Enrique Olvera, the chef behind Pujol in Mexico City and Cosme and Atla in NYC, is releasing a new cookbook Tu Casa Mi Casa: Mexican Recipes for the Home Cook (Phaidon Press) this month, which includes this chicken tinga recipe. Enrique says it’s one of the first recipes most Mexicans cook once they live on their own, and it’s super versatile too as you can serve it as a soupy stew over white rice or tortillas, or you can cook it down more to use as a topping for a tostada. We’ve made it and it really is very easy. The hardest thing for us was finding the chipotle chiles, so we had to use a chipotle sauce substitute – not as authentic but it still tasted pretty damn good.
What You Need, Serves 2-4
1 lb (455 g) skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 large white onions, 1 halved and 1 sliced
6 garlic cloves, 3 whole and 3 sliced
1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 dried or canned chipotle chiles, chopped to a paste
9 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
What You Do
1. In a medium pot, combine the chicken, onion halves, whole garlic cloves, and 1 tablespoon of the salt. Add water to cover and bring to simmer over medium-high heat. Simmer, uncovered, until the chicken is cooked through, 30–40 minutes, skimming occasionally to remove impurities.
2. Remove the chicken from the broth and let rest until it is cool enough to
handle. Using your hands, pull or shred the chicken and reserve. Strain and reserve the broth as well.
3. In a medium to large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the reserved shredded chicken, the chipotle chiles, tomatoes, and 1 cup (240 ml/8 fl oz) of the chicken broth (reserve the rest for other preparations).
4. Cook until the tomato breaks down and changes to a brick colour, 5–10
minutes. Season to taste with salt. Add some more cooking broth if necessary; it should be a bit soupy.