Jalapeno Chicken

Contrary to popular belief, chicken can be flavorful. The key to unleashing the chameleon-like character comes from the marinade.

jalapeno chicken in cast iron pan

Don’t be afraid of marinades, they’re one of the simplest things in the world that’ll give you the best results for something as tried and true as chicken. The acidity from the lime juice tenderizes the flesh.

Chicken rarely needs more than an hour to marinate — in fact, any longer and you’d actually be cooking the chicken. The jalapenos lend it some spice of course, but there is also the peppery brightness that comes through.

And if you want even more robust flavor for your poultry, generously rub the chicken with our DIY dry rub.

I prefer to buy chicken whole and slice it up myself. You save a lot of money in the process although it does require some skill with the knife. At any rate, do consider cooking dark meat chicken and with the bone-in.

The craze with boneless, skinless breast may be healthy but is terribly expensive and often lacks flavor.

I love to cook dishes like this in a very well seasoned cast iron skillet – that being said, don’t try this with a skillet with a newer seasoning. The acid from the lemons may strip of what you have built up – better to use an enameled surface or a stainless frying pan than to risk it.

This recipe also calls for searing the chicken; if you don’t know how to properly sear, I’d suggest that you read Foodal’s Guide to Searing. You can also check our equipment buying guide for some ideas on skillet and pans that are great for this purpose.

jalapeno chicken | Foodal.com
Jalapeno Chicken
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Servings
4 People
Servings
4 People
jalapeno chicken | Foodal.com
Jalapeno Chicken
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Servings
4 People
Servings
4 People
Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken cut into serving pieces (OR alternatively the same weight of pre-cut chicken/chicken breasts)
  • 1-2 jalapenos
  • 1-2 limes for juicing
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • salt & pepper
Servings: People
Units:
Instructions
  1. First, halve the jalapenos lengthwise and remove the seeds and veins with your knife (the veins are the lighter color bits of flesh to which the seeds are attached). You can leave the seeds if you like things especially spicy, but I find that my tongue has quite enough flavor to deal with without them. Chop them finely into bits of green confetti. Don't worry about making them look neat and uniform -- you just want as much surface area from the flesh to let out all the good flavor. Put this into a large bowl or casserole dish.
  2. Halve the limes and juice them in whatever manner you wish -- with a fork, a juicer, etc. -- into the bowl of jalapenos. Pour in the olive oil, salt and pepper, and stir to let all the ingredients get to know each other.
  3. Now you have your marinade. You can make this the night before or the morning before you start your day and add the chicken as soon as you start making dinner. Put the chicken into another bowl, casserole dish, or even a huge ziploc freezer bag. Pour the marinade over the chicken and massage it a bit to get the flavors into the chicken and let it sit for at least 1/2 an hour to an hour. In the meantime, you can make a sidedish, read the paper, watch TV, do your nails, etc...
  4. After you've let the chicken marinate, heat up a pan or the grill at the highest possible heat. The concept here is to sear the chicken to get a nice crust on it. When the pan is hot enough (test it by adding a drop of water to the surface and seeing if it sizzles immediately away) add a tablespoon or so of oil, so that the chicken won't stick. Add the chicken pieces. Sear on one side, lower the heat to a medium high and cover. Cook for about 5 minutes, flip over the pieces to cook on the other side. Cover again.
  5. I can't give precise times here, because everyone's stove varies in heat output and the thickness of the chicken will inevitably vary. Trust yourself. A meat thermometer helps, but you can easily check to see if the chicken is done by pressing on its surface to see if it still feels rather mushy (it's not quite done) or firm to the touch (you're just about there).
Recipe Notes

Serve it with rice, sour cream, and guacamole (there's a recipe for it in the appetizer section!) or alone with some greens and you've got yourself a sassy and healthy little dinner...

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About Lynne Jaques

Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!

29 thoughts on “Jalapeno Chicken”

  1. Chicken is always flavorsome when I am making it, otherwise I do not bother. I have made a very similar dish to this before, I love making fajitas and such, so this is not far off that realm.

  2. How simple and flavorful! And affordable! This would taste so awesome complemented with some white or flavored rice. Thanks for the idea!

  3. Yum, I can’t wait to try this. I prefer eating chicken to other proteins myself and I never understand why people insist chicken is bland. If you season it correctly it’s great. Jalapeno and lime are two of my favorite flavors so I think I’ll like this recipe. I would be good to make tacos with this meat or simply serve it with some seasoned rice and a salad.

    I prefer cooking a whole chicken too but sometimes find myself short on time. They are much more flavorful that way though so I try to use them when I can. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. I have had this dish before and I really enjoyed. I first had the Jalapeno Chicken a few months ago at a Chinese restaurant. I am grateful to know that I can prepare it as a meal for my family. I like knowing different ways on how to flavor chicken.

  5. Made this one and really enjoyed it. What was fun was that the leftovers pulled and boneless made for a fantastic wrap with a few added items like lettuce, tomato, etc. Enjoyed it!

  6. I followed this recipe yesterday and shared it with my friends *(we’re all very much into spicy food). I left a few of the jalapeno seeds in and you definitely weren’t kidding, it made it deliciously spicy. The lime really made the flavors pop too.

    My friends thought I was a master chef, so thanks Lynne.

  7. I love jalapenos and will eat them straight from the jar. It’s nice to see a recipe that involves a bit more than just placing them on the top of something and I am going to try this out next weekend. Jalapenos have a wonderful flavor and don’t seem particularly hot to me.

  8. I think after years of having chicken on the dinner table on a weekly basis, one tends to tire out a little and you wish for newer, fresher things on the dinner table, maybe i tired out easily because the chicken was a ‘plain jane’ and now ‘hot spicy’ chicken has stepped out of my kitchen onto to my dinner plate, quite a simple recipe there, although i’ll have to minimize the jalapenos lest i start out with free flowing ‘waterworks’ moment…better yet i could arm myself with a glass of yoghurt to cease the fire that might arise within my mouth and throat ;).

  9. I would never consider chicken bland or lacking in flavour; some of the best meals I’ve eaten have been simply a plain roasted chicken where the meat speaks for itself. That said, I do find other fowl like turkey to be of the blandest and dullest of meats.

    I like the idea of marinating chicken – this is something I do regularly for dishes like jerk chicken, It really does tenderize the meat, and keeps it moist too, which is equally as important.

    I’ll definitely give this recipe a go though – sounds delicious.

  10. Oh SNAP! This is exactly what I’m all about. I love chicken AND I love jalapeno. However, my family is not on board with my sense of delicious. Is there a way, other than clearing the seeds, I can minimize the hotness for my family. They’re not troopers for spice.

  11. Ugh! Why do I always come to this blog when I’m hungry? My mother said I’m a glutton for punishment. This dish looks delicious, can’t wait to make it and eat it. LOVE the presentation, and can’t wait to taste what the meat tastes like with the lime juice used as/in the marinade.

  12. What would your suggestion be to marinate chicken in a warm or cold environment? What i mean is I’ve always marinated on the counter top but I know people who feel the fridge is a better option. I’ve felt marinating in a fridge retains less of the marinade in the meat.

  13. I so agree with you about dark meat, and bone-in chicken. It’s much more flavorful than skinless, boneless breasts. I’m looking forward to trying this recipe. I love lime with poultry and fish, and adding the jalapenos will give it a little kick. I’ve never been able to achieve a proper sear, so hopefully with your hints, I can master that technique.

  14. This looks like a great, simple recipe! I’m glad my cast iron pan is well-seasoned. I love the subtle flavor of lime in chicken. I could totally see how guacamole would be a great accommodation to this chicken dish. I love hot peppers so I would probably use something a bit hotter than jalepeno, although I love the flavor of it.

  15. This is a great recipe to try when you think you’re tired of chicken. LOL My family eats a lot of chicken and sometimes it gets old. If you love jalapenos, as I do, this is a most pleasant alternative to the same boring chicken dishes. The lime is going to go nicely with the jalapenos. I can’t wait to try this one.

  16. Love chicken, it is one of the main sources of protein in my household as we do not very much red meat. This recipe sounds great, I will be making this!

  17. That looks like a really awesome recipe! I also swear by fresh chicken bone-in, rather than the frozen, pre-butchered stuff. There is a really huge difference in flavor.

    For those who find Jalapenos too hot and spicy, I think that a tomato-based marinade would also work well.

  18. I love spicy foods, so this recipe is right up my alley. Would the taste be altered if I were to grill it rather than use it in a skillet? I just received a tabletop grill and I’ve been looking for recipes when it comes to using it to cook with.

  19. I always make chicken in my house (we aren’t big red meat or pork eaters), so I love looking for different ways to make the meat flavorful. My household enjoys spicy food, so this recipe looks like a winner. I already have the ingredients, I just may be making this tonight!

  20. I make this type of fowl a lot, so I’m always looking for new ideas for how to prepare it. This sounds quite tasty, and it’s certainly simple enough. I need to add more marinades to my repertoire.

    I think my husband would enjoy this. He likes food to have a bit of a kick, and he tend to enjoy things made with lime. Double whammy. I think I’ll make a nice citrus rice to go alongside this.

  21. Chicken is my favourite meat (we have it literally all of the time) and so I love to find new and interesting recipes! This is well explained and seems relatively simple to do, and the contrast of flavours appears as though it would work well. I’m excited to try it!

  22. We eat a lot of chicken in our home, so I am always on the lookout for new recipes to feed my family. I am a jalapeno lover, so I will certainly enjoy this. I do a dish that is similar, but more on the Indian curry type flavor because it has Indian spices. I am certain it will be great with vegetables and salads.

  23. My mouth watered the whole time while I read this post, it looks amazing! I’m a big fan of spicy food in general, and what a better idea to do it with an acid touch, yum!
    The chicken actually reminds me of a recipe that my mother does regularly, but instead of chicken she make it with Cambray potatoes, and it’s an excellent idea for a little snack on a family reunion, at the end of the day everyone seems to love it.
    I will definietly give this a try. 🙂

  24. Well I have to say that I love spicy food, and when it come to chicken, I always feel the need to add as much spice and kick to it as possible, if nothing else then to just switch things up and try something new. I love chicken , and it is good and healthy protein for me, but sometimes it can get repetitive. That said, I love jalapenos so this makes perfect sense to me. Thanks for sharing, and I might just print this one off and keep it on hand.

  25. I have always loved Mexican food, but I have always eaten it on restaurants, that’s why it’s always delicious. However, I personally think that I will have to pay Mexico a visit in order to find those jalapeños in the first place. Thank you for sharing this amazing recipe, I am a big fan of the chicken, I will surely try this soon. Thanks for sharing it!

  26. I love all things Mexican, and this jalapeno chicken looks divine. I’ve never made a dish on my own, though, and I’m looking forward to trying this one out. You can just see the flavor in this dish, and I just know everyone will love it. Thanks for sharing this great recipe.

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