Chicken Tinga

Chicken Tinga

Tinga de pollo
5 cups
Pati Jinich
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: chicken, chipotles in adobo, tomatillos, Tomatoes, tostadas
Author:Pati Jinich
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Chicken Tinga recipe from Pati's Mexican Table Season 2, Episode 11 "Puebla: Food From a Colonial Jewel"


For the Chicken Tinga:

  • 3 tablespoons safflower or corn oil
  • 1/2 white onion, slivered
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 roma tomatoes, or 2 lbs, rinsed
  • 2 tomatillos, or 1/4 lb, husked and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, or more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sauce from chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 1 whole chipotle chile in adobo sauce,, optional
  • 5 cups cooked shredded chicken

To Serve: quantities as desired

  • Corn tostadas, store bought or home made
  • Refried beans
  • Shredded iceberg lettuce
  • Queso fresco or cotija, crumbled
  • Mexican avocado slices

To Prepare

To make the Chicken Tinga:
  • Place tomatoes and tomatillos in a medium saucepan, cover with water. Bring it to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, or until tomatoes and tomatillos are soft, thoroughly cooked and mushy but not falling apart.
  • Remove tomatoes and tomatillos with a slotted spoon, and place them in the jar of a blender or food processor and process 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 the onion and garlic mixture becomes fragrant and lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  • Pour the tomato/tomatillo sauce on top and add the oregano, marjoram, thyme, salt, black pepper and the chipotle chiles in adobo sauce (if you want more heat add an entire chipotle chile in adobo sauce). Let it simmer, stirring now and then, until it seasons and deepens to a deep red color, about 10 to 12 minutes. You may want to partially cover the pan as the sauce will want to jump out onto your burners.
  • Add the shredded chicken and combine it with the sauce. Let it cook, occasionally stirring, until the chicken has absorbed almost all of the juices and the mixture is moist but not juicy.
To assemble the Tostadas:
  • Spread refried beans on a tostada, add the chicken tinga mixture, top with shredded lettuce, avocado slices, crumbled cheese and, if you want some, cream too. You may also serve with salsa verde on the side.

16 comments on “Chicken Tinga

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  1. I’ve made chicken like this before, but never with tomatillos. It was delicious! I haven’t used Mexican oregano before but it gave such a nice flavor to the chicken. The stock is so good to use in anything else. I did put a few dried anchos in the pot when I cooked the chicken. I will make this again!

  2. This recipe is amazing. My whole family loved it. The only thing we love more than tinga is Pati, and the only thing we love more than Pati is JuJu.

  3. Hi. I noticed that in your cookbook, this recipe calls for 1 and a half cups of broth to be added with the chicken.

    Which version is recommended?

      1. I found the same thing in the ingredients listing, but couldn’t find anywhere to add the broth. To be honest, I’m glad I didn’t. IMHO, it didn’t need it. Took me 30-40 minutes to simmer off the liquid that was already there after adding the chicken. And it was still 100% delicious…. 🙂

    1. You have to cook the chicken first, shred it and then finish it in the sauce for a true tinga dish. But of course you can also make the sauce and cook the whole chicken pieces in it until the chicken is thoroughly cooked, but you just wouldn’t call it tinga …

  4. I have made this recipe 3-4 times after I found it last fall. It is delicious.

    Thanks for making this great recipe available.