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Tiny Tostadas of Smoky Chicken Tinga with Avocado and Aged Cheese


Tiny Tostadas of Smoky Chicken Tinga with Avocado and Aged Cheese

It’s rare to pass a restaurant, snack shop, or street stall in the Central Mexican town of Puebla without getting a whiff of the alluring aroma of shredded pork with smoky chipotle chile, tomato, and sweet onion. Tinga they call it, and they spoon it into soft tacos or crusty rolls. I like to serve tinga piled onto crispy tortillas (tostadas, tostaditas, or totopos, they call them), then top it with the typical Pueblan avocado and cheese. Tingas are often made with chicken, and occasionally chef Rick Bayless goes further afield, to shredded smoked fish or quail. This recipe comes from Negra Modelo.

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For the chicken, chef Rick Bayless either poaches, grills, or broils a large chicken breast or buys a small rotisserie chicken to shred.


  • ¾ Cup chipotle salsa
  • ½ of a 15-ounce can whole tomatoes, with half the can’s juice
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar, preferably cider vinegar
  • 1 small white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 Cups (loosely packed) coarsely shredded, cooked chicken
  • Salt, about ½ teaspoon
  • 24 good-size corn tortillas chips, preferably homemade thick ones
  • 1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and cut into ⅛-inch pieces
  • 3 to 4 Tablespoons finely grated Mexican queso añejo, Parmigiano, or Romano
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish


Combine the salsa, tomatoes with their juice, and the vinegar in a blender or food processor and purée.

In a large skillet, cook the onions in the oil over medium heat until crisp-tender and just beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

Press the salsa mixture through a medium-mesh strainer into the skillet. Simmer, stirring regularly until quite thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chicken, cool, then taste and season with salt.

Arrange the chips on one or more serving platters. Top each with a heaping tablespoon of the chicken tinga, a few pieces of avocado, and a sprinkling of cheese and cilantro, and they’re ready to pass around.