the life and times of J T Frey

Chicken Tinga

At the Brandywine Arts Festival this year a local caterer was selling tacos. They had various meats and a bar of self-serve condiments. For one of my tacos I chose the chicken tinga, something I'd never heard of before. Adorned with chopped cilantro, pico de gallo, and their house red salsa, it was absolutely delicious. Recipes I've found online seem to call for a base of chipotles in adobo sauce, which is usually just too spicy. The amount of garlic seemed over the top, too. This is a somewhat more tame recipe I developed to turn some leftover roasted chicken into another meal.


  • 1 poblano pepper, fine dice
  • ½ red onion, fine dice
  • 2 plum tomatoes, small dice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp chipotle hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp chicken base
  • water
  • 4 cups pulled chicken meat (1 large chicken breast or equivalent amount of leftover roasted chicken meat)
  • salt and pepper

If the chicken has not been cooked already, season with salt and pepper and roast the chicken breast until done. When cooled, use your hands to pull into small flat pieces.

  1. Place a large saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil, poblano, and onion and cook until translucent and softened, about 5 minutes. Stir often.
  2. Add the tomato and hot sauce, then cook another 5 minutes, stirring occassionally.
  3. Make an open space in the center of the pan and add the chicken base. Allow it to "melt" and then stir to mix. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occassionally.
  4. Add the chicken and 1 cup of water. Stir and allow the mixture to simmer until most of the water is gone.
  5. Add another 1 cup of water, then simmer until almost gone. Repeat this at least 2 times but as many as 5.
  6. Using a spatula, press on the pieces of chicken. They should just begin to fall apart to shreds. When done, mix well to distribute all components. Serve immediately or cool and refrigerate for a day.

Written by Jeff Frey on Sunday September 17, 2017
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