Fast, easy, delicious. When I was asked to share a simple family dinner recipe, I immediately thought of Chicken Tinga. Tinga de pollo is a Mexican dish that came about after the Spanish conquest. The kitchens of the many religious convents in Puebla, Mexico (near Mexico City) began to mix new ingredients (chicken, onion, olive oil) with the traditional and indigenous foods (like corn, beans, tomato, and chiles) to create a new fusion of what now constitutes Mexican food (see all of my Mexican recipes here!). Because of this, Puebla was considered the “Centro Culinario del País” (Culinary Capital of Mexico).
This version is so easy, it literally only takes minutes of preparation. The best part is that you can make it in large quantities, in case you’d like to invite a crowd! This would work for an International Night or Pot-luck, or if a Spanish class wanted to make an authentic lunch; it’s also perfect for a Mexican-themed party for a lot of people… or if you’re just shuttling kids to and from soccer and have a family that is hungry for healthy food at dinner:).
Ingredients for Tinga:
chicken breasts (however many you need, I did 5 large breasts with rib meat)
chipotle chiles (from a can- they come in a sauce)
In the morning (or the night before), puree the tomatoes, onions, garlic, and chiles with a little salt and oregano (optional).
Next, place the chicken with the sauce on top in the crock pot (slow cooker) for either 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low, or until the chicken is very easy to shred. If you’re going to work all day, put it on low and it’ll be ready when you come home!
Serving the Tinga
Tinga is eaten in warmed up corn tortillas, on tostadas, in sopes, in gorditas, etc. My kids love to eat it with totopos (tortillas chips)! Warm up a can of black, refried beans, or just puree some cooked (or canned) black beans in the blender and then heat them up. Slather on some beans, sprinkle on some chicken tinga, and then add lettuce and/or avocados on top!
If you’re not sure if your kids can do spicy, use only 1 chipotle chile, and remove the seeds before pureeing. We used 2 chiles with the seeds, and I could barely, barely taste the chile (but everyone has a different tolerance:). Put the other chiles from the can into baggies (I put 3 in each baggie) and freeze to use in future meals.
Check out these other easy family dinners: