If you like Mexican or Tex-Mex, you will absolutely love this recipe. If not, you will still love this recipe. I served this chicken several times to friends and family and everyone raved about it. You can serve this dish with a bowl of plain or fried rice, or wrapped in a warmed up tortilla. Or simply with a salad.
One important ingredient in this dish is Mexican oregano. It’s not at all similar to a more widely available Mediterranean oregano. As matter of fact, it comes from an entirely different plant family. The regular oregano has a sweet taste, while, according to Epicurious, Mexican oregano’s taste is a bit more citrusy, with subtle hints of lime that really enhance the flavor of chiles. It’s frequently called for in chili powders, chili con carne, and various spicy/hot dishes, especially the traditional Mexican and Central American moles and rojos. Some spices that it goes well with are cumin, chili powder, dried Mexican chiles, garlic and pepper.
I buy Mexican oregano from a local Latin American grocery store, though I suspect it can be found in some supermarkets in ethnic foods section. If you can’t find it locally, you can buy Mexican oregano from Amazon.
In case you are stuck and need a substitute, don’t use regular, Mediterranean oregano. A better substitute is dried marjoram or dried verbena. Both have very similar citrusy, floral notes.
Addition of one fresh jalapeno chile makes this dish moderately spicy. If you want more heat, add another chile. If you are after mild spiciness, slice the jalapeno pepper and soak in water for a couple of hours before cooking. Alternatively, use pickled jalapenos.
This dish is best served hot. So have your rice, tortillas or whatever you are going to serve it with ready before you take the pan out of the oven.
- 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced ¼ inch thick
- 2 tsp dark chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 12-oz can whole corn kernels, liquid drained (or 1½ cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels)
- 1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and thinly sliced (or ¼ cup pickled sliced jalapeno peppers)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 medium lime, juiced
- 1 Tbsp Mexican oregano
- 1 cup grated sharp Cheddar
- ½ cup chicken stock
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Turn the oven broiler to high and let the oven preheat while you are preparing the chicken.
- In a medium size bowl, toss the sliced chicken with chili powder, cumin, salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Add the flour, toss until all chicken pieces are covered with flour. Shake off excess flour before frying.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the chicken
- and cook until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Stir every minute or so to ensure even browning. Remove the chicken and set aside.
- Add another two tablespoons of butter to the pan, the corn, jalapeno slices and pressed garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 to 3 minutes, until the corn begins to brown. Add chicken stock, lime juice, dried Mexican oregano and the chicken pieces. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes.
- Spread the shredded Cheddar cheese over the top of chicken, and transfer the skillet to the oven. Broil until the cheese melts and starts to brown, about 3 minutes.