Mexican Chicken Tinga Recipe

A shredded chicken filling for tacos or tostadas from Pati Jinich. "Cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken works beautifully) is sauced with a combination of tomatoes, tomatillos, onion, garlic, herbs and chipotles in adobo sauce — all ingredients that are easy to have on hand. I usually make a double batch and serve half of it one night with a side of Mexican red rice, refried beans and salad. Then I have the other half left over the next few days to repurpose as a delicious filling for tinga-dillas or tostadas."


8 ripe Roma tomatoes (about 2 lb.)
2-3 tomatillos (about 1/4 lb.), husks removed, rinsed
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup chopped white onion
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried marjoram
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1-1/2 tsp kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 chipotle chili in adobo, chopped (optional)
2 tbsp adobe sauce (from chipotle chilies)
5 cups cooked shredded poached chicken or rotisserie chicken
1-1/2 cups chicken broth


Step 1: Place the tomatoes and tomatillos in a medium saucepan and cover with water.* Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until they are mushy but not falling apart and their colour dulls. Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a blender or food processor. Cool slightly and then process until smooth.

Step 2: Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant and begins to lightly brown, less than a minute.

Step 3: Carefully pour the puréed tomato-tomatillo mixture into the skillet. It will steam and bubble; that’s okay! Stir in the oregano, marjoram, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the chipotle, if using, and the adobo sauce. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce deepens in colour, becoming a darker and earthier red, and is no longer soupy, 10-12 minutes. You may want to partially cover the skillet, since the sauce will spatter.

Step 4: Add the chicken and the broth to the sauce and toss over the heat until it’s well mixed. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken has absorbed most of the sauce and is moist but not runny, 6-8 minutes more. Serve hot. Can be stored, covered and refrigerated, for up to a week.

*Don’t bother peeling or coring the tomatoes and tomatillos. Simply drop them whole into the pot to cook in simmering water, then transfer them to the blender.

See more recipes from Pati Jinich.

Reprinted with permission from Pati Jinich’s Pati’s Mexican Table (2013 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).