state of Puebla, it is so popular, that it is eaten throughout the country. So of course there are countless variations. I have a favorite version. One that I have tweaked through the years until I found a balance of flavors that needs no more tweaking, if you ask me…


  • 3 tablespoons safflower or corn oil
  • 1/2 white onion, about 1/4 pound, slivered
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 roma tomatoes, or about 2 pounds, rinsed
  • 2 tomatillos, or about 1/4 pound, husks removed, rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt, or more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoons sauce from chipotle chiles in adobo, can add whole chiles if more heat is desired
  • 5 cups cooked shredded chicken

To Prepare

  • Place the rinsed tomatoes and tomatillos in a medium saucepan and cover them with water. Set the saucepan over medium heat. Once it comes to a simmer, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes and tomatillos are soft, thoroughly cooked, and smooshy but not coming apart. Remove them with a slotted spoon. Place in the jar of a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.
  • Heat the oil in a large and deep pan over medium heat. Once it is hot but not smoking, stir in the onion and cook until soft and translucent, for about 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant and lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  • Pour the tomato/tomatillo sauce on top and sprinkle the oregano, marjoram, thyme, salt and black pepper. Spoon in the chipotle Chiles in Adobo sauce. If you want it spicy, you may drop a whole Chipotle Chile in Adobo in there as well. Let the sauce simmer, stirring now and then until it seasons and deepens its red color, about 10 to 12 minutes. You may want to partially cover the pan as the sauce may want to jump out over your burners.
  • Toss in the chicken and combine with the sauce. Let it cook, stirring casually, until the chicken has absorbed almost all of the juices and the mix is moist but not juicy.

8 comments on “Chicken Tinga

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  1. Chicken Tinga was so easy to make and delicious stuffed into a gordita with Charro Beans.
    What can I say besides mmm…mmm…MMM!
    Thanks Pati!

  2. I made this tonight. Cold and rainy here in Chicago. It was delicious. I enjoy your show so much and your recipes are fabulous. Thank you so much!

  3. I made this tonight with a side of black beans and rice. I used the Frijoles de Olla recipe you have to make the Smooth and Easy Refried beans and topped them with Queso fresco. The meal was delicious! Thanks Pati!

    Next time I want to make this with the Unforgettable Rice from El Chepe and homemade flour tortillas. I’m so excited to try it again. Now I’m wondering what to do with all my leftover chicken Tinga ! This was my first time ever having it.

    1. Krystin! If you pair tinga and El Chepe Rice you will have a delicious dinner there! The thing about tinga is that you can eat it in tacos, over rice, in tostadas, sopes, quesadillas and even tortas!

  4. I love how you inspire your sons. I enjoy working in the kitchen with my daughter and now with my grand-daughter (who is 6 years old) and sometimes with my guests at thanksgiving. I have thanksgiving the week before so I’m sure to have everyone of my friends, family and friends. They all like to help in the kitchen. My daughter and other guests are split with other members of friends and family at thanksgiving and Christmas. So having the holidays a week before makes it much easier for them. And of course I don’t mind because I have everyone sharing the the joys of the holidays with me.