Tex-Mex Chicken

Cumin, chili powder, onions, garlic, green chilies or jalapenos, all on something, topped with cheese makes it Tex-Mex, it seems. Tex-Mex bananas anyone? Or how about chicken instead? Now we are talking.

Quite a while ago, reader Josephine Belknap sent along a grand collection of Tex-Mex recipes. Every once in a while, when I feel bored with my cooking, I thumb through them, and have shared some with you already. The Tex-Mex Chicken with Chiles and Cheese appealed this time and I made it for supper to general household approbation.

Josephine had noted on the recipe that she likes to use chicken thighs in this recipe, but breasts work, too, and that is what I used. Boneless is better, and whether or not you leave the skin on is up to you. Mine were skinless and I thought the corn and peppers in this dish provided enough moisture that skins didn’t seem necessary. Speaking of peppers, I seldom have jalapenos on hand, so I used a small can of chopped green chilies. To add just a bit of heat, I sprinkled in some red pepper flakes. The corn, homegrown, came out of the freezer but before too long (next week) it will come out of the garden here.

I made Spanish rice to go with the chicken, but if you wanted to, you could roll the chicken and vegetables up in a flour tortilla, enchilada style.

This dish came together pretty quickly – about a half-hour’s time. It tasted like something that took longer to cook.

Tex-Mex Chicken
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each cut into two to three strips
  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 small can of green chilies or a medium jalapeno finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  1. Toss together the flour, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper.
  2. Dredge the chicken strips in the spiced flour mix and shake off excess.
  3. Put the oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat, and brown the chicken lightly on both sides, then set aside.
  4. Add the onion, garlic, chilies or jalapeno to the skillet and cook until the onion is softened. Add the oregano and corn, and heat through about three minutes.
  5. Put the chicken back in the skillet to rewarm.
  6. Grate cheese over the top and put under a broiler to brown lightly.


Sandy Oliver

About Sandy Oliver

Sandy Oliver Sandy is a freelance food writer with the column Taste Buds appearing weekly since 2006 in the Bangor Daily News, and regular columns in Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors magazine and The Working Waterfront. Besides freelance food writing, she is a pioneering food historian beginning her work in 1971 at Mystic Seaport Museum, where she developed a fireplace cooking program in an 1830s house. After moving to Maine in 1988, Sandy wrote, Saltwater Foodways: New Englanders and Their Foods at Sea and Ashore in the 19th Century published in 1995. She is the author of The Food of Colonial and Federal America published in fall of 2005, and Giving Thanks: Thanksgiving History and Recipes from Pilgrims to Pumpkin Pie which she co-authored with Kathleen Curtin. She often speaks to historical organizations and food professional groups around the country, organizes historical dinners, and conducts classes and workshops in food history and in sustainable gardening and cooking. Sandy lives on Islesboro, an island in Penobscot where she gardens, preserves, cooks and teaches sustainable lifeways.