Chicken tinga (Spanish: tinga de pollo) originally hails from the Mexican state of Puebla. Commonly served over tostadas, it includes shredded chicken and a rich, spicy tomato-chipotle sauce with sliced onions. (Our version also calls from some chorizo.)
We were first inspired to make it after watching an episode of Pati’s Mexican Table on our local PBS station. A few common Mexican condiments—sliced avocado, cilantro, shredded cabbage or matchsticks of jicama for crunch, maybe some cotija cheese—complete the dish.
And perhaps best of all: except for a couple of ‘caution’ ingredients, such as checking the GF status of your chipotles in adobo sauce, it’s pretty much a naturally gluten-free dish!
Chicken Tinga (Tinga de Pollo)
For the shredded chicken
- 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns crushed
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 2 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/2 medium onion sliced
- 2 cups GF chicken stock
For the tinga
- 5 oz pork chorizo
- 1/2 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes
- 3 medium tomatillos husked, rinsed, and diced
- 1 chipotle in adobo sauce finely diced
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1 cinnamon stick
To make the pulled chicken
- Place the chicken, peppercorns, salt, garlic, and onion in a saucepan. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Then cover, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 45 minutes until the chicken is tender.
- Remove the chicken from the liquid and set aside to cool. Add the cooking liquid to a blender and puree until smooth. Reserve for later use. When the chicken is cool, shred with two forks.
To make the tinga
- Heat a large 12-inch sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat.
- Cook the chorizo until fully cooked and a little crispy, about 10 minutes.
- Add the onions and garlic and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients along with the shredded chicken and 1 cup of the reserved cooking liquid. Then turn the heat down to a simmer and reduce until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 15–20 minutes. (Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.)
To finish the tacos
- Serve with crispy tostadas or soft corn tortillas and your favorite taco toppings. We recommend avocado slices, fresh cilantro leaves, crispy jicama matchsticks or shredded cabbage, and a squeeze of lime.
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