Crispy Mexican Chicken

I love chicken, and I love Mexican food, so it’s a perfect marriage, right? I always have spices on hand associated with Mexican recipes, cumin, cilantro, chili powder, chipotle, etc. Finding a chicken recipe that’s light as well is always a bonus. This Mexican chicken, while light and tasty, really needs more flavor to truly be called Crispy Mexican Chicken.

I found this recipe in the Cooking Light Cookbook (1995). The recipe calls for mixing a small amount of buttermilk with several spices, then it’s brushed onto the skinned chicken breast halves. It’s then topped with shredded potato (which is fab!) and baked. Now this was definitely good, but I really didn’t taste any of the spices at all. My guess is that using these same ingredients and brining, or marinating the chicken in it would produce a much more flavorful result. I’m also going to guess it would up the calorie count. Another option may be to up the spice measurements so that more sticks to the chicken, or even sprinkle some on before brushing on the buttermilk.

So if you want a light chicken dish, this is definitely good, the chicken is juicy, but the spice flavors are just not prominent. I am keeping this recipe in my binder, but next time I make it I will up the buttermilk, and instead of brushing it on, I’ll brine the chicken pieces all day.

I do have to say, the shredded potato topping is genius. It was like having hash browns on top of my chicken, very tasty!

Crispy Mexican Chicken
adapted from Cooking Light Cookbook 1995
189 calories per serving

printable version

1 8-oz baking potato, peeled and shredded
1/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
4 6-oz skinned chicken breast halves
cooking spray
1 tsp vegetable oil

Place shredded potato in ice water, let stand 5 minutes.

Combine buttermilk and next four ingredients. Brush mixture over both sides of the chicken. Line a baking sheet with foil, coat foil with cooking spray. Place chicken pieces on pan.

Drain potato, pat dry with paper towel. Place in small bowl, add oil, toss gently. Spoon 1/3 cup potato mixture over each chicken breast half, spread evenly.

Bake at 425 F for 35-40 minutes (mine baked longer, about 50 minutes, use an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast, done at 165 F).

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25 Responses to Crispy Mexican Chicken

  1. 1
    Katrina says:

    Boy, you're in a Mexican mood lately. ;)
    That chicken looks really good. Love the potatoes on top.

  2. 2
    Julie says:

    What a great idea…one I'm sure to copy!

  3. 3
    Heidi says:

    Yummy! I wonder if it would be good to use taco seasoning on the chicken for a more bold flavor???

  4. 4
    Janice says:

    That does sound good. Love the effect of the shredded potoato.

  5. 5
    Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food says:

    This looks wonderful, Amanda, and the addition of shredded potatoes on top is a particularly nice touch. I can see this being one of those quick, family favorites that can be almost endlessly varied. Thanks for sharing!

  6. 6
    Tami says:

    This is very creative and looks great. :)

  7. 7
    Ingrid says:

    Yum, I love the idea of topping the chicken with potato. Definitely spruces up the chicken.

    Happy Easter!

  8. 8
    Megan says:

    Yum Amanda, this looks terrific!
    Happy Easter girlfriend!

  9. 9
    Kristi Flanagan says:

    Amanda – I'm hungry just looking at your recipes!!! Thanks for following my blog and your sweet comments about my work! Come plant your "creative cooking seed" at my Plant a Punkin Seed Party! It usually is on Fridays but its open all week as I'm doing a give away – so come sign up!

    Punkin Seed Productions

  10. 10
    Kristi Flanagan says:

    Couldn't help myself, I had to become a follower…. here come the calories!

    Punkin Seed Productions

  11. 11
    Sue Sparks says:

    I'm like you…I never tire of chicken or Mexican food! What an original topping for chicken…your main dish and side dish in one! :)

  12. 12
    Susan says:

    That sounds yummy. We eat a lot of chicken here and I am always looking for a new recipe to try. :)

  13. 13
    jose manuel says:

    Excelente la comida mejicana. Gracias

  14. 14
    Mary at Deep South Dish says:

    Now that looks pretty darned interesting!!

    Happy Easter!

  15. 15
    Culinary Cory says:

    I'm with you, I would probably brine the chicken to give it more flavor. I love the idea of topping it with shredded potatoes.

  16. 16
    Michelle says:

    Amanda! You were right, this does look absolutely delicious!

  17. 17
    Karen says:

    Yum, this sounds good. I like the sound of the crispy potatoes on top, too and think the idea of brining the chicken next time is a great idea!

  18. 18
    Zesty Cook says:

    This looks and sounds fantastic… STUMBLED!!

  19. 19
    Beth says:

    Yummy! I finally got around to making this–I made it with chicken tenders instead of breasts and layered it in a casserole, served it with black beans and fresh salsa and it was a HIT! My kids gobbled it down and my husband ran and grabbed a ziplock container to save a portion for work the next day before it was all gone. This was a perfect example of how you can have mexican and still be healthy. We didn't miss the cheese or sour cream and guacamole overload and the cumin scent was wonderful!

  20. 20
    Amanda says:

    That sounds fabulous Beth! So glad that you liked it too!

  21. 21
    thruthebugsonmywindshield says:

    This will be my next main course! Pollo fabuloso!

  22. 22
    Amanda says:

    Hope you try and enjoy it Suzanne!

  23. 23

    […] me a comment if you have a favorite frugal recipe that you would like added to this weekly post.Crispy Mexican Chicken By […]

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