This is one of my favorite recipes to make, with the added bonus that it is very easy. The recipe for the chicken tinga comes from one of my best friend’s moms, who is Mexican. Since it is a family recipe, none of the measurements were ever truly written down. The recipe is made to taste, so while this is my best attempt at writing it down, you will want to taste as you go and edit as you like!
- 1lb chicken breast, cut into large strips
- 1 8oz can tomato sauce, ideally no salt added
- 1 can adobo (chipotle) peppers
- 1/2 large white onion, sliced
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1 head of lettuce, shredded
- 1 package corn tostada shells
- 1 cube, packet or spoonful chicken bouillon powder
- Sour cream and hot sauce (ideally Valentina or Cholula), optional
Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Add your onion, 3 cloves garlic and chicken strips to the water (make sure they are not too small, you are only cutting them so that it cooks slightly faster). Boil until the chicken is cooked all the way through (around 10-12 minutes, cut a piece to test). Remove chicken from water and set aside to cool. Save the boiled water for your sauce.
While the chicken cools, make your sauce. In a blender, combine tomato sauce, one adobo pepper, chicken bouillon. Fill half the tomato sauce can with your reserved boiled water and add to your sauce. Blend until smooth. Taste. This is where the recipe gets a little tough. Personally, I usually add another adobo pepper (I love spicy!!), a lot of salt and/or more chicken bouillon. This is really to your taste, so you will just want to add things slowly to the sauce until it tastes perfect to you! Set sauce aside.
Now you will need to shred your chicken. I was taught to do this by hand, which is why the chicken needs to cool and why you want the chicken in strips so that when you peel it into shreds, they are long. Once your chicken is all shredded, combine it with your sauce. Everything will be too cold to serve at this point, so heat it for a few minutes back on the stove.
To make your tostadas: layer chicken, lettuce, sour cream and hot sauce on your tostada shell. You can also go a little outside the original family recipe (like I did in the photo) and add a layer of beans below the chicken. I used canned refried black beans heated with some fresh squeezed lime.