I was on overload after reading Mexico One Plate at a Time by Rick Bayless. I also browsed recipes online and came across a very simple one for chicken baked in salsa. The author of this article states that the recipe is from another Rick Bayless cookbook, Salsas that Cook. I was surprised that such a simple recipe would come from Rick Bayless.
I made a few minor changes. First, here is the original recipe -
- 6 large boned, skinless chicken breast halves
- one 16-oz. jar of slightly chunky salsa, any flavor, as spicy as you like (Note: if the salsa is too thin, the sauce will be runny.)
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Brush the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan with a little oil; place the chicken breasts in one layer in the pan.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the cream and salsa; spoon salsa mixture over the chicken.
- Bake on the bottom shelf for 30 minutes.
- Top with the cilantro
Simple, right? I like my chicken golden brown, so I added a few steps to this recipe. I also cut it in half.
- Trim chicken and sprinkle with ancho chili powder and adobo seasoning.
- Brown in a skillet for 30-45 seconds per side. Transfer to a backing dish.
- Top with the salsa and cream mixture and bake according to instructions above.
- When finished, garnish with cilantro and queso fresco.
I think it is important to us a good salsa for this recipe - I chose Frontera Jalapeno and Cilantro Salsa and it was worth the $4/jar! Plus, I only had to use half of the jar for the recipe so we have some left to snack on.
For such an easy recipe, it sure didn't taste like one. I love this for a quick weeknight meal, but it's also so good that I'd serve it to guests. They'd never know I didn't slave all day!
I served it with another Rick Bayless recipe, Rice with Roasted Poblanos, Spinach, and Queso Fresco.
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