Mexican Chicken and Rice

Chicken with Mexican rice

 Alex Ortega/Getty Images

  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Servings: 4 to 6 servings

Budget-friendly chicken pieces get Mexican flavor in this easy everyday recipe. Ingredients in this dish include chicken pieces, garlic, tomato sauce, chili powder, green pepper, and hot cooked rice for serving. Use whole chicken legs or bone-in thighs in the dish, or use a cut-up frying chicken.

Raisins and other dried fruits have long been used in Mexican dishes. The golden raisins add ​some interesting flavor to this dish ​but they may be omitted. To stretch the dish a bit and increase the protein, add a 15-ounce can (drained) pinto beans or black beans.


  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 pounds whole chicken legs or thighs (on the bone)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • Dash salt
  • 1/2 cup sliced olives (green, pimiento stuffed)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1 green bell pepper (cut into strips)
  • Hot cooked rice (for 4 to 6 people)

Steps to Make It

  1. Heat butter and oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat.

  2. Arrange the chicken in the skillet; cook, turning frequently until the chicken is browned on all sides.

  3. Remove chicken from skillet and add the chopped onion. Cook, stirring frequently until lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.

  4. Add the tomato sauce to the skillet along with the chicken broth, vinegar, chili powder, salt, olives, and raisins, if using. Return chicken to the skillet. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. 

  5. Add the sliced green pepper; cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes longer.

  6. Serve this tasty Mexican chicken dish with hot cooked rice.

  7. Enjoy!