Photo by Sonia Mendez Garcia

New Mexico Chile Chicken

Cuisine: Tex Mex
Prep Time: 24 hours
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
New Mexico chile peppers are one of the southwestern state's most endearing products. Use them to prepare this delicious chicken recipe.

Someday I will live in New Mexico! Lol!! I say this all of the time to my husband and to anyone that will listen. The southwest, and New Mexico in particular, holds a special place in my heart. From the time I was born until I was 14, my parents traveled cross country from California to Monterrey, Mexico twice a year to visit family. My most vivid memories are passing through Arizona and New Mexico. During the winter, soooo cold, and during the summer, HOT!! I remember stopping at the market or gas station and running, with no shoes on, across the super hot pavement or sidewalk. Well, I was a kid... I know better now! And when I really think of it, I often wonder if it’s New Mexico that I love so much, or the experiences of my family bonding during these trips. Either way, it holds a special place in my heart, and yes; someday I will live there.


  1. Remove seeds and stems from dried peppers. Transfer to a glass bowl, cover with water and cook in microwave for 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from microwave, stir and let cool. Once slightly cooled, drain the liquid. Transfer to the blender, add chopped garlic, cumin, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1½ cups water. Blend until smooth, taste for salt. Set aside.
  2. Butterfly the chicken breast, so you have 6 pieces and it’s nice and thin. Season with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic on both sides. Transfer to a glass baking dish, cover with chile sauce and lemon juice. Turn chicken so it is evenly coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 24 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat a griddle pan or heavy skillet to medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes. Cook the chicken for 5 to 6 minutes per side. Remove from heat and let the chicken rest for a few minutes. Garnish with Mexican oregano. Serve as-is, with a salad, or slice thin for tacos.

Chef Notes

If you are unable to find this chile, you could also use chile California or guajillo; you will have a slight different flavor and color, but still very tasty.

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