One Pan Chicken Tinga (Shredded Chicken with Tomato Chipotle Sauce)


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2021 Version: I’ve updated this recipe slightly, bumping up the spices a bit. Other than that (and a picture update), making this reminded me that I need to bring this back into my monthly rotations. It’s easy, versatile for leftovers, and deliciously simple.

2016 Version: When I saw this recipe in Cook’s Illustrated this month, I immediately knew it would be good. Cook’s Illustrated is a bit of a different magazine in that it features a few recipes, but in a lot of detail. The author that made this recipe went through his recipe making process, explaining why he added certain ingredients and steps. Given its thoroughness, this is one recipe I haven’t adapted as much as most of my other recipes.

Although I immediately served this with my new paleo tortillas, this would also be delicious with rice and beans. I recommend that whatever you serve this with, you include avocado, as it adds compliments the smoke and spice from the chicken.

One Pan Chicken Tinga (Shredded Chicken with Tomato Chipotle Sauce)
Serves 3-4
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

  • 1 pound chicken breast, boneless

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced (about 1-2 teaspoons)

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 1 14-ounce can fire-roasted tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup chicken broth (or water in a pinch)

  • 1 tablespoon adobo sauce from chipotle in adobo sauce can (add more if you like some heat!)

  • juice of 1/2 lemon (~2 tablespoons lemon juice)

  • 2 tablespoons raisins (optional)


  1. Brown the Chicken: In a large saute pan or ceramic pot, heat to medium high heat. Add in oil and chicken. Make sure not to stack the chicken- you may have to do 2 batches. Let chicken sit in pan for about four minutes, until the bottom side is beginning to brown, and then flip for another four minutes. Remove chicken and set aside.

  2. Saute the aromatics for the sauce: Your pan should still be hot from the chicken. If any of the chicken stuck to the pan, give it a quick clean/wipe with a paper towel. Place pan over low to medium heat and add in another glug of olive oil (about a tablespoon), followed by the onion and garlic. Saute until the onion is wilted and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

  3. Add the spices and tomatoes: Add in cumin, cinnamon, chili powder, sea salt, chipotles, adobo sauce, fire-roasted tomatoes, and chicken broth. Stir well to combine, and turn the heat up until the mixture is boiling.

  4. Add in chicken and simmer: Add in the chicken and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover pan and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked (165 degrees internal temp).

  5. Shred chicken: Remove chicken from mixture with tongs and set aside to let cool slightly. Once it’s cool enough to touch, shred with a fork or hands.

  6. Blend the sauce: Take the remaining sauce, add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, and place in a blender on high until thoroughly mixed. Pour mixture back into pan (or whatever you will be serving the chicken in) and add back in shredded chicken. Stir in raisins (optional).

2016 Image (Had to keep it for old timesake to see how far I’ve come)


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