My mom used to make us something like this Mexican chicken when we were kids. It is not really Mexican, but is what we called it when she made it. I loved when she made this dinner for us, and now my kids love it when I make it for them. I remember that the recipe came from a class cookbook that my sister brought home from school. I have no idea where the book is now, and I have no idea if this recipe is even close, but what I do know, is that my family loves this dinner. I sort of made it up as I went along, based on my memories of eating this. My version was pretty close if I do say so myself. This recipe is a little more labor intensive than I usually do for a weeknight dinner, I generally avoid breading anything, but it is not hard to make, and it is so very kid-friendly. You can prep it all ahead of time, you can bread the chicken and leave it in the fridge until you are ready to cook, and get all of the toppings ready. I love how the cornmeal adds so much texture and crunch to the chicken. It is also very colorful on a plate. A fun spin might be to make these into chicken nuggets and let the kids dip them in guacamole and salsa.
6-8 chicken breasts (I used the thin cut breasts)
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 packet taco seasoning (or a blend of Mexican spices)
1/4 cup oil
3 Tablespoons butter
1 bunch green onions
Monterey Jack cheese
Set up a breading station. In one dish, combine cornmeal, flour, and taco seasoning. In another whisk eggs with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet or saute pan, heat oil and butter over medium-high heat. Dip the chicken into the egg mixture, and then into the flour mixture. Make sure that your chicken is well coated with the flour.
Cook the chicken until one side is golden brown and flip to the other side. If your breasts are thin enough, they will cook through. If not, transfer them to a 350 degree oven to finish cooking. You can also keep the chicken in a low oven to keep them warm until you are finished browning them all, like 250 degrees.
Meanwhile, gather your toppings. Slice the Monterey Jack and green onions thinly. Get your sour cream, salsa, and cilantro ready.
Place a few thin slices of avocado and some green onions on the top of the chicken.
Cover with a few slices of cheese. Place under the broiler to melt.
Add some cilantro leaves, sour cream, and salsa to the top. I also served a doctored version of my baked rice, I added a cup or two of frozen peas right before the rice was to come out of the oven. A little butter, a Tablespoon or two of paprika, and lots of salt and pepper. My uncle Tom used to serve this rice at his restaurant and it makes me think of him every time I make it.