Southwestern Chicken, Take Two

I recently discovered a fresh, refrigerated fire roasted salsa in the produce section at HEB that reminds me of a roasted salsa from El Chile that I used to be addicted to when they had a more convenient north Austin restaurant location. That in turn triggered a memory of  (and craving for) a southwestern chicken recipe that my friend, Chelsea, made up. It looks like I never posted her original recipe, so since I can’t quite remember it I keep making adaptations of it. Here’s my previous adaptation: Southwestern-Style Chicken and Black Beans

This latest adaptation incorporates grilling the chicken, a salsa closer to the original El Chile salsa we used for it, and a chipotle cheddar cheese. It came out wonderfully, and we’ll definitely be repeating it. We especially liked the contrast of hot chicken/cheese and cold salsa/sour cream. Yum!


Southwestern Chicken, Take Two


  • 1 lb thinly sliced chicken breasts
  • Coarsely ground salt and pepper
  • Lemon-infused olive oil
  • Rice (while not exactly southwestern, we have a huge bag of jasmine rice that we use for everything)
  • 2 cans of black beans 
  • HEB chipotle cheddar cheese slices
  • Mild fire roasted salsa (from HEB refrigerated produce section, not labeled with a brand but it says in fine print under the nutrition facts that it’s distributed by Calavo Growers Inc. in Santa Paula, CA)
  • (Optional) Sour cream


  1. Set the black beans to warm on the stove over low heat.
  2. Grill the chicken with the lemon-infused olive oil, salt, and pepper, then slice it into bite-sized pieces.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the rice.
  4. When the chicken is cooked, melt a slice of chipotle cheddar cheese over each chicken breast that you’re serving (if you’re making enough for leftovers, wait to melt the cheese over the chicken until you reheat your leftovers). This would probably taste best if done on the grill, but we chose to just warm it in the microwave for a minute or so once we’d assembled all of the warm ingredients on the plate to melt the cheese without risking cheese getting stuck on the grill burners.
  5. To serve, layer cooked rice, then black beans, then chicken with cheese melted over it, then cold salsa and optionally sour cream.

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