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3 (6)

Mains

Tijuana chicken

Tijuana chicken
Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

Every once in a while it's a good idea to check your spices to be sure they haven't gotten stale. (I just had to replace my ground cumin and chili powder because the old ones had turned flat and flavorless.) ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes | Serves 6
  • 3 1/2 pounds chicken pieces, preferably dark meat
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • Cilantro, for garnish

Step 1Season the chicken with salt and pepper and set aside.

Step 2Cut the stem top and root bottom off the onion and discard the papery skin. Cut the onion in half lengthwise and place the flat side down. Cut it into 1/4-inch slices lengthwise, then cut them into 1/4-inch pieces crosswise.

Step 3Peel the garlic and cut each clove into thin slices lengthwise. Cut each clove in small pieces crosswise; set aside with the onion.

Step 4Cut the stem and the bottom from the bell pepper, then cut it in half lengthwise. Scrape out the seeds. Cut each half into 1/2-inch strips lengthwise, then cut crosswise into quarter-inch pieces. Add to the garlic and onion.

Step 5Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the chicken. Brown both sides of the chicken 5 to 7 minutes per side, then remove from the skillet and set aside. You may need to repeat to brown all the chicken.

Step 6Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion, garlic and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin, cloves, cinnamon, chili powder, tomatoes and raisins, then return the chicken pieces to the pan and add the water. Cover the skillet and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked and falls from the bone, 30 to 40 minutes.

Step 7Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Note: I like to use chicken legs and thighs, because they stay moist and have better flavor.

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