Jorge’s Chicken Tinga Tostada, the Winner of Our Family Cookoff

Jorge Tostada Tinga Tostada

This chicken tinga tostada with poblanos and a touch of crema emerged as the clear winner at her family tostada cook-off, remembers Arianna Hermosillo of Chicago. ”It was Christmas 2017 and I don’t remember who came up with the idea, but it spread through my dad’s side of the family: We were going to have a cooking competition for the best Mexican tostada topping. For most families, the holidays are a time to reminisce over the past, fawn over grandkids, and enjoy food. Lots and lots of food. And while my family has often feasted on Mexican y American dishes—no one bats an eye at seeing tamales, arroz, and frijoles next to a pot roast, mashed potatoes, and biscuits—a few years back we decided to go all in on our Mexican traditions. Exhibit A: our tostada family cooking competition.”

Arianna says she hung back and didn’t submit a tostada dish. ”I didn’t recognize the joys of cooking then, so I was not among the competitors. I did contribute tostadas though, and thankfully, we had several great cocineros in the family who rose to the challenge. At my aunt Blanca’s house that day, we were greeted by a spread of delicious dishes for our tostadas. She made lomo or pork tenderloin; her sister, my aunt Marisela, prepared nopalitos; and my mom, Lula, set out a family favorite: her tinga tradicional de pollo. The table was also set with non-competition sides we all loved, like frijoles y guacamole, to round out the meal.”

Cada uno de los ingredientes de las tostadas de la competencia estaba etiquetado con un número y nos alineamos. Diligentemente, todos nos servimos todas las tostadas que cabían en nuestros platos para que pudiéramos probar y votar.

The History of the Beloved Tostada

Our indigenous ancestors created tostadas long before the conquest. Tostadas along with their other corn-based cousins survived the conquistadores and became part of everyday Mexican eating. They are also a staple across the Mexican diaspora.

¿No estás seguro de la diferencia entre una tostada y un taco? Las tostadas son fritas o tostadas y por lo tanto crocantes. Son planas y siempre de maíz. Los tacos, por otro lado, suelen ser suaves, tienden a doblarse alrededor de su relleno y pueden ser de maíz o harina. A menudo también son más pequeños.

En mi familia, las tostadas son el recipiente crujiente para un bocado simple como el picadillo, el ceviche o los cueritos, o se usan como un panecillo para acompañar un plato principal como el mole o el pozole. Mi mamá a menudo hace las nuestras a la vieja usanza, dejando que las tortillas se asienten en el comal para tostarlas. Y a veces simplemente nos olvidamos que hay una tortilla más sentada en el comal y se endurece accidentalmente. No hay daño, no hay falta porque lo que antes era una tortilla ahora es una tostada y es igual de útil y agradable.

Time to Vote for the Best Tostada

Once all the votes were counted, one tostada topping by a newer member of the family, Arianna’s brother in law Jorge was the clear ganador. Followed closely behind by her mother’s recipe, que entró como uno de los principales contendientes.

Jorge’s winning approach? Abuela cooking, reports Arianna. Jorge made his creamy chicken tinga with chiles poblanos with a recipe his mother, Francisca, concocted in her kitchen back in Mexico. ”He told us he brought her homemade sazón to the States and that when he cooks her recipes, it’s almost like having her here with him. That’s significant because Jorge has only been in the U.S. three years or so. My sister met him in Mexico and they married and he immigrated once he received a visa.”

Like so many Mexican families, “my family represents multiple stages of immigration,” says Arianna. ”My paternal grandfather arrived in the U.S. in the ’40s. He later brought my grandmother and they had four children in the U.S., one of them being my father. My dad met my mom in the same town my grandmother came from in Mexico: San Miguel El Alto in Jalisco, and my mother immigrated to the U.S. after they married in 1979. And now we have welcomed Jorge — who’s also from San Miguel El Alto — to our family and this country. He follows in the footsteps of so many immigrants who continue to make favorite traditional dishes to stay connected to their homeland and family.

What does Jorge think about his winning tinga tostata? “To share this with my kids, with you and the people around me fills me with gratitude,” Jorge told Arianna. ”Es algo de México que no se me va olvidar nunca estando acá.”

That’s what abuela cooking is all about: cooking your way home, together. Arianna looks forward to the next time her family gets together to ”enjoy our favorite dishes, swap stories, and maybe even challenge each other to a traditional comida competition again.”

The Chicken Tinga Recipe That Won Our Tostada Cook-off

Jorge y Francisca's Chicken Tinga Tostada: The Winner

5 desde 2 votos
Receta por Arianna Hermosillo Cocina: mexicano


tiempo de preparación


Hora de cocinar




  • 6 6 chiles poblanos

  • 2 a 3 2 a 3 pechugas de pollo, sin hueso

  • 1.5 cucharadita 1.5 sazón

  • 1 cucharadita 1 sal

  • 1 cucharada 1 aceite vegetal

  • 1 cucharada 1 manteca

  • 1 1 cebolla, grande, picada

  • 6 6 tomates, pequeños, cortados en cubitos

  • 1 1 cubo de caldo de pollo, en polvo

  • 1/4 taza 1/4 crema mexicana


  • Tostar los poblanos en un comal.
  • Retire la piel carbonizada. (Consulte la nota a continuación para conocer la sugerencia de Jorge para quitar fácilmente la piel del chile). Corte en tiras finas y reserve.
  • Hervir el pollo con un poco de sal. Una vez cocido (alrededor de 15 minutos), separe el pollo cocido con dos tenedores o con los dedos, si está frío.
  • Calentar el aceite en una sartén y agregar la carne de pollo desmenuzada para dorar y sofreír ligeramente. Dejar de lado.
  • Caliente la mantequilla en una sartén y agregue el pollo, las cebollas, los chiles y el caldo de pollo en polvo, al gusto. Cocine a fuego lento durante 10 minutos.
  • Luego agregue los tomates y déjelo hervir a fuego lento durante unos 5 minutos. Comienza a agregar la crema Mexicana un poco de tiempo hasta que obtengas la consistencia cremosa que deseas.
  • ¡Está listo! Sirve con tostadas y decora a tu gusto. Las opciones populares incluyen: aguacate en rodajas o picado, rábanos, cebollas, queso, cilantro y/o una pequeña porción de crema.


  • Jorge sugiere poner los chiles carbonizados en una bolsa o recipiente de plástico para que suden y se suavicen, lo que facilita quitar la piel carbonizada.
  • Crema Mexicana is saltier than your average sour cream. You can find it in any Latino grocery store.

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