Shredded Chicken Tinga Recipe

It doesn't have to be a special occasion to enjoy this delicious shredded chicken tinga. Recipe developer Stephanie Rapone re-invented this mouth-watering recipe, inspired by the traditional Mexican dish, tinga de pollo. It's usually served with tostadas, but would also be delish inside tacos, burritos, and more. "The sauce is rich, and has the flavor of the chicken all through it with a smoky cooked-all-day richness," she says. 

Rapone also shares her favorite part of this classic Mexican recipe — "I love how rich the sauce is, and it tastes like it simmered all day, even though it was less than an hour. This is a great weeknight meal for us. It's fast enough, and the leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day." We love a low-stress meal with tons of leftovers, perfect for stressful weeknights. 

Keep reading to find out how to make this wonderful shredded chicken tinga in no time.

Gather the ingredients for this shredded chicken tinga

This recipe requires a handful of ingredients, including boneless skinless chicken thighs, kosher salt, canola oil, onion, garlic, chipotle powder, chicken broth, tomato sauce, and Mexican oregano. There are a few optional ingredients for topping, such as cilantro, lime wedges, chopped onion, and sour cream or Mexican crema

Cook the chicken thighs

First, use a knife or scissors to trim any excess fat off the chicken thighs, and season all over with kosher salt. "Chicken thighs are good if they cook a little extra, where breasts will get tough really quickly," Rapone notes. "I prefer the thighs, [since they] are just more forgiving and stay tender and juicy."

Heat the canola oil in a skillet on medium-high, and once hot, add the seasoned chicken thighs. Brown for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, then remove the chicken, and set aside.

Cook the onion and garlic

Reducing the heat to medium, cook the chopped onion for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes to prevent it from burning. Add the minced garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring frequently. 

Next, add the chipotle powder, and stir for another 30 seconds. "For this recipe, the chipotle powder, [as opposed to] canned chipotles, could be considered a secret ingredient," Rapone shares. "I find it provides more smokiness, and more of that cooked-all-day flavor."

Simmer the cooked chicken and sauce

Add the chicken broth to the mixture, scraping any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and mix in the tomato sauce and Mexican oregano, along with the cooked chicken and any juices.

Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring on occasion and flipping the chicken halfway through. While the mixture simmers, preheat the oven to 350 F. 

After 20 minutes, remove the chicken from the pan, and transfer it to a baking dish or bowl. Leave the sauce in the pan to reduce for 10 minutes. 

Shred the chicken, and serve with tostadas

While the sauce reduces, heat the tostadas in the oven for 7 minutes, until crispy. Shred the chicken, and stir it back into the reduced sauce.

Add the chicken tinga onto the crisp tostada, and add toppings like chopped cilantro, lime wedges, chopped onion, sour cream, or Mexican crema, if desired. "We also love fire-roasted corn, avocado, and sour cream on top," Rapone notes. "Leftovers will keep up to 1 week in an air-tight container in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer," she shares. 

Shredded Chicken Tinga Recipe
5 from 21 ratings
This shredded chicken tinga recipe is not only packed with flavor, but it is also easy to make with plenty of leftovers to spare.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
50
minutes
Servings
6
servings
shredded chicken tinga on plate
Total time: 60 minutes
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, mined
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 14 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 6 tostadas, for serving
Optional Ingredients
  • chopped cilantro
  • lime wedges
  • chopped onion
  • sour cream or Mexican crema
Directions
  1. Trim the excess fat from the chicken thighs, and season with kosher salt. Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high, and add the chicken thighs. Brown for 3 to 5 minutes on each side, and remove from pan once cooked.
  2. Reducing the heat to medium, add the onion, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes. Once the onion is translucent, add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds, stirring consistently. Add the chipotle powder, and stir for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the chicken broth, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then mix in the tomato sauce, Mexican oregano, and cooked chicken and juices.
  4. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered for 20 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through. While simmering, preheat the oven to 350 F.
  5. After 20 minutes, transfer the chicken into to a baking dish or bowl, and let the sauce reduce for 10 minutes.
  6. While the sauce reduces, crisp the tostadas in the oven for 7 minutes. Shred the chicken, and mix it back into the reduced sauce. Serve the chicken tinga on tostadas, and with optional toppings.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 469
Total Fat 19.3 g
Saturated Fat 7.4 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 173.6 mg
Total Carbohydrates 33.9 g
Dietary Fiber 1.9 g
Total Sugars 3.6 g
Sodium 1,096.3 mg
Protein 41.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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