I call this dish Mexican chicken, because that's what my mom calls it, and I learned the recipe from her. Actually, it's probably not very Mexican at all. I made this yesterday and was reminded of Lilek's Gallery of Regrettable Food... there is a picture there of a dish called Beef Mexicana with a comment saying Note: the only spice that makes this dish remotely Mexican is optional. Indeed. Dutch home cooking is not exactly noted for its spiciness, and this recipe shows it. There is bell pepper in Mexican chicken, and corn, and even chillies if you like. Mexican-ish. You can even mexicanize it a bit more by adding more chillies and garlic, perhaps cilantro, or eating it with sour cream... but still, not very Mexican at all.

Then again, Mexican or not, this is an cheap and easy dish that is also pretty tasty, and made in one pan only, so little washing up to do! For two people you need the following, you can adjust the amounts according to how hungry you expect the eaters to be and what's easily available:

  • About 500 grams of chicken with bones - thighs or drumsticks or what have you
  • 1 onion and 2-4 cloves garlic, all chopped
  • About 4 not-too-large potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 200 grams of carrot, chopped into pieces
  • 1 large red bell pepper or two small ones, cut into pieces
  • 1 can of corn kernels
  • salt, chilli powder or flakes

Heat up a Dutch oven or similar heavy pan that has a tight fitting lid. Add some olive oil or butter or combination of those two to the pan and brown the chicken on all sides. Take the chicken out of the pan and put it aside for later.

Sautee the onion and garlic until soft. Then add the potatoes and carrot, stir around a bit and sautee everything for a few minutes. Add the pepper. Sautee for a few more minutes, then add salt and chilli to taste, put the chicken back in the pan and add a cup of water. Bring everything to a boil and put the lid on the pan. Turn down the fire and let simmer until the chicken is done and the potatoes are tender. In the last few minutes, add the corn to warm it through.

There, that's it! Done! You can serve this with fried banana like my mother does (peel one banana per person, slice them in half lengthways, fry them in a little butter or margarine until brown on all sides), or with sour cream and/or guacamole for that authentic Mexican taste... Enjoy!

Swap says that although bell peppers are used in Mexican cooking, a recipe like this needs at least a chipotle. He might well be right, but as chipotles are completely unknown in Dutch shops, I'm in no position to try it... but perhaps you can!

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