I’m sharing the best-ever Chicken Tinga recipe – a mouthwatering Mexican dish packed with savory flavors and a hint of smokiness. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or new to the culinary scene, this recipe is guaranteed to hit and will have your everyone asking for seconds. So, let’s dive right in and discover why this Chicken Tinga is simply the best!
Street tacos are some of the most popular Mexican food around. Being born and raised in Texas has allowed me to be privy to some of the BEST Mexican food, especially tacos! So this recipe is tried and true, and super popular amongst friends and family.
Why this is the Best Chicken Tinga Recipe:
This Chicken Tinga recipe stands out for several reasons. First and foremost, it boasts a harmonious blend of traditional Mexican spices and succulent shredded chicken, creating an explosion of flavors in every bite.
it is also,Versatile – perfect for serving in tacos, burritos, tostadas, or even alongside rice.
Plus, it’s simple to prepare, making it an excellent choice for busy weeknights or weekend gatherings.
What is chicken Tinga?
Also known as “Tinga de Pollo,” this is a popular and flavorful Mexican dish made with shredded chicken cooked in a smoky and spicy tomato-based sauce. The sauce gets its distinctive taste from chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, which impart a smoky, slightly sweet, and moderately spicy flavor to the dish. The shredded chicken is simmered in the tinga sauce until it absorbs all the delicious flavors, resulting in tender and succulent meat.
Chicken Tinga is a versatile dish and can be served in various ways. It is commonly used as a filling for tacos, burritos, tostadas, or tortas (Mexican sandwiches). The tangy and savory tinga sauce, combined with the tender chicken, creates a mouthwatering combination that appeals to a wide range of palates. Whether enjoyed at a festive gathering or a casual weeknight dinner, Chicken Tinga is a beloved favorite that showcases the rich and vibrant flavors of Mexican cuisine.
Ingredients You Need for chicken Tinga
- Boneless, Skinless Chicken breast or thighs: The star of the dish, chicken thighs provide a rich and tender texture, absorbing all the delightful seasonings.
- Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce: These fiery wonders infuse the dish with smokiness and a touch of heat that’s just right.
- Diced Tomatoes: Adds a burst of freshness and balances the spiciness of the chipotle peppers.
- White Onion and Garlic: The foundation of flavor, providing a savory base to the tinga sauce.
- Chicken Broth: Keeps the chicken moist while simmering and enhances the overall taste.
- Seasonings and spices: you have to use some Bayou City All Purpose Seasoning and Bayou City Garlic Pepper for this recipe! In addition to that, you will need ground cumin and dried oregano: Traditional Mexican spices that elevate the tinga’s authentic taste.
- Bay Leaves: Imparts a subtle fragrance to the dish, enhancing the complexity of flavors.
- Vegetable Oil: Used for sautéing the onion and garlic, adding a hint of richness.
- Tortillas: for this recipe we used flour tortillas. You can definitely substitute corn tortillas instead, and follow the same exact instructions.
How To Make chicken Tinga
To a food processor add in the tomatoes, chipotles peppers, and the reserved onion and garlic from the chicken stock and blend
Slowly add reserved chicken stock until you get a thin but slight Chucky tomato sauce (this is preference, you can add more or less chicken stock for your desired consistency)
Set the sauce aside
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute
Pour in all of your tomato sauce and seasonings into the mixture and let cook for about 3 minutes
Add the shredded chicken to the skillet and mix it with the tinga sauce. Let it simmer together for another 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend.
Taste and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed.
How to Make Chicken Tacos
- Warm the Tortillas: If you’re using store-bought tortillas, you can heat them up on a dry skillet or griddle over medium heat. Cook each tortilla for about 30 seconds on each side until they become pliable and slightly toasted. Alternatively, you can wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave them for about 30 seconds until warm and soft.
- Prepare the Chicken Tinga: Follow the Chicken Tinga recipe as mentioned earlier until the chicken is fully cooked, shredded, and simmered in the tinga sauce.
- Assemble the Tacos: Take a warmed tortilla and spoon a generous amount of the prepared Chicken Tinga onto the center of the tortilla.
- Add Toppings: Now, it’s time to add your favorite toppings to enhance the flavor and texture of the tacos. You can choose from the optional toppings mentioned earlier or get creative with your own preferences.
The Best Toppings for Tacos
Some of our favorite toppings for these tacos are:
- Diced onions: white onions or red onions are great
- Fresh Cilantro
- Pico de gallo
- Sour cream
- Sliced radish
Top them with your favorite salsa verde or salsa roja for an extra kick! Add a side of guacamole or sliced avocados for more delicious flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Carnitas Recipe
Can I freeze Chicken Tinga for later use?
Yes, you can freeze Chicken Tinga for later use. After cooking and shredding the chicken, allow it to cool completely. Store it in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag for up to 3 months. When reheating, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and gently warm it in a skillet or microwave.
Is Chicken Tinga spicy?
The level of spiciness in Chicken Tinga can be adjusted based on the amount of chipotle peppers used. If you prefer a milder version, use fewer chipotle peppers or remove the seeds before adding them to the sauce. If you enjoy spicier flavors, add more chipotle peppers or add some of the adobo sauce to intensify the heat.
What are some serving suggestions for Chicken Tinga?
Chicken Tinga is very versatile. Perfect for burritos, tostadas, tortas (Mexican sandwiches), or even served alongside rice or on a bed of lettuce for a low-carb option. The tinga sauce also pairs well with other proteins like pork or tofu for a vegetarian version.
- 1 lb shredded chicken breast cooked (below)
- 3-4 tomatoes quartered
- 2-3 chipotle peppers in adobo
- 1 medium white onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1 tbsp Bayou City All Purpose Seasoning
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 baby leaves
- 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Red Onion
- sour cream
- 1 lb chicken breast boneless and skinless
- 1/2 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 tsp chicken bouillon base
- 3 cups water enough to cover chicken
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a pot add chicken, half an onion, bay leaves, garlic cloves, and seasoning
- Cover with water and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium
- Let simmer until chicken is tender enough to pull apart
- strain chicken and vegetables and let cool. Be sure to reserve the stock and the veggies (we will use this to make the tinga sauce) you can discard the bay leaves
- once chicken has cooled shredd and set aside
- to a food processor add in the tomatoes, chipotles peppers, and the reserved onion and garlic from the chicken stock and blend
- slowly add reserved chicken stock until you get a thin but slight Chucky tomato sauce (this is preference, you can add more or less chicken stock for your desired consistency)
- set the sauce aside
- In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the grapeseed oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and sauté until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute
- pour in all of your tomato sauce and seasonings into the mixture and let cook for about 3 minutes
- Add the shredded chicken to the skillet and mix it with the tinga sauce. Let it simmer together for another 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend.
- Taste the Chicken Tinga and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed.