Annie Bell’s chicken tinga

This Mexican chicken stew, made with mild and fruity ancho chillies, is cooked like a pot roast but for longer than usual until meltingly tender. It makes for fab burritos, or ladle it over rice with a few Tex-Mex trimmings.

Chicken tinga
Lizzie Mayson


1 dried ancho chilli
2 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 heaped tbsp marjoram or oregano leaves
1 heaped tsp chipotle paste
1 heaped tbsp tomato purée
500g tomatoes, cores discarded, diced
1.6kg free-range chicken, untrussed
Sliced green chilli, avocado, chopped coriander, soured cream and lime wedges, to serve

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Soak the ancho chilli in boiling water for 15 minutes, then finely chop it discarding the core and seeds.
  2. Heat the oil in a large cast-iron casserole over a medium heat and fry the onions for 7-9 minutes until golden, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, ancho chilli and marjoram about a minute before the end. Stir in the chipotle paste, tomato purée and the tomatoes and season with salt. Nestle the chicken in the sauce, cover and cook in the oven for 1 1⁄2 hours.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a plate, tipping any juices back into the pan. Pull off and shred the flesh using a couple of forks. Discard the skin and bones.
  4. Skim the fat off the sauce in the pan. If you are serving the tinga with rice, leave the sauce nice and juicy. For burritos or wraps simmer the sauce for 5-10 minutes until it thickens a little. Stir the chicken back in, reheat and serve with sliced green chilli, coriander, soured cream and lime wedges.

TIP If serving a crowd, add a tin of drained and rinsed black beans to the stew.

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Creative director: Chloe Sharp. Food styling: Tamara Vos. Styling: Kitty Coles