One of my earliest posts featured Tinga Poblana, a shredded beef dish emblematic of the Mexican state of Puebla. Lucky for those seeking to avoid red meat, a more contemporary version, made with chicken, has become as popular as the traditional. While mostly preserving the seasonings of the beef rendition, since chicken breasts cook fast, preparation time is reduced significantly without sacrificing any of the rich flavour.
Puebla Style Chicken Stew- Tinga de pollo
2 chicken breasts; cooked, bones and skin removed, and shredded
1 cup hot water, or broth from cooking chicken
¾ lb (340 g) Mexican chorizo sausage (click here for homemade recipe, or from store)
3-4 tomatoes; washed
½ cup onion; peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic; peeled and minced
2 bay leaves
½ tsp each dried thyme and marjoram
2-3 sweet or smoked chipotle peppers, with adobo (click here for homemade recipe, or from can)
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Remove casing from chorizo, and cook in a large pan over medium heat, breaking up into small pieces (photo below, left). Once fully cooked and crispy, push to one side and tilt the pan the other way, to discard all but two tbsp of the fat (photo below, right):
Transfer cooked chorizo to a bowl and reserve.
I usually blanch the tomatoes in boiling water and peel them before removing the stem spot and chopping, but that is optional. Once chopped, set up tomatoes with the rest of the aromatics and seasonings, clockwise from top left: dry marjoram, thyme and bay leaf; smoky chipotle peppers with adobo sauce; chopped tomatoes; minced garlic; chopped onions:
Return the large pan with the reserved chorizo fat to the stove, over medium heat; add onions and sauté until translucent (photo below, left). Add garlic and cook for a few seconds, then add chopped tomatoes, and stir (photo below, right):
Cook for five minutes, stirring, then add herbs, chipotles with their adobo, and hot water or broth (photo below, left). Bring to a boil, and continue cooking for another ten minutes, stirring occasionally (photo below, right):
Add reserved chorizo and cooked chicken (photo below, left). Incorporate with the sauce, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste, considering that the chorizo and chipotles are already salty. It is ready to serve once all is heated through (photo below, right):
Serve with corn tortillas, and any side, such as rice, or as shown below, refried beans topped with cheese:
This is a very easy and fast main dish for any day of the week, and both the beef and chicken versions are often used in antojitos (“little cravings” or “little hankerings“), for example, as a filling for corn dough quesadillas, or to top a crispy tortilla (tostada), along with lettuce, onion, and crumbled cheese, as shown below:
FUN FACT: Another treat from the state of Puebla is the song “¡Qué chula es Puebla!” – “How cute is Puebla!” composed by Rafael Herdández and Bernardo San Cristóbal in the 1930s. It describes the beauty and richness of the land and people, and it became so emblematic of Puebla, that it is considered by many as the unofficial state hymn. In the following YouTube video, the song is indeed “una chulada” (“a shipment of cuteness”), as delivered by the resident choir and symphony orchestra at the University of Puebla’s Cultural Centre:
I am sharing my post at Thursday Favourite Things #551, with Bev @ Eclectic Red Barn, Pam @ An Artful Mom, Katherine @ Katherine’s Corner, Amber @ Follow the Yellow Brick Home, Theresa @ Shoestring Elegance and Linda @ Crafts a la Mode.