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Eat Your Feelings – Ancho Chili Chicken Thighs and Fajita Veggies!

Eat Your Feelings – Ancho Chili Chicken Thighs and Fajita Veggies!

By Gina Grad

December 14, 2018

Question: What do you do when you crave smoky, zesty south-of-the-border flavors like cumin and ancho chili pepper but want an alternative to dumping all those spices into a big vat of chili?

Answer: Ancho chili chicken thighs!!

I found a great recipe on thestayathomechef.com which features such delectable offerings.

Here it is!

I followed this recipe pretty closely and thought the small pat of butter on each piece was a really nice touch as it crisped up the chicken and made each thigh that much more mouth-watering.

A couple of adjustments I made:

– I wanted to make a bigger batch but ran out of thighs so I cut two chicken breasts in half so they’d match the size of the thighs and those worked beautifully as well!

– I also swapped out cayenne pepper for red chili flakes which gave the finished product a nice, hearty, well-rounded kick!

– Bonus tip: To ensure the crispness on of the chicken, I finished it off in the broiler. But check the chicken often in there – maybe once a minute. You don’t want those delicious seasonings on top to burn!

These little beauties came out crisp and juicy and flavorful and quickly got devoured!

Now for the side dish…

Mexican-inspired food can be a little daunting in the side dish department since non #NSNG grains like rice, beans, and corn are often featured next to the entree.

So I went with some off the charts umami-heavy fajita veggies!

This side goes beyond sautéing some peppers and onions in a pan.

The recipe I found HERE makes the veggies taste like a highlight of the meal instead of just a boring old veggie that you’re stuck with.

Here are a couple of tricks…

  • Make sure to adequately season the veggies with plenty of chili pepper, cumin, garlic, smoked paprika and salt. (I also added a splash of fresh lime to finish it off.)
  • Once everything is sautéed, see that you put a nice char on the peppers and onions by either finishing on a high heat OR doing what I did and finishing in the broiler so parts of the skin crisp up nicely. (Quickly though or you’ll burn your masterpiece!)
  • Add the mushrooms AFTER the peppers and onions are pretty cooked through so things don’t get mushy or watery! 

That’s about it! Have fun making this delish Mexican-inspired meal for family and friends and don’t forget to make enough for seconds. (You’re gonna want seconds!)