Chicken coated with crushed tortilla chips and baked to a golden brown crispy crunch then topped with salsa and Monterey jack cheese for a zesty kick of Tex-Mex flavor.
The chicken is first coated in light mayonnaise – a trick I learned from Hellmann’s. Not only does it help the tortilla crumbs adhere but it keeps all the succulent moistness of the chicken inside right where it belongs.
This zoomed right to the top of my dinner favorites list!
First, because it comes together quickly using pantry ingredients for those times when an overwhelming urge for Southwestern food hits me.
And secondly, because it’s altogether better than the sum of its parts.
It’s like chicken covered in nachos. . .
In a totally-delicious-deconstructed-moreish kind of way.
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1-1/4 pounds)
- coarse salt and fresh black pepper
- ½ cup olive oil or canola mayonnaise
- 1 + ½ cups tortilla crumbs*
- 1 + ⅓ cups salsa
- 1 + ⅓ cups shredded Monterey jack or extra sharp cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large roasting pan or baking sheet with sides with parchment or grease well.
- Pound out the chicken breasts between two pieces of saran wrap with a meat mallet until they are a thin, even thickness, about ¼-inch thick. If they are very large cut them in half. Season well on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Set up a dredging station with the mayonnaise in a shallow bowl and the tortilla crumbs in another.
- Working one at a time coat each chicken breast lightly with mayonnaise, then tortilla crumbs, patting them on with your hands if needed.
- Bake about 20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 165 - 170 degrees F.
- Remove the pan from oven and top the chicken with the salsa and cheese. Put the pan back in the oven about 5 minutes until cheese is melted, alternately you can turn on the broiler and broil them about 1 minute until cheese is melted with some golden spots.
©Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice by Reeni Pisano
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