This Spicy Shredded Chicken Tostados Recipe uses Chicken Tinga, another one of those classic guisados, or stewed mixtures, sold at local quesadilla and tlacoyo stalls. Shredded chicken is simmered in a light tomato sauce with a touch of smoky chipotle. Usually it’s served in a warm, freshly made corn tortilla, with or without cheese. The dish originated in the state of Puebla, but it’s become popular in Mexico City and the surrounding states. I’ve included a tostada version here, which is a bit more fun to eat. Of course, a warm corn tortilla works just as well too. This chipotle tomato sauce recipe is seriously tasty!
– 900g bone-in chicken breasts
– ¼ small onion
– 1 dried Mexican bay leaf
– 1 medium garlic clove, unpeeled
For the Chipotle Tomato Sauce:
– 6 fresh ripe plum tomatoes, or 2 x 400g cans whole peeled plum tomatoes
– 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
– 190g onion, chopped
– 1 medium garlic clove, very finely chopped
– 2 chipotles in adobo sauce from a can, very finely chopped with seeds, plus 2 tbsp adobo sauce, or more as needed
– ½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano
– 60ml chicken stock, plus more if needed
– 480g homemade crema (see recipe below)
– 12 tostadas or tortillas
– 1 onion, sliced
– 1 avocado, peeled, stoned and sliced
– Queso añejo or another aged, crumbly cheese, crumbled
– 240g double cream
– 1 tbsp natural yogurt (not Greek)
1. Two days before you’d like to eat the crema, warm the cream in a small saucepan
over a medium-low heat. You should only heat it to take the chill off; be careful not to
overheat. Stir in the yogurt and turn off the heat.
2. Pour into a small, clean jar and leave to cool. Place the lid loosely on top, without
tightening, and leave to stand for 24 hours in a warm place.
3. Place the crema in the fridge for at least 6 hours to thicken. Stir and add salt to
taste (I like just a pinch) before serving.
1. Remove any excess fat from the chicken, including the skin. Place in a large, heavybased pan and just cover with cold water. Add the onion, bay leaf and garlic and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to its lowest setting, cover and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove from the pan and leave to cool. Shred into pieces with your fingers. Strain the broth, reserving 240ml, and freeze the rest.
2. Make the sauce. If using fresh tomatoes, cut in half and remove the seeds, then roughly chop. If using canned tomatoes, drain them well, then pulse in a food processor into coarse, chunky pieces. Drain again if they’re very juicy.
3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion and cook for 3–5 minutes until soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds–1 minute until aromatic. Add the tomatoes, cooking for about 5 minutes if using fresh (you want a thick, chunky paste) or about 3 minutes for canned to allow the flavours to meld, stirring occasionally.
4. Stir in the shredded chicken, chipotle and adobo sauce, oregano, the chicken stock or 60ml of the reserved broth (see step 1) and ½ teaspoon salt. (If using fresh tomatoes, you’ll need to add more than 60ml of liquid so that the tinga doesn’t stick to the base of the pan as it cooks. The ideal texture should be juicy, but not soupy.)
5. The chipotle should be noticeable but not too punchy. Taste and add more if necessary. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. Uncover and add salt to taste. If the tinga still looks soupy, increase the heat and reduce the juices a bit more.
6. To serve as tostadas, slather a thin layer of crema on each tortilla. (For more amped-up chipotle flavour, mix a little of the adobo sauce into the crema.) Add a few spoonfuls of tinga, a slice of white onion and two slivers of avocado to each. Top with the crumbled cheese.
Oyster mushrooms are a great vegetarian substitution here, although mushroom tinga is not necessarily authentic to the streets of Mexico. Prepare the tinga the same way, using 450g oyster mushrooms, shredded into strips, and substituting 120ml vegetable stock or water. Leave the lid off while cooking and turn the heat up after about 5 minutes to reduce some of the juices.
Lesley Téllez grew up in a Mexican-American home in California and moved to Mexico in 2009. A love letter to the intricate cuisine of Mexico City, Eat Mexico unlocks the culinary identity of the city and showcases food from the city’s streets, markets and casual fondas.
Recipes range from the familiar tacos, enchiladas and burritos that we all know and love Mexican cuisine for, to the entirely unfamiliar. With stunning location photography, new ingredients to explore eclectic recipes to share and cultural adventures to engage in, ambitious cooks and armchair travellers alike will enjoy this book.
EAT MEXICO by Lesley Téllez is published by Kyle Books, and is available to buy on www.amazon.co.uk as a Hardback, priced £19.99.