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Mexican Smothered Chicken Thighs

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


  • 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


  • 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.
  • In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil in batches. Transfer to a greased 13x9-in. baking dish.
  • 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.
  • 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; add 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.
Nutrition Facts
1 each: 301 calories, 15g fat (4g saturated fat), 88mg cholesterol, 802mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate (3g sugars, 2g fiber), 27g protein.

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  • caniseye
    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

  • lmmanda
    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!

  • lezleec123
    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.

  • BrittneyR
    Feb 9, 2012

    Very, very tasty!!! Loved the sauce!

  • bradandpam
    Dec 3, 2011

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

  • dmwilmoth
    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.

  • voodoowitch
    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.

  • Papa H
    Feb 8, 2011

    This was awesome. I went a little far on the jalapenos. Next time a little less. The sauce was incredible. Bueno.