Tinga de Pollo

Not quite sure what it is, but I am on a Mexican kick. I can’t get enough ~ and to top it off, it can’t be spicy enough!

And I have been waiting ever so (im)patiently for Marcela Valladolid‘s show Mexican Made Easy to start its new season!

Finally it starts and wouldn’t you know it, second show of the new season and there are three recipes I HAVE to try! Sigh. Expect to see a lot of Marcela here!

First to try – Tinga de Pollo. You could practically smell this dish through the TV screen. It looked so good and so simple. I had to run out the next morning and purchase all the ingredients.  Then again, Marcela has a way of making everything look to amazing!

Wow! So good. So simple. So flavorful. So chicken for you know who. So spicy for the other you know who. They’ve already asked for it again!


  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 medium white onion
  • 1 bay leaf


  • 4 ounces raw pork chorizo
  • 1/2 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tomatoes (about 1 pound), boiled 30 seconds, peeled and seeded *See below
  • 1 cup chopped tomatillos (husked and rinsed first) * See below
  • 2 tablespoons pureed chipotle
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried Mexican oregano
  • 1 sprig fresh marjoram
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 10 store-bought tostadas

NOTE: Take the chipolte in adobo and just chop it up finely. I used my handy dandy mini chopper. You can tone down the heat little by adding ess of the chipolte in adobo – I used a teeny bit more than the 2 tablespoons.

For Garnish:
Sour Cream
Lime wedges

For the chicken:

Place the chicken, peppercorns, salt, garlic, bay leaf and onion in a large heavy saucepan with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce to a simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Turn the heat off and remove the chicken from the liquid. Reserve the broth for later use. Using 2 forks or clean hands, shred the chicken into a bowl and set aside.

NOTE: Or cheat, as I did, and buy a rotisserie chicken!

For the tinga:

In a large heavy saute pan, cook the chorizo over medium heat until fully cooked, about 6 minutes. Add the onions and saute until translucent and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatillos and cook for 1 minute. Add the chipotle, salt, pepper, Mexican oregano and the sprigs of marjoram and thyme.

Add the shredded chicken. Continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Add between 1/2 cup and 1 cup of the chicken cooking liquid, depending on the thickness of the sauce. Cook for 5 more minutes. Remove the marjoram and thyme sprigs.

Place 2 tablespoons of tinga on each tostada. Serve immediately.

NOTE: There’s a lot of chopping – my least favorite thing to do! Get everything chopped and prepped before you start. This goes pretty quickly once you begin!

NOTE NOTE: Tommy used flour tortillas (not a crunchy kinds guy). Tom had his over rice. You aren’t tied to the tostadas – except I loved the crunch it added!

NOTE: In case you haven’t seen them before, these are tomatillos. They come in a papery type skin. Peel off the papery layer. They’re sticky so rinse them off before you chop them.  And surprisingly enough, these have nothing  to do with tomatoes! They are part of the gooseberry family! (Ya learn something new every day!)

NOTE: To get the skins off the tomatoes, cut a small X on the bottom of the tomato. A very shallow, not much deeper than the skin X. Bring a pot of water to boil, lower to simmer, and dip the tomato in for about 30 seconds. Take out and let cool until you can handle them. The skins slip right off. Make sure you take all the seeds and goo out of the tomato before chopping.

Cilantro Fries

I am now totally enamored by Marcela Valladolid. I like her style. I love all the fresh ingredients and, especially, that most of them are easily found!

On the same show that inspired me to make Burgers al Pastor, Marcela made Cilantro Fries. The recipe below is Marcela’s. I changed it a bit for what we were doing that day.  My changes are in my notes as you read through. Marcela made these in the oven using frozen fries, I made these on the grill using fresh fries. Seriously, why turn on the oven if you don’t have to!

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1 (28-ounce) bag frozen potato wedges, preferably organic, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

NOTE: Instead of frozen potato wedges, I cut potatoes into slices, first cutting the potatoes in half lengthwise and then into planks, lengthwise, maybe about 1/4″ thick.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

NOTE: I always cook the potatoes in the microwave before putting them on the grill. This gives them an advance cooking and they don’t take forever on the grill.

Combine the cilantro and garlic in a food processor and process until combined.

NOTE: I also added the oil to the food processor.

Toss the potato wedges with the cilantro-garlic mixture and the olive oil, coating evenly.

Spread the potatoes wedges onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping the potatoes after 10 minutes to crisp on the other side. Season the potatoes with the salt and serve.

NOTE: After the microwave, I added the cilantro mixture to the potatoes, tossed and put the potatoes onto a sheet of foil and placed it on the grill.