2 chicken breasts
2 plum tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
5 chipotles in adobo
2 tablespoons adobo sauce
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
dash of cumin (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
freshly cracked black pepper
8-10 corn tortillas
sliced Jack cheese (approx. 1 cup)
For the Black Bean Puree:
1 can black beans
2 garlic cloves
2 chipotles in adobo
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1/2 cup water (or stock)
Give the tomatoes and tomatillos a good rinse. Roast them in a 400F oven for 20-25 minutes. Keep an eye on the tomatillos — if they start to wither you can pull them out and let the tomatoes keep roasting.
If you’re cooking the chicken, add 2 chicken breasts to a saucepan and cover with cold tap water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to let simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. You can optionally add some flavoring to the water — for this batch I added salt, pepper, onion and cilantro. Once cooked, set the chicken breasts aside to cool and then use two forks to shred them.
If you’re making the beans, start by cooking 1/2 onion and 2 garlic cloves in a dollop of oil over medium heat. Once the onion is starting to brown, approximately 5-8 minutes, add 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed), 2 chipotles in adobo, 1 tablespoon adobo sauce, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, freshly cracked black pepper, and 1/2 cup water (or stock). Let simmer for a few minutes until heated through and then add everything to a blender, combining well. Take a final taste for seasoning and heat.
For the Tinga, start by cooking 1/2 onion and 4 whole, peeled garlic cloves in a dollop of oil over medium heat. Cook until the onion is just starting to brown, approx. 5-8 minutes. Add the onion and garlic to a blender along with the roasted tomatoes and tomatillos, and 5 chipotles in adobo. Combine well.
Heat a dollop of oil over medium heat. Add the sauce from the blender along with 2 tablespoons adobo sauce, 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano, a dash of cumin (optional), 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some freshly cracked black pepper. Let simmer for a few minutes.
Add the chicken to the Tinga sauce, combining well. Let simmer until everything is at a uniform temperature. Take a final taste for seasoning — I added another generous pinch of salt to this batch.
Add a layer of the bean puree and cheese to some corn tortillas. Cook in a skillet or comal over medium heat until crispy. Top with Chicken Tinga and serve immediately. Final garnishes can include a squeeze of lime, hot sauce, or pickled onions. Alternatively, you can serve the Tinga on crispy corn tortillas (or tostadas) with avocado bits, raw onion, and Cotija cheese.
Be sure to take a final taste for seasoning as exact salt amount will depend on which chicken you’re using and whether it’s seasoned or not. For this batch I added 1/2 teaspoon of salt directly to the sauce along with a generous final pinch, using chicken that was poached in salted water.
I’m in the habit of cutting out the stems before roasting tomatoes and tomatillos, knowing that any juices leftover in the roasting pan will be added to the blender.
I typically scrape out the seeds of the chipotles.