This and That

Random bits of my life

Mexican Chicken

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 11, 2010

Mexican chicken with peppers

I had some friends over for Shabbat dinner (belated Cinco de Mayo because we like Mexican food) and this was a big hit. The recipe is a marinade adapted from a friend’s cookbook. I cooked the chicken in a cast iron frying pan (not the enameled iron Dutch oven in this photo; that was for keeping it warm) but I don’t recommend that method with this marinade. The sugar burns/caramelizes and is nearly impossible to get off. I brought water to a roiling boil in the pan twice. I chiseled some off with a knife. Then I heated the pan to libun kal (VERY hot, the temperature you use for making a pan kosher for Passover) and that made the burned on bits flake off. So I recommend that you stick to baking the chicken or cook it in a heavy pot on top of the stove. Hmmm. Maybe I should have used this enameled pot in th efirst place.

Mexican Chicken

Serves 6

2 red peppers, seeded and sliced
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 tbs olive oil
2 or 3 large chicken breasts, sliced (= about 2 pounds)

3/4 c. water
2/3 c. (6 ounces) tomato paste
1/3 c. cilantro leaves, loosely packed
1/4 c. onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
3 tbs. lemon juice
1 tbs. vegetable oil
3 tbs. chili powder
1 1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin

Blend marinade ingredients with a steel blade in a food processor. This will make about 2 cups, which is enough for a whole chicken if you prefer. Marinate chicken in sauce for 3 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Sauté onions in olive oil until starting to brown. Add sliced red peppers and sauté until tender.

At this point, how you cook the chicken is up to you. I removed the peppers and onions and cooked the chicken in the frying pan, but I don’t recommend that you do this unless you are using a good non-stick pan. It might be easier to throw the chicken, marinade, and vegetables into a baking dish and bake until done. If that works, please let me know!

2 Responses to “Mexican Chicken”

  1. pam said

    This sounds so delicious it is worth the experiment! Baking sounds like a good option but i am taking the added precaution of baking in a dish lined with heavy duty foil!

    I would have totally freaked if this had had happened to my much loved cast iron skillet! (Belonged to my Great Grandmother!) I try to take very good care of it.

    • Avital Pinnick said

      Foil would be a good idea! As for your cast iron skillet, they’re remarkably durable. Unless you actually drop it and cause it to shatter or let it rust by leaving it outside for a winter, they can usually be cleaned up and re-seasoned. I have friends whose flatmates have utterly abused their cast iron skillets and they were able to make them usable again!

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