Perfect Chicken Tinga makes the most juicy, chipotle sauce smothered chicken for the best tacos! An easy recipe that can be made on the stove top or instant pot!
If you haven’t ever had Chicken Tinga, you’re in for a treat! If you have, you already know how amazing it is, and guess what? It’s impossibly easy to make at home! I had to do some research and asking around on this one. There is a local taco shop in our town that has the most amazing chicken tinga and I was determined to recreate it for you guys! So, if you aren’t familiar, this chicken is smoky, spicy, saucy, and just a major flavor burst in your mouth! If you love our (as authentic as possible) Machaca Recipe, you’re gonna love this too!
Chicken Tinga Ingredients:
- We always use chicken breasts, you’ll want two large about 1 1/2 pounds. You can also use the same amount of boneless skinless chicken thighs if you wish.
- Seasoning! The most important part. We season our chicken with a mixture of chili powder, smoked paprika, oregano, cinnamon, and of course S&P.
- The SAUCE. The amazing, smoky, spicy, sauce. All you need is one can of chipotle chilis in adobo, one can fire roasted tomato, some onion, and garlic. Whir it all together in a blender or your food processor until smooth.
- That’s it! This recipe comes together fast!
Chicken Tinga Recipe Notes:
- As much as we love this chicken, it’s only right to let you guys know that it is a spicy dish! I’m kind of a wimp when it comes to spicy, and I still love it. I like to always serve it up with some sour cream to cool things down just a tad.
- Serve this chicken up in any of your favorite tortillas, over chips if you want to make a batch of Nachos, or in flour tortillas if you’re a burrito lover! It’s good with black beans, refried beans, and Spanish Rice.
- I recommend serving this with lime wedges if you can. A squeeze of lime over the chicken takes it to the next level!
- You can freeze this chicken! Cook as directed, shred the meat, and allow to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating on the stove top.
- If you aren’t familiar with chipotle chilis in adobo, you should be able to find them at any grocery store along with either the canned tomatoes, or in the Mexican food aisle of your store.
Perfect Chicken Tinga
- 2 Chipotle Chilis in Adobo, *From a Can
- 1 14.5 Ounce Can Fire Roasted Tomatoes
- 1 Medium Onion Cut into quarters
- 3 Cloves Garlic
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 1/2 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast
- 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Oregano
- 1 teaspoon Smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
- 1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
OPTIONAL FOR SERVING: Tortillas, Chips, Sour Cream, Lettuce, Limes, Avocado, Cheese.
STOVE TOP METHOD:
- Add the chipotle chilis, fire roasted tomatoes, onion, and garlic to the canister of a blender or food processor. Pulse for 1 minute, until smooth, set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat.
- Lay the chicken breasts out on a cutting board and season evenly with the chili powder, oregano, smoked paprika, salt, cinnamon, and pepper.
- Place the chicken in the pot and sear for 3-4 minutes per side, until golden.
- Remove the chicken from the pot. Pour 1/4 Cup of the broth into the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits.
- Pour in the remaining broth, and the chili sauce from the blender.
- Return the chicken to the pan and simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
- Shred the chicken in the pot and swirl around in the sauce to coat.
- Serve immediately. Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
INSTANT POT METHOD:
- Prepare the sauce in the blender as listed above, set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in the instant pot on saute mode.
- Season the chicken evenly on both sides with the chili powder, oregano, smoked paprika, salt, cinnamon, and pepper.
- Place the chicken in the hot oil and sear for 3-4 minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken from the instant pot. Pour about 1/4 cup of the broth into the pot and deglaze with a wooden spoon.
- Turn the pot off. Pour in the rest of the chicken broth, the sauce from the blender, and return the chicken to pot.
- Place the lid on the pot and set the valve to sealing. Cook on manual (pressure cook) (high) for 8 minutes. Once the cooking time is up, allow the pot to come to pressure naturally for 10 minutes. Then, do a quick pressure release.
- Shred the chicken and stir to coat in the sauce.
- Serve immediately.