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Chicken Tinga (Tinga Poblana de Pollo)

4 Servings

1 hour 10 minutes 40 minutes active

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Tinga poblana de pollo is a stewy dish of shredded chicken in a light, fresh tomato sauce that’s spicy and smoky with chipotle chilies. It’s an excellent filling for tacos or topping for tostadas. For our version of chicken tinga, based on the recipe we learned in Mexico, we poach chicken breasts, shred the meat into bite-size pieces, then add the chicken to the tomato-chipotle sauce that has been simmered separately. Mexican oregano, which has notes of citrus and earth, is more closely related to verbena than to Mediterranean oregano, which is in the mint family. Many supermarkets sell Mexican oregano; if it’s not shelved with the jarred herbs and spice, check the international aisle or where dried Mexican chilies are sold. If you can’t find it, substitute an equal amount of dried marjoram.




Don’t allow the chicken breasts to boil in the poaching liquid, and make sure to remove them promptly when cooked through. White meat is lean and delicate and becomes dry and tough if boiled vigorously or cooked past 160°F.

1 hour 10 minutes

40 minutes active


  • pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts

  • 1

    large white onion, halved and thinly sliced, divided


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Guy O.
May 6, 2024
Chicken Tinga
This dish was quite easy to prepare. My wife and I enjoyed the flavors and have put this on our keeper list!!!
Gail K.
May 30, 2023
Even the 2- and 4-Year-Olds Like It
Easy to make, produces succulent white chicken meat (family preference, I prefer dark) but this way of cooking chicken breast is delicious. Do have to scrape the Chipotle sauce off the Littles’ chicken.
February 24, 2023
Easy, filling, and very tasty
My family loves tacos, but I wanted something a little different. Served this on tostadas and everyone wanted more!
Scott H.
February 1, 2023
Where is the poblano?
Curious as to why there is poblano in the title but not the recipe?
Beverly M.
January 9, 2023
Love this
Everyone I have served this to loves it. We make our own tortillas layer them with the tinga and top it all with crema (or sour cream with a bit of added salt). It’s a crowd favorite!
Kristen P.

I wonder how this would be with boneless, skinless chicken thighs?

Jonathan K.

I used bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and it worked great.

Kristina R.

This is a general comment as I did not see another place to post it. How does the Clipboard work? Is it something that I would still have access when I drop my subscription?

Melissa G.

This recipe is so wonderful. I cannot believe how simple this dish is and the flavors are amazing. The leftovers are even better. Thank you Milk street for this beautiful Chicken Tinga recipe.

Lynn C.

Hi Kristina -

We use bone-in chicken breasts because the bones and the skin add flavor to the sauce. Using boneless, skinless thighs would not provide as much flavor. Additionally, the cooking time will be a bit less.

The Milk Street Team

Jonathan K.

Is there a reason to not keep the remainder of the stock for other uses?

Lynn C.

Hi Jonathan -

Feel free to keep the stock and use it elsewhere!

The Milk Street Team

Andrew S.

Great recipe and works just as well, maybe even better, with dark meat, or a combination of white and dark. And the stock that it makes is light and flavorful, definitely worth saving for another use.

Melissa R.

This is SO good! The cilantro processing takes a bit but otherwise it's very straightforward and super flavorful. Next time I'll add more adobo for heat. Highly recommend!

Michael M C.

Made this tonight just as written. We all thought it was really good and very flavorful. It’s got some heat but nowhere near too spicy. I’ll definitely make this again.

Mick C.

Followed all the instructions, but it came out pretty watery. Was hoping to use this in tacos, but that didn't work too well. The taste was okay, but didn't wow me. Seemed like it needed more concentrated flavor.

Lynn C.

Hi Mick -

It's possible your tomatoes were particularly watery and, therefore, caused the sauce to be loose and not as flavorful. We would recommend reducing it further to make sure it's just saucy enough to coat the chicken. At this time of year when ripe tomatoes can be hard to find, we recommend Campari or cocktail tomatoes for the best flavor and texture.

The Milk Street Team

Marinna M.

Is it possible to replace the fresh tomatoes with canned? If so, how would you do the substitution?

Victor P.

Lovely recipe. However, I was aghast at Milkstreet, a site that educates people like me to cook and enjoy doing so, when it instructed to "discard" the liquid that resulted from cooking the chicken. I didn't. Instead, using a hand-held immersion blender, I puréed the veggies in the liquid, giving me this broth that was simply liquid gold. Liquid gold never tasted this good!

Lynn C.

Hi Victor -

We do use 1 cup of the cooking liquid in the sauce, so we don't discard it entirely! We will pass along your comments to the recipe editors but, in the meantime, feel free to save the broth for another use!

The Milk Street Team

Sheila B.

I love the flavors of the Chicken Tinga recipe. I did freeze some in a quart zip bag and reheated in microwave. It worked well. Great for a quick dinner on a work night.