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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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4.5 8
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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 13x9-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 a thermometer reads 170°-175°.
    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.
    Yield: 8 servings.
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 Nov. 9, 2015

"Terrific recipe! Thank you very much. I followed the recipe except for the jalapeno pepper. I cannot eat them. I used a chopped red pepper. Got raves on the meal (served with mexican rice and vegetable) Thanks again for sharing"

Reviewed Dec. 23, 2014

"I took the concept of this recipe and made it a little differently. I did not bread the chicken and brown it. I just put it in the pan and covered it with the sauce. I cooked the the sauce in a saucepan, omitting the jalapenos cuz my husband doesn't care for them. I also just used onion powder to keep the sauce smooth. I used 1 t of regular chili powder and 1 t of chipotle chili powder, added some seasoned salt, oregano, and dried cilantro. To thicken the sauce, I mixed 1T each of cornstarch and water and added it to the boiling sauce. Once I poured the sauce over the chicken, I sprinkled some cheese on top and baked at 400 for 25 mins. It turned out great!"

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."

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