Make Ahead

Chicken Tinga

June 28, 2013
0 Ratings
Photo by Penny De Los Santos
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

This is a recipe perfectly suited for days when extra kids end up at your counter for lunch. It’s simple to make, and it can be refashioned in so many ways. Shredded cooked chicken, (rotisserie chicken works beautifully) is sauced with a combination of tomato, onion, garlic, chipotles in adobo sauce, spices, and tomatillos, all ingredients that are easy to have on hand.

I usually make a double batch. Once it is ready, I serve half of it one night as a main entrée with a side of Mexican Red Rice and Refried Beans, or with the Blissful Corn Torte and salad. Then I have the other half to repurpose over the next few days as a delicious filling for rich and tasty tinga-dillas, tortas or tostadas. —Pati Jinich

What You'll Need
  • 8 ripe Roma tomatoes (about 2 pounds), rinsed
  • 2-3 tomatillos (about 1/4 pound), husks removed, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt, more or less to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sauce from chipotle chiles in adobo
  • 1 whole chipotle chile in adobo, chopped (optional)
  • 5 cups cooked shredded chicken, or shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  1. Place the tomatoes and tomatillos in a medium 3-quart saucepan and cover with water. Set the saucepan over medium-high heat, bring to a simmer, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes and tomatillos are thoroughly cooked and mushy, but not coming apart. Their color will change from bright to dull. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a blender or food processor. Cool slightly and then process until smooth.
  2. Heat the oil in a large 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook until soft and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant and begins to lightly brown, less than a minute.
  3. Carefully pour the pureed tomato-tomatillo sauce into the skillet. It will steam and bubble; that’s ok! Stir in the oregano, marjoram, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Add the adobo sauce and the chipotle chile if using (you can add more sauce and chiles near the end if you decide you want more heat). Continue to simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, until it deepens in color, becoming a darker and earthier red, and is no longer soupy, 10 to 12 minutes. You may want to partially cover the skillet with a lid as it cooks, as the sauce will spatter.
  4. Add the chicken and the chicken broth to the sauce and toss over the heat until it’s well mixed. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken has absorbed almost all of the sauce and is moist but not runny, 6 to 8 minutes more. Serve hot.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • krystine
  • erinbdm
I forgo my job in the Washington DC policy research world to research, test, taste, cook, write, teach and talk about Mexican food. Not only because of nostalgia and desire to connect to my roots, but because I love sharing all I learn and I am fascinated by Mexico cuisine's richness and depth.

2 Reviews

krystine September 23, 2014
just made this for lunch and it turned out awesome! i
erinbdm July 11, 2013
Thanks for a really tasty recipe! I made the chicken tinga exactly according to the recipe. I didn't have any cooked chicken on hand, so I poached some chicken with onion, parsley, salt, garlic, pepper, and bay leaf. Then I used the cooking liquid in place of broth for the tinga recipe. I served the chicken on tostadas with cooked beans that I coarsely pureed with a little more adobo sauce, a little chicken broth, and a little vinegar and topped with chopped romaine, avocado, and cilantro dressed with a little lime juice and oil. The tostadas were delicious! Even my kids loved them.