Pati Jinich's chicken tinga

In Pati's Mexican Table, Pati Jinich treats readers to authentic, home-style Mexican recipes like this easy and delicious dish.

Shredded cooked chicken (rotisserie chicken works beautifully) is sauced with a combination of tomato, onion, garlic, chipotles in adobo sauce, spices, and tomatillos, all easy ingredients to keep on hand. I usually make a double batch and serve half of it one night with a side of Red Rice and Refried Beans, or with Blissful Corn Torte and a salad. Then I have the rest to repurpose over the next few days as a delicious filling for tasty tingadillas, tortas, or a topping for tostadas.

Chicken Tinga

Serves 6
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 8 ripe Roma (plum) tomatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • 2–3 tomatillos (about 4 ounces), husks removed, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce (optional), plus 2 tablespoons adobo sauce, or to taste
  • 5 cups shredded cooked chicken or rotisserie chicken
  • 1½ cups canned chicken or vegetable broth


Place the tomatoes and tomatillos in a medium saucepan, cover with water, bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes and tomatillos are soft and mushy but not falling apart. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a blender or food processor. Cool slightly, then blend until

Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft and translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until it is fragrant and lightly browned, about 1 minute. Carefully pour the tomato-tomatillo puree into the skillet; it will steam and bubble. Stir in the oregano, marjoram, thyme, salt, and pepper. Add the chipotle chile (if using) and adobo sauce, partially cover the skillet (the sauce will spatter), and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce deepens in color, becomes a darker and earthier red, and is no longer soupy, 10 to 12 minutes; add more adobo sauce and chiles near the end if you want more heat.

Can be made up to 3 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

Recipe courtesy of Pati’s Mexican Table, Pati Jinich, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

Photo credit: Penny De Los Santos