Pico Chicken

From: Randy J Ray <>

Pico de Gallo:

  • 10 - 12 Serrano chiles, stems removed and chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cup medium-to-fine chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 4 tbs virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs water


  • 1 lb boneless chicken breasts (preferably 4 separate breasts)


  • 8 - 12 10" flour tortillas
  • large can black beans (Kuners is an excellent brand)
  • sour cream

Warning: This is not a dish that you can throw together. It requires some planning. Ideally, you would start this 48 hours in advance.

In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients of the pico de gallo, adding the olive oil and water last. Mix thoroghly, seal, and refridgerate at least overnight to allow flavors to blend.

When pico is ready, take (thawed) chicken and put in a baking dish (preferably pyrex, sized so that the breasts are not touching, but the dish should just accomodate the chicken with little extra room). Cover completely with about 3/4 of the pico de gallo. Pile the pico about 1/4" deep on top of the chicken, allowing the excess to fall between the breasts of chicken. Cover and refridgerate 20-24 hours before cooking.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake covered at this temperature for 1 hour.

Take tortilla and wrap in damp hand towels or paper towels. Towels should just envelope tortillas. Wrap this in aluminum foil, folding over to seal foil (and trap steam inside). Put in oven for lat 10-15 minutes of the chicken's baking time.

Heat the beans over medium heat, so that they are ready when chicken and tortillas are (beans should take 20-25 minutes to heat).

Serve a breast of chicken (with it's baked-in pico and some of the pico from around it in the pan) with a large helping of beans and a little side spoonful or two of the un-baked pico de gallo. Put a dollop of sour cream on the beans, and make the tortillas available for the grabbing. Serves 4.

The Serrano is a fairly hot chile, eclipsing the Jalapeno by quite a stretch. Baking tones it down, and gives the chicken a wonderful south-western taste. The beans and tortillas are a must, to balance the heat of the main dish. I have served this several times to friends, with positive feedback. The pico takes about 30 minutes to make, and the actual cooking takes 1 hour, since the prep of the side dishes can be done while the chicken bakes. It is not really necessary to let the pico sit if you are pressed for time, but I do not recommend reducing the marinate time for the chicken unless you are really pressed for time.

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