Angela’s Chicken Tinga w/ Green Chile Grits


Angela's Chicken Tinga w/ Green Chile Grits

This is an easy tinga recipe that takes about 45 minutes to cook. I like it with my green chile grits, but it would be fine with rice or in a tortilla. Yes, that is fish sauce you see in the recipe. Trust me, it works!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author misangela


  • Heavy bottom pot, such as a dutch oven.


  • 4 Bone in, Skin on Chicken Thighs Sub boneless/skinless, but use dark meat.
  • EVOO as needed
  • S/P as needed
  • 1/2 pint Grape tomatoes, halved Sub 2 romas, diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced about a Tbl
  • 1 small White Onion, diced about 2/3 cup
  • 2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1 tsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 Bay leaves, whole optional but recommended
  • 2 Tbl Apple Cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Salsa Verde I use Herdez
  • 3 chipotles, minced, with 1 Tbl adobo sauce about half a small can; cut back if you don't like much spice
  • Zest of one lime
  • Juice of one lime about 1 Tbl, could take 2 limes
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cups chicken stock as needed
  • 1 Tbl Fish sauce Yes, fish sauce. Trust me.

Green Chile Grits

  • 2 cups prepared grits stone ground, cooked with lots of butter and seasoned with salt
  • 1 small can Green Chiles, diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin


  • Season chicken thighs generously on both sides with S/P. Heat a heavy pot over med hi heat and add a couple tablespoons of EVOO. Add in thighs, skin side down and leave them alone until skin is brown and crispy; about 6 mins. Turn down heat if chicken starts to burn. Flip thighs and cook for another 3-4 minutes. Remove chicken and set aside. 
  • Turn heat down to medium and add tomatoes, onions and garlic. Sauté for 3-4 minutes on med heat until the tomatoes are broken down and the onion is translucent. Add oregano, cumin and bay leaves and stir. Add vinegar, salsa verde, chipotles and the lime zest and stir for a minute. Add half the stock and stir everything together for a couple more minutes.
  • Add the chicken thighs back in, with the skin up. You can leave the skin on, or you can pull off the crispy bits and have it for a snack. The stock should be up to about 2/3 on the chicken. The chicken will cook 20 minutes or so at a good simmer on medium heat. Cover the pot but leave ajar so the sauce will reduce by 1/3.
  • While the chicken is cooking, prepare the grits. Set aside.
  • When the sauce is reduced by about 1/3, remove the chicken to a large bowl to cool and turn off heat to sauce. Once chicken is cool, shred it up with your fingers and a fork.
  • Remove the bay leaves, and blend the sauce with an immersion blender or move to a countertop blender. Blend until mostly smooth, but still has some body. Add back in the shredded chicken, juice of the lime and the fish sauce. Stir and bring to a simmer. Simmer until you have a fairly tight sauce – it should be more of a coating than a saucy sauce. You may skip this step if the sauce is the consistency you prefer.
  • Serve on green chile grits, in a taco or enchilada or with rice and beans.


Tinga can be frozen. 
Chicken tinga makes a great taco! 
You can make this in a slow cooker if you prefer. Remove skin first, then just put all ingredients except lime juice into the cooker, layering veg then chicken then herbs. Cut the chicken stock by about half, you want the liquid to just come to the bottom of the chicken in a crock pot. The final product will have a thinner sauce than stovetop, but will still taste great.  Cook on high for 4-5 hrs.