Tinga Poblana de Pollo

In Mexican slang, the word tinga is often translated as “mess” or “disarray” — and what a beautiful mess this chicken filling is indeed!

Photo: Roberto Caruso

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The conquistadors of the 16th century were followed by Spanish monks and nuns, who have been credited with some superb culinary creations. In the state of Puebla, Tinga Poblana de Pollo is a result of flavors brought from Europe, such as olive oil, garlic and onion, blended with New World ingredients like corn, avocados and local herbs. While this dish hails from Puebla, it’s now popular all over the country. In Mexican slang, the word tinga is often translated as “mess” or “disarray” — and what a beautiful mess this chicken filling is indeed!

Prep Time
40 min
50 min


  • 4 Roma tomatoes
  • 3 canned chipotle chiles, or to taste
  • 6 oz fresh Mexican chorizo sausage (2 sausages) (TIP: If chorizo is not available, substitute with spicy or mild Italian sausage.)
  • 2 cups green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 cups shredded roasted chicken
  • ⅓ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper, or to taste, optional
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 16 6-inch corn tortillas warmed
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • ⅓ cup full-fat sour cream
  • sliced red onion or macerated onions (see below)
  • chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Broil tomatoes: Heat broiler to 500°F. Place tomatoes on a small foil-lined baking sheet. Broil about 3 inches from the heat, for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until tomatoes start to release their juices and dark blotches on their skins appear. Flip over and place back under broiler until both sides have dark brown blotches. (Do not let the skin burn as they will develop a bitter taste.) Set aside to cool. Add to a blender along with canned chiles and blend until smooth.
  2. Remove the thin casing from the chorizo and break apart into a large skillet using a wooden spoon. Cook on low heat to render out fat, being careful not to brown chorizo, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate, leaving any fat in the pan. To pan, add cabbage, white onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are soft.
  3. Add tomato-chipotle mixture to skillet, increase heat to medium and continue cooking until most of the juice has been absorbed and the mixture is almost dry. Return chorizo to pan, stir in shredded chicken and broth and cook for another 5 minutes, or until mixture is moist but not too wet. Add cayenne (if using) and salt.
  4. Assemble tacos: Divide chicken mixture among tortillas, top with avocado, sour cream, onions and cilantro.

Macerated Onions

  • 3 limes, juiced
  • 1 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

To a small glass or stainless steel bowl, add lime juice. Add salt and mix well to dissolve. Add onions and toss to coat. Set aside for 2 minutes and toss again. Set aside for 4 minutes more and toss again. Onions should be soft and bright in color. Strain and discard juice. Serve as a garnish for tacos, tortas, or any other dish.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 2 tacos
  • Calories 389
  • Carbohydrate Content 31 g
  • Cholesterol Content 50 mg
  • Fat Content 21 g
  • Fiber Content 8 g
  • Protein Content 19 g
  • Saturated Fat Content 6 g
  • Sodium Content 408 mg
  • Sugar Content 3 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content 10 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content 3 g