Chicken Tinga is rich and smoky bursting with tomato, chipotle, adobo, and onion. Throw this in the Instant Pot and enjoy it in no time.
This shredded chicken dish really stands out because of the sauce. The chipotle in adobo lends the smoky zest with just the right amount of heat. Try making your own Adobo Sauce and Chipotle Peppers too.
This tinga recipe is very versatile and you’ll find it makes a great addition to many dishes. See my list below for serving suggestions.
What is Chicken Tinga
Originating in Puebla Mexico, Tinga, in Mexican culinary terms, implies stewing and shredding meat.
It can be made with beef or pork but is most often found prepared with chicken, like the recipe below.
Often prepared for tacos or chalupas, this technique of stewing and shredding meat is popular in Mexican dishes.
What sets this Chicken Tinga dish apart is the smoky chipotle chiles and the adobo marinade for the smoky flavor and the heat.
Ingredients and Equipment
- Chicken – You’ll be adding the raw poultry to the pureed tomato and chipotle mixture in your Instant Pot. I prefer to use half thigh and half breast meat, but you can use whichever you like.
Or in a pinch, you could try using a rotisserie bird and add the meat at the end just until it’s heated through.
- Tomatoes – I love using canned fire-roasted tomatoes. I love the flavor and you can’t beat the convenience.
- Chipotle Peppers with Adobo Sauce – And here is the MVP of our tinga. Whether you make them from scratch or buy them prepared, these chipotles in adobo marinade bring all the smoky spice this dish needs.
- Tomatillos – Another secret ingredient! They are a cousin to the tomato and add some zest and zing to the sauce.
- Garlic, Honey, and Other Seasonings – And we cannot forget these classics. Every savory recipe needs those undertones of flavor. The juxtaposed flavors of garlic and honey balance things out.
- Instant Pot – I use the Instant Pot to make tinga and I love how moist and flavorful the chick comes out. And you just can’t beat pulling dinner together in 30 minutes or less!
- Blender – What more needs to be said? This is vital for getting your stewed mixture smooth and perfect.
How to Make this Mexican Chicken Recipe
- Start with the sauce by pureeing the stock, tomatoes, chipotle and adobo, tomatillos, garlic, honey, and seasonings in the blender until nice and smooth.
- Set your Instant Pot to Saute and add the mixture once it’s at the correct temperature. You’ll cook it for a few minutes before adding the poultry and some sliced onion. You might need to press the poultry down to be sure it’s submerged in the pureed mixture. You want all that saucy goodness to cook into the meat.
- You’ll cook on Manual Pressure for a little bit and once the Instant Pot has released, remove the meat and shred it.
- While you’re shredding, allow the sauce to continue cooking so it will reduce and thicken to the perfect coating consistency.
- Mix the shredded meat back into the pot and you are good to go!
What to Serve with Chicken Tinga
- Serve on corn tortillas heated and charred over an open flame. I love mine topped with cotija cheese, onion, avocado, and cilantro
- This makes a great filling for tacos, burritos, empanadas, and Tlacoyos
- It’s a flavorful topping for tostadas or sopes
- When filling tacos, mash some avocado with a little lemon juice, salt, and a dash of garlic powder. Then spread the mixture on the tortilla before filling.
- You can easily make a double recipe of the sauce and freeze it for future meals
- 4 lbs chicken thighs skinless, boneless (See Note 1)
- 1 large yellow onion sliced
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- 7 oz chipotle peppers with adobo sauce
- 4 tomatillos
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp Mexican oregano
- 1/2 tsp ground clove
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- corn tortillas
- cotija cheese or queso fresco
- diced onion
- cilantro chopped
- Purée in a blender the chicken stock, tomatoes, chipotle and adobo sauce, tomatillos, garlic, honey, salt, oregano and clove until smooth.
- Turn Instant Pot to Sauté setting and add oil to pot. When hot add the tinga sauce and cook for 5 minutes. Add the chicken and sliced onion. Press chicken and onion down to submerge and cover with sauce.
- Close lid and seal. Press Manual Pressure and set time to 12 minutes. Allow 5 minutes to natural release.
- Open lid and shred chicken. If too thin of a sauce, turn to Sauté and cook to reduce and thicken. Add chicken back into toss and coat.
- Serve with corn tortillas heated and charred over open flame or warmed along with cotija cheese, onion, avocado and cilantro.
- I often times use 2 lbs thigh meat and 2 lbs chicken breast, optional.
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.