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
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
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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