Irresistible One-Pot Chicken Tinga: A Smoky Mexican Delight

Quick & Simple One-Pot Chicken Tinga Recipe - Traditional Mexican Shredded Chicken Stew

Chicken tinga, a traditional Mexican dish, is a mouthwatering combination of tender shredded chicken simmered in a zesty tomato-chipotle sauce. This easy-to-make version brings authentic flavors to your kitchen without the need for hard-to-find ingredients. Perfect for busy weeknights or casual gatherings, this versatile dish will quickly become a family favorite.

Our recipe takes inspiration from renowned chefs like Rick Bayless and Alex Stupak, but simplifies the process for home cooks. By using bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts and a blend of tomatoes and tomatillos, we achieve a depth of flavor that will transport you straight to the streets of Mexico.

The secret to this dish’s irresistible taste lies in the perfect balance of smoky chipotle peppers, tangy cider vinegar, and aromatic spices. Each bite offers a harmonious blend of heat, acidity, and savory goodness that will keep you coming back for more.


  • 2 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds; 550g)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) lard or vegetable oil
  • 6 ounces tomatillos, peeled (170g; about 2 medium)
  • 6 ounces ripe plum tomatoes (170g; about 2 medium)
  • 4 medium garlic cloves
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (preferably Mexican)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) cider vinegar
  • 2 cups (475ml) homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock (or water)
  • 2 to 3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, plus 1 tablespoon (15ml) sauce from can
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) Asian fish sauce


  1. Season chicken generously with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over high heat until shimmering. Add chicken skin-side-down and cook, without moving, until well-browned, 6 to 8 minutes. (Lower heat if pot is smoking excessively or chicken starts to burn). Flip chicken and cook on second side for 2 minutes. Transfer to a large plate and immediately add tomatillos, tomatoes, and garlic to pot. Cook, flipping occasionally, until blistered and browned in spots, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add oregano and bay leaves and cook, stirring, until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add vinegar and stock. Return chicken to pot, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a bare simmer. Cover pot and cook, turning chicken occasionally, until chicken registers 145°F (63°C) when an instant-read thermometer is inserted into the center of thickest part, 20 to 30 minutes. Transfer chicken to a bowl and set aside. Continue cooking sauce at a hard simmer, stirring, until reduced to about half its original volume, about 5 minutes longer.
  3. Add chipotle chiles and adobo, remove and discard bay leaves, and blend sauce using an immersion blender or by transferring to a countertop blender. Sauce should be relatively smooth, with a few small chunks. When chicken is cool enough to handle, discard skin and bones and finely shred meat. Return it to the sauce. Add fish sauce and stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until sauce thickens and coats chicken. It should be very moist but not soupy. Season to taste with salt and pepper (if necessary).


Chicken tinga can be served in tacos; stuffed into enchiladas or burritos; on top of nachos, tostadas, and sopes; or on its own.

Serving Suggestions

  • Smoky Chicken Tinga Tacos
  • Chicken Green Chile Tacos
  • Mexican Roadside Chicken with Green Onions
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
382 Calories
18g Fat
9g Carbs
44g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 382
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 116mg 39%
Sodium 1115mg 48%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 44g
Vitamin C 15mg 77%
Calcium 65mg 5%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 742mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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