Chicken Tinga

Happy Cinco De Mayo! Yes, I understand that this post is entirely too late, and that it would be good to have access to this recipe BEFORE the actual holiday… I’m still trying to figure this whole thing out, so thank you for your patience.

That being said, this recipe is great 365 days of the year, so don’t just earmark this for next year. The fact that the chicken is poached in broth, then stewed in the tomato and pepper sauce makes it so tender without crazy braise times. The flavor from the peppers and adobo sauce comes through great, since the rest of the recipe is so simple.

Instructional video:

Ingredient amounts and written recipe here:


Chicken Tinga

Servings 12 tacos


For the chicken

  • 3 lb chicken legs Thighs or drumsticks will also work
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 C Chicken broth
  • 1 Large onion, halved
  • 4 Garlic cloves whole, peeled
  • 1 Bay leaf Optional

For the sauce

  • 1 28 oz can Whole peeled tomatoes
  • 4 Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce Add more peppers for desired heat. Add all sauce from the can.
  • 1 Tbsp Mexican oregano


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Large onion Sliced


  • Add chicken, salt, broth, onion, garlic, and bay leaf to pot and bring to a simmer
  • Simmer for 45-90 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked through and tender.
  • Remove chicken from broth. Set broth aside.
  • To a blender add tomatoes (without excess sauce/ water from the can), chipotles, adobo sauce, onion and garlic from the broth, and 1/2 cup broth to a blender. Blend until smooth. (more broth can be added if a thinner sauce is desired).
  • Remove chicken from bone and shred into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add sliced onion and saute until softened – about 5 minutes.
  • Add sauce and stir to combine.
  • Add shredded chicken and stir to combine.
  • Simmer for at least 8 minutes, up to another hour. Remove from heat, serve immediately.

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