Mexican Chile Chicken with Cornmeal Biscuits


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Mexican Chile Chicken with Cornmeal Biscuits


This spicy chicken stew with chiles and squash is delicious topped with crunchy cornmeal biscuits. You can also serve it simply over rice or rice and beans. To make the mealtime extra easy, prepare the stew and the dry mix for the biscuits ahead of time.

  • Serves: 6


Mexican Chile Chicken

  • 1½ lbs (750 g) boneless chicken thighs, cut in bite-size pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) chili powder
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) ground cumin
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 cup (250 ml) chopped peppers: red, green, or cubanelle
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups (500 ml) diced butternut squash
  • 1 28-oz (396 ml) can plum tomatoes, chopped, with juice
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp (2 ml) dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh coriander
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Cornmeal Biscuit Topping (see below)

Cornmeal Biscuit Topping

  • 1 cup (250 ml) cornmeal
  • 1 cup (250 ml) all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp (2 ml) salt
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) baking powder
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) cold butter, cut in small pieces
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten with 2 tbsp (30 ml) cold water
  • ½ tsp (2 ml) dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped


  1. Mexican Chile Chicken
  2. In a bowl, toss chicken with garlic, chili powder, and cumin. Set aside while you chop and prepare vegetables.
  3. In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and lightly brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  4. Add onion, peppers, and jalapeno to the pan and stir-fry, 2–3 minutes. Return chicken to pan and stir in squash, tomatoes, oregano, and fresh coriander. Season lightly. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Drop 6 portions of biscuit batter, about ¼ cup (60 ml) each, on top of chicken stew. Place pan in a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven and bake until biscuits are nicely browned and cooked through, 20–25 minutes.
  6. Tips:
  7. - If you plan to serve the chicken stew over rice instead of topped with biscuits, finish cooking on the stovetop: Increase the simmering time to 15–20 minutes, or until the chicken and vegetables are completely cooked.
  8. - The stew may be made ahead and stored, covered, in the refrigerator until needed, up to 2 days, or frozen up to a month.
  9. Cornmeal Biscuit Topping
  10. In a bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, salt ,and baking powder.
  11. Add butter and, using two knives and your fingertips, combine to form coarse crumbs. (Or use your food processor to do this task.)
  12. Sprinkle with egg mixture and herbs, and toss with a fork or your fingers to form a light biscuit dough.

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Jane Rodmell