I don’t know whether my decision to call this Tex-Mex Chicken could be considered contentious, as I have no idea if you’d find this sort of food along the American/Mexican border. I chose the name on the basis of the flavours that are incorporated into the rich tomato-based sauce, rather than in homage to any of my own geo-culinary experiences.
It may reflect my somewhat distorted British perspective of Tex-Mex cuisine, but I’ve always been under the impression that earthy cumin, zesty lime and a little chilli heat are as good a place to start as any.
Of course I’ve been a little kitsch in dressing the top with tortilla chips but it adds a little bit of texture and a little bit of fun and there’s no shame in that. Even if it’s not authentic it is damn tasty and that’s a compliment if nothing else, right?
Tex Mex Chicken
This lightly spiced baked chicken dish brings together the flavours of the American southwest in a rich, lightly spiced tomato sauce.
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Onion peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 Green Pepper deseeded and chopped
- 2 cloves Garlic peeled and crushed
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- ½ tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 1 tbsp Lime Juice
- 400 g Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
- 150 g Tinned Sweetcorn drained
- 200 ml Good Quality Chicken Stock
- 2 Free-range Chicken Breasts 150-180g each
- 2 Spring Onions
- 50 g Cheddar Cheese grated
- 50 g Plain Tortilla Chips roughly crushed
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 10 minutes until softened and starting to turn translucent.
Add the spices and lime juice to the pan and stir well to coat the onions. Cook for a further 2-3 minutes to develop the flavours in the spices, before adding the green pepper and garlic to the pan and cooking for a further minute.
Pour in the chopped tomatoes, sweetcorn and chicken stock and stir. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
At this stage you will want to preheat the oven to 180°C
Add a little oil to a separate frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chicken breasts to the pan and fry for 2-3 minutes on each side until browned and sealed. Put the chicken breasts into an ovenproof dish.
When the sauce has thickened pour it over the chicken breasts, ensuring they're well covered. Top with the crushed tortilla chips and grated cheese, before putting it into the oven. Bake for 25 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the cheese has formed a golden crust.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes before serving.