Zocalo

Zocalo

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Tinga!

 The city and state of Puebla are home to many of the most famous Mexican dishes.  I have mentioned many times "chiles en nogada", the exquisite stuffed peppers covered in a creamy walnut sauce that is traditional for Mexican Independence Day.  "Mole poblano" is probably the most famous of the many "moles", the complex Mexican sauces which are an integral part of Mexican cuisine.  Another dish that probably originated in Puebla is "tinga de pollo" (chicken tinga).  I did a bit of research on the origin of the word "tinga", and one theory is that it was a colloquial word used to describe something disorderly.  The dish indeed looks like a bit of a mess, but it is very tasty.  

Several days ago, when Alejandro mentioned that they had "tinga" for dinner, I decided to search for a recipe on the internet.  I found a cooking blog called "Mexico in my Kitchen".  It is written by a Mexican lady named Mely Martínez who moved to the United States about ten years ago.  Her recipes seem quite genuine... not the typìcal Tex-Mex which (while it might be delicious) so often passes as "authentic Mexican food" in so many restaurants up here.  Her recipe for "tinga de pollo" is ridiculously easy to prepare.  She writes that traditionally, in addition to chicken, the dish also contained chorizo sausage.  However, nowadays, she says that most "tinga" recipes omit the chorizo.  That certainly makes it an extremely healthy dish also.  She did not give any quantities for the ingredients in this recipe.  It's one of those dishes in which you just throw things together to your own taste.

So, here is how I made a batch of "tinga" yesterday...

I heated olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and threw in an entire sliced white onion.  I stir-fried it for around four minutes.  Then I added three cloves of chopped garlic and continued cooking for a couple more minutes.  Next, I added two cans of diced tomatoes and some parsley leaves and let that cook for around seven minutes.  Finally, I stirred in four chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (nowadays you can find canned chipotles in adobo in many supermarkets up here) and cooked shredded chicken breast.  (I confess to being lazy and simply using two large cans of chicken breast.)  Season to taste, if necessary, with salt, and let it simmer for around ten minutes.  And that's it!


The "tinga" can be served alone as a main dish, used as a topping for "tostadas" or as a filling for tacos.  Even though most of the corn tortillas from the stores up here are dreadful, I found a package of small "street taco" tortillas that were not too bad.  So, I made tacos de tinga de pollo".  I just added a squirt of lime juice to each of them.  No salsa was necessary since the mixture was already nicely spicy with the four chipotles that I had used.  On the side I serve my version of home-made refried beans.


¡Delicioso!


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