Mexican Chicken with Yogurt and Almonds

  • Yield: servings


2tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken thighs on the bone, 5 1/2 to 7 ounces each
2cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/4cups chicken stock
2 red jalapeno chilies
2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into 8 pieces each
1/3cup blanched almonds
4 scallions, finely chopped
Juice of 1 orange
1cup plus 2 T thick Greek-style yogurt
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Tortilla chips, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Add the chicken thighs and cook, skin-side down, 3 to 4 minutes until the skin turns a lovely golden color. Turn the chicken thighs over, chuck in the garlic and cook 30 seconds longer, or until fragrant. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently 20 minutes, or until the chicken is just cooked through and tender.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the jalapeno chilies and red peppers. Char them, turning occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes until they develop a few really blackened areas. This provide the lovely smoky flavor so typical of Mexican cooking. Once cool enough to touch, skin and seed the chilies and remove any really charred bits from the peppers. Thinly slice the pieces of pepper and the chilies.
  3. Put the almonds into a food processor and pulse a few times. You want the almonds to be fairly well ground, but still retain some chunky texture.
  4. Bring the chicken back to a boil over medium heat, then add the chilies, peppers, almonds, scallions, and orange juice and season with a really good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix everything together so it is well combined and cook 10 minutes.
  5. Add the yogurt, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes longer, or until the sauce is like a lovely thick soup. Serve immediately with tortilla chips on the side.

    Recipe from Mighty Spice Cookbook by John Gregory Smith, reprinted with permission from Sterling Publishing.