Tinga de Pollo (authentic chicken tinga)

Tinga de Pollo (chicken tinga) is a delicious and simple recipe made with shredded chicken and onions simmered in a hearty tomato and chipotle sauce. A budget-friendly recipe that can feed a crowd and can be prepared ahead of time!

Tinga de pollo served on a green platter.

What is Tinga?

Chicken Tinga is a Mexican dish that is prepared using shredded chicken meat, tomato sauce and chipotle peppers in adobo. Its name in Spanish is “Tinga de pollo”.

The original recipe for Tinga is said to be from Puebla, a state in the Valley of Cuetlaxcoapan, and today it is prepared using different types of meat such as pork, beef and even fish.

Tinga de pollo served on a platter. Pickled red onions, lime wedges and warm tortillas on the side.

Chicken Tinga is a very easy recipe to prepare and also perfect for using chicken leftovers, it is also budget-friendly because the use of onion adds a ‘meaty’ texture to the dish. In Mexico you will always find it at parties and other events because it can also be made days ahead.

How To Make It

Start by cooking the chicken. Place chicken meat, onion, carrots, leek, garlic, the bay leaf and salt in a cooking pot. Cover the ingredients with water and boil until the meat is cooked through. NOTE: Vegetables can be subbed, use those you have available at home.

Once chicken is cooked, place it in a bowl and shredded it with two forks while is still hot. Strain the chicken stock and set everything aside.

Shredded chicken breasts on a bowl.

Now let’s make the chipotle sauce. In a medium pot place tomatoes and guajillo chilies (stems and seeds removed). Add water and boil over medium heat until tomatoes are cooked through, this can take from 10 to 15 minutes.

Boiled tomatoes and chilies on a pot.

Allow tomatoes to slightly cool down, then place them in a blender with guajillo chilies, garlic, the spices mix, and chipotle chilies. Pour in a cup of chicken stock (the one you strained before), then blend until you’ll have a smooth sauce. Set aside.

The tomato and chipotle sauce on a blender.

Peel onions and slice them into thick rings. Heat the oil in a large cooking pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly soft and transparent (about 4 minutes).

Sautéing onions on a pan.

Add shredded chicken and mix well. Pour over the tomato and chili sauce, then add a cup of chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper.

Cooking tinga de pollo in a medium pan.

Mix well and allow chicken tinga to cook for about 20 minutes while stirring from time to time until onions are cooked through and there’s almost not liquids in the pan.

Tinga cooked on a pan.

Recipe Useful Notes

  • To cook the meat for chicken tinga, you can use whatever cooking method is convenient for you, from instant/pressure pot, slow cooker pot, or a traditional stove. Just make sure the ingredients have enough liquid to be covered all the time.
  • You can also use a rotisserie chicken for this recipe, or what about Thanksgiving turkey leftovers? Those are perfect too!
  • Don’t slice onions too thin because they will disintegrate when cooking with the sauce.
  • You can find canned chipotles en adobo chilies in Amazon and Mexican grocery stores. Otherwise, use 1 tablespoon of smoky paprika instead.
  • Adjust spiciness in this tinga de pollo to your liking by adding more/less chipotle chilies.

How To Eat It

  • Chicken Tinga is a main dish that can be served and eaten in various ways. The most common and easy is to make tacos de tinga using soft corn tortillas and then garnish tacos with pickled onions and chili oil salsa.
  • Other ways for eating tinga de pollo is with tostadas, a fried and crunchy tortilla. Tostadas de tinga are then garnished with Mexican crema, queso fresco and onions.
  • But then again, Tinga de pollo is such a versatile dish that can be eaten in so many other ways, like sopes, burritos, quesadillas, gorditas (stuffed thick tortillas), taquitos, etc.
Chicken tinga de pollo tostadas.

How To Store

Tinga de pollo can be stored in air-tight containers for up to 3 days in the fridge. This makes the dish a wonderful prep meal to make ahead. It also freezes wonderfully for up to 3 months in freeze-proof containers or zip bags.

Watch How To Make It

PRO TIP: Make delicious and healthy blue corn tortillas to serve with your ‘tinga de pollo’, it brings this dish to the next level!

Tinga de pollo recipe.

Tinga de pollo

Tinga de pollo (chicken tinga) is a delicious and budget-friendly recipe that features shredded chicken simmered in a delicious tomato sauce.
PREP 20 minutes
COOK 1 hour
TOTAL 1 hour 15 minutes
Print Pin Rate
Servings: 4
Author: Maricruz

Ingredients 

For cooking the chicken

  • 2 medium chicken breasts
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 leek (cut into pieces)
  • 1 garlic clove (skin on)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt

For the sauce

  • 1 lb ripe tomatoes
  • 2-3 guajillo chilies
  • 1 garlic clove (peeled)
  • 1 tsp powered mixed spices (cumin, thyme, oregano)
  • 2 chipotle chilies in adobo (or more, to taste)

For tinga

  • 2 medium white onion (sliced)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Instructions

Prep the chicken

  • Place chicken, onion, carrots, leek, garlic, bay leaf and salt in a cooking pot. Cover the ingredients with water and boil until the meat is cooked through.
  • Place cooked chicken in a bowl and shredded it with two forks while is still hot.
  • Strain chicken stock and set aside.

Make the chipotle sauce.

  • In a pot place tomatoes and guajillo chilies. Add water and boil over medium heat until tomatoes are cooked through (about 10 minutes).
  • Allow tomatoes to slightly cool down, then place them in a blender with guajillo chilies, garlic, the spices mix, and chipotle chilies.
  • Pour in a cup of chicken stock, then blend until you’ll have a smooth sauce. Set aside.

Make the tinga

  • Heat the oil in a large cooking pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring constantly, until slightly soft and transparent (about 5 minutes).
  • Add shredded chicken and mix well.
  • Pour over the chipotle sauce, then add a cup of chicken stock. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix well and allow chicken tinga to cook for about 20 minutes while stirring from time to time until onions are cooked through and there’s almost not liquids in the pan.

NOTES

  • To cook the meat for chicken tinga, you can use whatever cooking method is convenient for you, from instant/pressure pot, slow cooker pot, or a traditional stove. Just make sure the ingredients have enough liquid to be covered all the time.
  • You can also use a rotisserie chicken for this recipe, or what about Thanksgiving turkey leftovers? Those are perfect too!
  • Don’t slice onions too thin because they will disintegrate when cooking with the sauce.
  • You can find canned chipotles en adobo chilies in Amazon and Mexican grocery stores. Otherwise, use 1 tablespoon of smoky paprika instead.
  • Adjust spiciness to your liking by adding more/less chipotle chilies.
Nutrition
Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 250mg | Potassium: 912mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 4279IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2mg
Don’t miss any recipe.Subscribe for free to our Newsletter!

DID YOU ENJOY THIS TINGA DE POLLO RECIPE? Please, don’t forget to rate it and leave us a comment below, we’d love to hear from you! Also, remember that you can share it using the buttons below. Follow us on PINTERESTINSTAGRAMFACEBOOK and YOUTUBE!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating