Chicken Tinga

Tinga de Pollo con Chipotle


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • 10 to 12


Appears in

Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor

Muy Bueno

By Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack

Published 2013

  • About

Next time you’re entertaining and want to keep your menu simple try chicken tinga. My sweet friend Cesi introduced me to her treasured family recipe. With a few tweaks this recipe delivers a wonderful authentic Mexican flavor, the number one criterion in our familia. I love setting up a tostada bar, where I provide a table filled with freshly made or store-bought tostadas, chicken tinga, and lots of toppings, and then I let my guests create their own magic.


  • 6 cups water
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1 whole clove garlic
  • 1 medium yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 large vine-ripened tomato, quartered
  • 1 (7-ounce) can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 large vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 12 corn tortillas or packaged flat tostada shells
  • Oil for cooking tostadas

Toppings (Optional)

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
  • 3 avocados, pitted, peeled, and sliced
  • 2 cups queso fresco or Cotija cheese, crumbled
  • 2 cups crema Mexicana or sour cream
  • 2 cups salsa of your choice
  • 6 radishes, sliced


In a large stockpot, over medium to high heat, add water, chicken, 2 teaspoons salt, whole clove garlic, and quartered onion. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken, garlic, and onion from the broth and allow to cool. When the chicken is cool, shred it. Reserve chicken and broth.

In a blender, put the boiled onion and garlic clove, the quartered tomato, chipotle peppers including adobo sauce, 2 teaspoons salt, and enough chicken broth to fill the blender half way. Puree until smooth.

Heat the oil in a large and deep pan over medium heat. Once it is hot but not smoking, stir in the chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and chopped garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes.

Add the shredded chicken, the chipotle sauce from the blender, and more chicken broth if it is too dry. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Prepare Tostadas

In a heavy skillet heat one-quarter inch of oil. Drop tortillas carefully into hot oil, one at a time, and fry for 20 to 40 seconds on each side or until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towels.


To assemble, place a tostada (fried tortilla) on a serving plate; spoon on some Chicken Tinga, lettuce (optional), 1 or 2 slices of ripe avocado, crumbled queso fresco, and top with crema Mexicana or sour cream. Garnish tostada with other toppings of your choice.


This recipe can also be used as a filling for flautas, gorditas, and tacos.