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Mexican Smothered Chicken Thighs Recipe
Mexican Smothered Chicken Thighs Recipe photo by Taste of Home

Mexican Smothered Chicken Thighs Recipe

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Chicken thighs are a juicier, less expensive alternative to boneless, skinless chicken breasts. They're used to perfection in this Mexican-inspired dish. — Jeanne Trudell, Del Norte, Colorado
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min.
MAKES:8 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 30 min.
MAKES: 8 servings


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned salt
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds), skin removed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

Nutritional Facts

1 serving equals 301 calories, 15 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 88 mg cholesterol, 802 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 27 g protein.


  1. In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, seasoned salt, salt and pepper. Place milk in a separate shallow bowl. Coat chicken with flour mixture, then dip in milk and coat again with flour mixture.
  2. In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil in batches. Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.
  3. In the same skillet, saute onion and jalapenos until tender. Add the tomato sauce, water and spices. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Pour over chicken.
  4. Cover and bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Yield: 8 servings.
Freeze option: Place cooled chicken with sauce in freezer containers and freeze. To use, partially thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat through in a covered skillet, gently stirring and adding a little broth or water if necessary.
Editor's Note: Wear disposable gloves when cutting hot peppers; the oils can burn skin. Avoid touching your face.
Originally published as Mexican Smothered Chicken Thighs in Simple & Delicious February/March 2011, p52

Nutritional Facts

1 serving equals 301 calories, 15 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 88 mg cholesterol, 802 mg sodium, 13 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 27 g protein.

Sweet White Wine

Enjoy this recipe with a sweet white wine such as Moscato or a sweet Riesling.

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Reviewed May. 8, 2012

"I made this today for my family and friends. It was very flavorful. However...I did make some changes. Instead of flour I used cornstarch. (We don't eat anything with flour). Also, I had to add much more spices. I can only imagine how bland it would have been if I'd left the recipe as is.......

Also, I added cilantro in as the onions sauteed.
I served with fajita rice and re-fried beans. HUGE hit with the whole family and our friends."

Reviewed Feb. 9, 2012

"Very, very tasty!!! Loved the sauce!"

Reviewed Dec. 3, 2011

"Really??? Who would take advice from a voodoo witch anyways. Try it and you might just like it."

Reviewed Apr. 12, 2011

"I really enjoyed this recipe. I love making chicken in different ways, and this one is a nice addition to my recipe box. I did use chicken breasts instead of thighs and baked it in the oven for about 20 minutes. Chicken came out juicy and the sauce was extremely flavorful. There is quite a lot of sauce in the dish, so making some rice as a side would be a great complement."

Reviewed Feb. 19, 2011

"Okay, so this was neither simple or delicious. It took awhile to prepare. Why bother browning it when the sauce just makes it all mushy anyway? It was bland and pasty. I would not recommend it to anyone."

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