Grilled boneless chicken breasts covered in a creamy Southwestern Sauce, topped with a Black Bean-Corn Salsa, tons of cheese, and crispy tortilla strips. It’s spicy, delicious, and maybe the perfect southwestern chicken dish.
Do you have any cookbooks that you’ve flipped through a million times, ogling the pictures and recipes, but for one reason or another you’ve never actually made anything from it? That’s been the case with me and Southern Living Off the Eaten Path: Favorite Southern Dives and 150 Recipes that Made Them Famous Cookbook.
It spotlights dining establishments from around the southeast and features 1-3 recipes from each place. They’re the kind of places that are a joy to stop at on a road trip. The cookbook has lots of fabulous pictures not only of the foods, but of the restaurants themselves plus scenic photos from around the south.
Sometimes I get a little nervous making recipes from restaurants because they tend to cook in such huge quantities and the recipes aren’t always scaled down that accurately for the home cook.
But this recipe for Santa Fe Chicken from Rosie’s Cantina in Huntsville, Alabama is fabulous. I’ve never been to Huntsville, but if I go, I will definitely be dining at Rosie’s Cantina.
The Southwestern Sauce with mayonnaise, sour cream, red bell pepper, cayenne pepper, a few more seasonings, and rice vinegar is what makes this dish so creamy and delicious. The rice vinegar, something I don’t really associate with southwestern cooking, gives just a hint of tang to the sauce and it is wonderful.
And who can resist a Black Bean-Corn Salsa? I’ve added more salsa than the recipe calls for and then it almost becomes an all in one meal. You can crumble some tortilla chips on top, but I really recommend frying (or baking) up your own. Just cut flour tortillas in strips and fry in vegetable oil for a few seconds. Or coat with cooking spray and bake in a hot oven until lightly browned.
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup (2 oz.) shredded Provolone cheese
- 1½ cups (6 oz.) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
- Tortilla Strips (I make my own by cutting flour tortillas into strips and frying in vegetable oil)
- ½ avocado, diced
- 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
- 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- ¼ cup finely chopped green bell pepper
- ¼ cup chopped red bell pepper
- ¼ cup finely chopped red onion
- ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon pepper
- Prepare Southwestern Sauce. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate.
- Prepare Black Bean-Corn Salsa. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and refrigerate.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat (or use a grill pan). Brush chicken with olive oil. Sprinkle with cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Grill chicken 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until done.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken breasts in a lightly greased baking dish. Top each breast with ⅓ cup Southwestern Sauce, ½ cup Black Bean-Corn Salsa, and ¼ of the cheese.
- Bake for 7 to 8 minutes of until cheese melts.
- Serve with tortilla strips and avocado.
Recipe Source: adapted from Southern Living Off the Eaten Path: Favorite Southern Dives and 150 Recipes that Made Them Famous
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